Looking for something a little bit different for your pending nuptials? Something small and intimate, yet elegant and exclusive? Adventure seekers Dan Meggitt and Kelly Gordon may have just what you're looking for at Everest Yacht Charters in Beaufort.
It was an idea the pair had as soon as they obtained the 80-foot San Lorenzo motor yacht. She needed some sprucing up, said Gordon, but from the beginning the goal was for Meggitt to live on Everest and run a charter business from the helm. Meggitt – who named the vessel after a climb at Mount Everest – has lived at sea nearly all his life. The captain spent five years sailing around the world alone on a 32-foot Pearson Vanguard.
Three years ago they first listed the vessel on VRBO – a vacation rental website that allows property owners to manage their own rentals – to see if they could get a bite. One came in almost immediately and that was all the encouragement they needed to make last minute arrangements and begin accepting guests.
"It's really been something of a whirlwind since then," said Gordon.
At first, she said, they attempted to create packages, with a variety of amenities, from overnight stays and catering to live music and flowers, but soon learned that everyone really wants something different.
"So now, everything is custom," Gordon said. "We can do as little or as much as the guests want. We work with photographers and chefs and florists and can package it all in, we can erect a tent on land next to the vessel, we can take a cruise, do a ride away at the end of the night or we can stay at the dock and not move at all. With what we do there is no one-size-fits-all. Everyone wants something different, so everything is tailor made for each situation."
Along the way, Gordon has become a jack of all trades. A chemistry teacher at Carteret Community College by day, she now finds herself planning parties, contracting with bakers, hiring dj's and cleaning Everest between guests. It's a lot of work at times, she admits, but it's also incredibly rewarding.
"It's not the path for everyone," she said. "But people who don't want that big flashy $150,000 wedding might find this is perfect for them – adventurous people who want to feel like a rock star for a day."
And nothing could be closer to the truth. Everest is a yacht, after all, with all the plush amenities that one would expect – a well appointed salon, full service kitchen, dramatic outside seating complete with a mini-fridge for keeping beverages cold. Four staterooms can sleep up to eight comfortably. While under way, the vessel can only have 12 guests on board. For a dockside reception, however, the number climbs, and as noted, larger parties can easily include a tent on the grounds at Front Street Village, Beaufort, where the yacht is docked.
To learn more, visit everestyachtcharters.com.