Women in Yachting – Part 31: Stephanie Skinner, SNS Yacht Charter

Read more about Stephanie Skinner, CEO and yacht broker of SNS Yacht Charter, how she got started, and stays inspired.

As the yachting industry continues to grow, more and more women are making a significant impact on this traditionally male-dominated space. Here, YATCO takes the time to get to know some of these women – from all areas of the market – and highlight the important work that they contribute to the industry.  

Stephanie Skinner is the CEO and a Yacht Broker at SNS Yacht Charter.

What drew you to the yachting world?  

To be honest, it was nothing in particular. I moved to Mallorca in 2003 and after I worked in the hotel industry for a year and learned to speak Spanish, in 2004 I started to put my feelers out for new job opportunities. That’s when I saw an interesting ad from one of the leading brokerage houses, looking for a PA for the company director. 

How did you get your start in yachting? 

I applied for the job, and I got it, and that was my start in the yachting world. After about a year, there were some big changes in the company, and I became the Office Administrator in 2005. Fast forward, after I had my two kids, in 2015 I was ready for a very needed change, which is when I started Yacht Charter Management, still in the same company. Towards the end of 2018, after 14 years, I felt it was time for me to move on to new pastures and joined another brokerage company. At the end of 2020, I decided to split ways with them and open up my own company, SNS Yacht Charter

Who are some influential people in your life that you look up to? 

My dad was definitely a very influential person in my life, an entrepreneur himself, he led by example in the natural way he treated people, both in his private and professional life, which got him a long way. I admired that a lot and hope to have been able to follow in his footsteps and make him proud. 

What are some challenges you face and how do you overcome them? 

Although the step to open up my own company didn’t feel scary at any moment, there were definitely some challenges to overcome. You basically start everything from scratch. I didn’t have access to Yachtfolio for the first year, but luckily my fleet of yachts in the Balearics was well-established, so the bookings were good anyway. The retail side of things, however, was much trickier, as you can imagine. 

What advice would you give someone who is starting in the yachting industry? 

Generally, I think my advice would be to listen to your instincts and don’t think about coming in to make fast money. Take your time and build up trustworthy relationships with collaborators and your clients. Be patient, it will take you much further.

I also think that it is very important that you spend time sitting with experienced brokers, so you can learn from them. As great as working from home might be, I am very old school in my thinking and that it is important to have role models from which you can learn, and the best way of doing that is to spend as much time next to them as possible. 

What is the most rewarding/enjoyable element of your job? 

Honestly, there are many elements that make me very happy and that I find enjoyable in my job. Setting up a new yacht for charter is one of them. Making the yacht that I manage successful. Charters organized to the “T” for my clients, who then recommend me further. Colleagues who contact me for my advice and guidance. Just to name a few.

What is your favorite thing about working in the yacht market? 

I find it extremely interesting to work in this industry as you meet so many individuals all with different backgrounds. It’s not the typical industry where you have to go through a specific career in order to be able to join. Many working in the onshore part of the industry are ex-yachties, but not all of them, and I find this versatility amazing. You will literally be able to find people with the most random backgrounds and ways they have joined yachting. 

What are you currently working on and what keeps you motivated? 

I just took over the client base of a fellow colleague who has decided to retire from the yacht charter market, and am currently re-designing and re-structuring her website, which is basically a separate brand, powered by SNS Yacht Charter. A result of what I was talking about earlier.

Build up trust with your collaborators, it will take you a long way! 

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