A few weeks ago at the Antigua Charter Yacht Show, I ran into Merry Persichetti, whom I’d previously met when she was working aboard the 140-foot Proteksan-Turquoise motoryacht Capricorn. She has since gotten off boats to work on land, becoming the newest charter broker with B&B Yacht Charters in Newport, Rhode Island.
How did you originally get into the boating lifestyle?
I was born and raised in Oregon. My hometown is actually called Boring, Oregon. I was raised there, was a volleyball collegiate athlete, studied marketing management and psychology, was all motivated—and then I had a dear friend who had a stroke at the age of 26. I was just entering the corporate world, and I said, ‘Forget this. Life is too short.’
So I started traveling, which then turned into sailing and cruising on different boats throughout the West Coast and Mexico. That was just for fun. I was having a blast, working passages, helping people out, learning how to sail and having a lot of fun along the way.
From there, it must have been an easy jump to working on charter yachts.
I pulled into Bahia Navidad one day and met the commodore of Newport Yacht Club in California. He said, ‘Let’s go rub elbows with these folks and see a big yacht.’ It was a 101-foot North Star motoryacht called Besame. Six months later, I got an email from the captain of that boat asking if I wanted to work for a while. And I thought, ‘Yeah, I should mix work and play.’
I was a young, hardworking person who was willing to do anything, so I did everything. Deckhand, chef, stew—fill in the blank. There was no name to that game.
That boat was private. How did you get into charter?
I married the captain, Eddie Persichetti, and we moved up and on, to the 140-foot charter yacht Capricorn. It was great. We got off a year ago to have our first child, a girl, and I became a charter broker at B&B in September 2015.
So you’ve had a few months to get adjusted on land. How do you like the job so far?
I love it. It’s a perfect fit for the life that I have now. It’s a learning curve, as with everything. It was great to be at the Fort Lauderdale boat show and down at the Antigua boat show to just really get my feet wet and dive into it. Now it’s a matter of getting into the swing of building a clientele, but I feel very comfortable about my base knowledge of the industry. I feel like I’m ready to spread my wings with a good foundation under my feet.
Do you plan to specialize in any types of yacht charter?
My specialty is going to be starting with what I know. That, predominately, is the small- to midrange yachts, 60 to 150 feet. That’s where my confidence lies in terms of knowledge.
The Caribbean, Bahamas, New England—I’ve cruised Panama and Central America and Mexico, and I’d love to encourage bookings there. I’m super excited to get to know all the different regions better. That’s what got me into this line of work originally, the excitement of travel, adventure and learning.
And you’re still having fun on the water in your spare time, right?
Yes, Eddie and I own Latitude, a 1929 Blanchard Dreamboat. It’s an old picnic boat built in the Northwest. She’s in Warren, Rhode Island. A 32-footer that takes six guests. We do half-day and full-day charters, which we offer through our website, www.cruiselatitude.com. It’s been a lot of fun.
Merry Persichetti is available through the B&B Yacht Charters website.