Capt. Mark Drewelow and the nonprofit he founded, YachtAid Global, yesterday won the Beacon Award, a new award from the U.S. Superyacht Association.
YAG was created in 2006 to engage yachts in the delivery of food and supplies in coastal communities in need around the world. It also delivers supplies to areas hit by natural disasters, including the Caribbean and Mexican communities hit hard by recent hurricanes.
“A pipeline has been set up for yachts leaving San Diego to make it super easy to get things to Cabo,” Drewelow said after winning the award yesterday. YAG volunteers in San Diego will deliver the goods to participating yachts and pack them aboard. Then YAG volunteers will meet the yacht in Cabo San Lucas and off load the supplies, also handling all the paperwork and clearance.
M/Y Seven Js recently made the trip from San Diego to Costa Rica, stopping for a delivery in Cabo. The captain reported the yacht was on and off the dock in 90 minutes.
“The emotional gratitude we received as the goods were transferred ashore was priceless,” Capt. Dave Andrews told YAG.
And after eight years of trying, Capt. Drewelow recently met the chief of staff of the Antiguan prime minister and now has authority to drop relief supplies duty free for that island nation’s hurricane victims. YAG volunteers have been asking yachts in the show heading to the Caribbean to carry items to antigua.
Capt. Drewelow also has a yacht agent company based in San Diego. Working in that capacity with yachts over the past decade, his company has become experts in logistics.
“We now have mastered a way to move institutional-sized shipments, so we can now move 38 palettes of shoes and 13 palettes of powdered milk,” he said. “And companies are happy to donate that kind of product.”
So yachts can take one, a portion of one or more than one, whatever they can fit, he said. M/Y Calex, a 50m Westport, is taking 17 palettes of shoes, 1,000 buckets for water filtration and $10,000 in school aid to Cabo this month.
“Small nonprofits are very specialized in their tasks, but when disasters happen, they are not prepared to handle it,” Capt. Drewelow said. “C2C are experts in logistics, and we’re leveraging that business knowledge to facilitate logistics with disasters.”
C2C donates its profits to YAG, he said, so that every one of C2C’s customers and clients are helping give back, even if they don’t realize it.
In related news, yacht broker Eric Dahler with Camper & Nicholsons USA is working with YAG to create Charitable Charter Excursions, a program where charter clients and/or owners can donate back part of the charter fee to YAG or make part of the charter a YAG delivery, engaging with local people and enjoying the experience of giving back.
“It embraces the luxury lifestyle and philanthropy that’s so much a part of yachting,” Dahler said.
Capt. Drewelow recently returned from two years traveling the world with his family to visit the places where YAG does much of its work, around Europe, Mexico, Central America, and South America. His daughters — 13 year old Julia and 10-year-old Lucy — have founded YAG Kids to give young people a way to participate.
“I wanted to show my daughters what it is we do, who we help, with YAG,” Capt. Drewelow said. “And we spent a lot of time meeting the people who are instrumental to the work we do with YAG.”
Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of Triton Today; firstname.lastname@example.org.