Sanaa Vohra recently joined Northrop and Johnson as a charter broker based in Fort Lauderdale. I chatted with her late last week about her background and areas of expertise, which include retail charter bookings, charter yacht management and motoryacht sales.
How did you get into the yacht charter business?
My dad was in yachting for many, many years. He was an Azimut dealer in Dubai, so I grew up around yachts with him. I never flirted with the idea of being in the industry at all. I studied and did graphic design for many years. When I was in college, I would do all of [yacht broker] Kent Chamberlain’s graphic design stuff. I originally joined as his marketing director in 2008 and started as the charter assistant for Daphne d’Offay. Then Daphne moved on [to Ocean Independence], and I took it over. I had very good training from her. I was there until 2012.
Then I moved to Worldwide Boat. In the two and a half years that I was at Worldwide, I booked 150 charters. I also did management and grew that division from three to 15 boats.
When did you join Northrop and Johnson?
August 1, just a few weeks ago. My husband, Rod Lindor, is also here now too. He started at Worldwide with me in April 2014, and the boat owners know him well. The boats followed us to Northrop and Johnson, nine of them, and we’re hoping to add quite a few more.
What are your favorite types of charters to book?
I love to do the Bahamas and Caribbean. It’s family charters, a lot of first-time charterers, who I really love working with. I love holding their hands and teaching them all about how charter works. And the Bahamas, it’s a year-round destination, so that’s nice too.
My knowledge on those areas is a lot more than others. I did 32 trips to the Caribbean and Bahamas in 2009. In the two and a half years that I was with Worldwide Boat, I booked 150 charters. The majority were in the Bahamas and Caribbean. I know the boats very well there.
Northrop and Johnson is now promoting “The Bahamas Collection,” which looks to me like some boats they already had in their fleet, plus some recent additions that came along with you from Worldwide Boat. Tell me about this concept.
Brokers think about Rod when they have a Bahamas charter. They don’t even search online databases. They call Rod or I, because we have such a huge fleet in lots of size ranges. They’re all motoryachts in the Bahamas Collection, from about 90 to 150 feet, and I can’t think of another company that has as many full-time, Bahamas-based boats as we do now at Northrop and Johnson.
Do the boats in the Bahamas Collection have anything in common, other than location?
They are very family-oriented. They all have very extensive toy lists. We really try to push our owners to do the major toy list. They have the Jet Skis and the tenders and the snorkeling and the beach setups and everything.
What else should CharterWave readers know about booking a yacht charter through you?
There are no more last-minute charters. Waiting for that can possibly leave you without an option. For New Year’s, the boats from 100 to 150 feet are pretty much gone. Waiting for that last-minute deal doesn’t exist anymore. The year 2008 is behind us.
You also help charter clients become yacht buyers, right?
Yes, I am also doing sales with Northrop & Johnson. I sold a 112 Westport and a 108 Hargrave this year. My focus is often clients who want to buy a good charter boat, one that will have the right platform for charter and that will hold the interest of a client. I’m excited to work with those clients too.
CharterWave readers can reach Sanaa Vohra through the Northrop and Johnson website.