We first took a decision to put a boat in charter around the summer of 2015. We had chartered boats with several BVI companies prior to then, but our best experience by far had been with TMM, so it was with Don Pietrykowski that I began discussing options in August of that year. We met Barney and the rest of the team at Annapolis 2015 and finalized the options for the Lagoon 450 that was to become ARIADNE, and the process started.
By the 3rd week of May in 2016 ARIADNE had arrived in Tortola and we were in the chartering business with our partners in TMM. We had a hassle free and rewarding experience for the first year… and then in the hurricane season of 2017, IRMA visited!
TMM have an excellent hurricane plan, and Ariadne came through the worst storm to hit the BVI in generations with very little damage, relatively speaking. The islands and residents suffered so much more. Before the end of the year Ariadne had been shipped to Florida for repairs, and by the spring of 2018 she was back at work in the islands generating revenue again. It’s worth noting that this was an excellent test of the insurance coverage that the boats in the fleet have. I can assure you - it works well and it does exactly what it says on the tin!
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All this time I was staggered by the ability of the TMM team to bounce back from what had to have been the worst natural disaster in our lifetimes in the BVI. Resilience isn’t the word for it. These are an impressive group of people!
We sailed on with TMM for the next 18-20 months, and then the COVID bomb went off! We were beginning to think that we were being told something as it can’t be usual for the islands to be shut down again, but that was what happened. With Ariadne being 4 years old by that point, and only a year left on the contract with TMM we worked with Don Pietrykowski to find a buyer, which he did with remarkably little hassle given the prevailing pandemic conditions. We were happy with the selling price, especially given she was a hurricane survivor and sold at the height of a global pandemic. Our TMM experience over the turbulent 4 years had been nothing short of excellent.
So - no surprise then that by the end of 2021 we were looking for a second TMM boat! The lead time on deliveries for the Lagoon 46 was a little longer this time, and we ended up with a delivery date in the islands of December 2022. Post pandemic supply chains conspired to slow things down, but Artemis arrived as promised and quickly went to work generating revenue in the February of 2023.
We are now into the first season shutdown period for Artemis, and her revenues so far have been excellent. The team is keeping her in good condition and the comments I have received back from charterers have been very positive about the state of the boat, and how she is being prepared for their use.
The TMM team are the best at what they do, from the purchase process with the owner, to the commissioning, to the chartering and maintenance and hurricane protection, and even into the subsequent brokerage process. This is a top team, and I wouldn’t be in this business with anyone else!