Sailing Options Expand as Top Cat Becomes Imagine Yachting

Top Cat Charters, the vacation-brokering division of The Catamaran Company, is expanding sailing options and plans to change its name to Imagine Yachting in 2004. The transformation will allow the company to grow from booking bareboat and crewed catamaran charters to offering vacations aboard everything from monohulls to luxury motoryachts and small cruise ships throughout the world.

"We’re finding that our clients want an adventure in exotic locations on monohulls and on poweryachts," says marketing manager Kimberly Lee. "For us, it’s definitely the way to go."

The company is creating a database with thousands of boats that allows clients to search the Imagine Yachting website (www.imagineyachting.com) by model and worldwide location.

As Imagine, the company, which built its reputation and clientele as a gateway to chartering and not by accumulating fleets (see "One Sailing Vacation, Twice the Good Times," October 2002), will rely on a team led by employee Diane Delorey, its yacht-charter consultant.

"Consultants will travel worldwide to personally inspect the global yacht-charter fleet to ensure quality," she said in a company statement.
Top Cat Charters had over $1.5 million in charter bookings last year. As Imagine, the company projects it will pull in an extra $685,000 in a 12- to 18-month period beginning in January 2004. For details, contact the company (800-333-9049 or 954-566-1232, info@imagineyachting.com).

Sail with an Extra Hand
If you're sailing with Sunsail charter company in the British Virgin Islands and need an extra hand to help out with deck chores, the First-Mate Program, introduced during high season 2003, may be for you.
For $75 a day plus private cabin and meals, Sunsail will provide you and your party with an experienced crewmember who can assist in daily boat operations, clue you in to the area's best anchorages, beaches, and snorkeling grounds, and even help out in the galley. "The first mates are extremely knowledgeable about the history and culture of the islands and can help you plan your itinerary, making recommendations on where to snorkel, visit, and eat," says Peter Cook, U.S. general manager for First Choice Marine, Sunsail's corporate parent. "They're better than any visitor's guide because they know all the spots off the beaten path as well as the most popular locales." For details, call Sunsail (800-237-2276).

Moorings Offers Discounts
Sailors who've taken trips at least once with The Moorings are eligible for a rewards program that includes a 5-percent discount on subsequent bareboat charters booked directly, an upgrade from club to exclusive-line boat (subject to fleet availability), invitations to boat-show receptions, and a range of product and service deals with such sailing-destination resorts as The Bitter End Yacht Club and such retailers as West Marine and Renport. To learn more about the full line of discounts in the Captain's Reward program, contact the company (888-952-6015, www.moorings.com).