Restitution: The Real Cost of Chartering


Superyacht Lady Zelda sold by Northrop and Johnson and Fraser


"We now have a very happy seller and buyer who, by the way, is a very experienced charterer and we will see her back on the charter market with a vengeance! Good to see people like this coming back into the market."

Christensen Sweet Escape: Magnetic Personality

Arunas Chesonis wasn’t seriously looking to buy a boat. The CEO of Sweetwater Energy was perfectly content to charter, something he’d been doing with his family for the better part of a decade. 

The service (by Captain Paulo Guedes) is what kept Chesonis coming back, and the fourth charter was the charm. The global recession had begun, and (Captain Paulo) Guedes had been doing some thinking. He knew there were a lot of gems-in-the-making on the brokerage market, and he knew they could be had for a great price. He’d asked the owner about moving up to a bigger boat to expand the charter crew and guest options…

“We were talking about this one day on the boat during one of my charters,” Chesonis recalls, “and I just asked him, ‘Would you consider doing something with me?’”

Two months later, Chesonis was a yacht owner and (Captain Paulo) Guedes was his personal captain. The 130-foot Christensen Lady Zelda became his own Sweet Escape, and he set about refitting the 1993 build with Guedes’ charter ambitions in mind. In 2010, they converted two cabins so that the twin beds could be arranged as kings, and they removed the bar from the top deck so that it would become a more spacious sunpad area…


A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships were built for


After years of a heavy charter schedule and crew moving around, the company changed to the present ownership early 2017.  With a wonderful inherited reputation for charter, Sweet Escape immediately picked up and started what was intended to be a minor refurbishment.  Unfortunately it was during this time that the true cost of the heavy amount of charter had on the very special MY Sweet Escape came to light, none of which had appeared in the survey.

Through painful trial and tribulation, multiples of major issues were painstakingly revealed and addressed.  There were some casualties in the process with missed charters as the revelation of major issue after mechanical issue unexpectedly occurred.  Surmounted by feelings of grief and tremendous levels of stress, all parties involved were deeply affected.  Every step of the way felt like a never ending uphill battle. The heavy stream of kind, skilled crew and contractors never faulted trying tirelessly to meet deadlines only to be presented with another kink in the chain.


It was apparently clear that the renaming ceremony was not preformed correctly and Poseidon was not satisfied!  A massive price was paid as result.  Now properly christened and a very long list of mechanical and decorative issues meticulously addressed, the worst is seemingly well behind Sweet Escape. (Could you kindly knock on some perfectly sanded teak after reading this please?) Motor Yacht Sweet Escape is truly magnificent.

Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor

After what was undeniably a triumphant Mediterranean Season in 2018, a recent yard period, and a completing a successful 5 year survey, Yacht Sweet Escape has an upcoming busy season again in The Bahamas.  The Antigua Yacht Charter Show, 4-10 December 2019, will lead to a nostalgic visit to the BVI’s where Sweet Escape’s journey began in 2012.  Now under the command of Captain Paul Garfield, having been at the helm for the last year, a finer crew could not be found!  With all the repairs and additions, toys and all around love, Sweet Escape is at her best! Poseidon seemingly agrees!

March 2019