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From farm to yacht: Bobby Genovese on owning the 47m Feadship BG Charade

Ownership Travel
Written by
Georgia Tindale

"It鈥檚 crazy how life works,鈥 Bobby Genovese, chairman of BG Capital Group and owner of the 46.88-metre superyacht BG Charade,聽tells us over a crackly phone connection in June. 鈥淚鈥檓 a Canadian farm boy. I spent my summers in an area called Muskoka in Ontario, Canada, on the lakes. One of the great traditions there is collecting these old wooden boats that are family time-pieces. One day, my brother and I were at the marina and there was one of the most beautiful boats I鈥檝e ever seen: Miss Canada III聽[a former World Championship racing boat]. I thought, 鈥業 gotta buy that鈥 and that鈥檚 how I came to start owning boats.鈥

Bobby GenoveseBobby Genovese has many stories to share. Having left school with no qualifications at 16 years old, he鈥檇 already realised the power of good salesmanship from selling wildflowers from a roadside kiosk with his stepfather in Toronto. He would go on to put these skills to use again when, aged 25, he established his first company, the Investor Relations Group, which made him a millionaire within a few years. Having previously described this experience akin to having 鈥淢onopoly money that didn鈥檛 feel real鈥, the capital did enable him to indulge his growing love of unique boats.

Bobby Genovese鈥淲henever I was out on the lake, everyone would say 鈥榃e just love Miss Canada III,聽it鈥檚 a shame you don鈥檛 have Miss Canada IV鈥,聽and I was thinking, 鈥榃hat the hell鈥檚聽Miss Canada IV?!鈥,鈥欌聽 Genovese laughs. 鈥淚 found out that Miss Canada IV was built in 1948 and was believed to have been the first boat in the world to go 200 miles an hour. It was actually powered by one of your [the UK鈥檚] Royal Air Force Spitfire engines. I had to have that boat! But,鈥 he sighs, 鈥渟he was in a museum.鈥澛

Bobby Genovese

The fact Genovese managed to wangle a vintage racing boat out of the Ingersoll Museum in Ontario, get her back to her best and race her around the world will come as no surprise to those who know him. His bonhomie and unwillingness to take no for an answer has seen him convince more than one owner to let him buy their prized vessel 鈥 indeed, it鈥檚 also how he came to own the 1990-built BG Charade in 2014: 鈥淚 said to the owner, 鈥榃hat do you need three boats for? Why don鈥檛 you let me have her?鈥 and he said yes! I thought, 鈥極h my God, now I鈥檝e got to figure out how to pay for it!鈥欌BG yacht aerialPhoto: Bobby GenoveseBG yacht interiorPhoto: Bobby Genovese
Figure it out he did, and BG Charade subsequently underwent a two-year complete refit at Derecktor Shipyards near Ft. Lauderdale. 鈥淥ne of the main things I learned from doing a refit is don鈥檛 do one 鈥 buy it done!鈥 he laughs. 鈥淚t was supposed to cost $2 million, which was just to upholster the furniture and fix a couple of blistering spots."BG yacht interiorPhoto: Bobby GenoveseHe continues, "But then I said, 鈥榃hy don鈥檛 we change out the air-conditioning system for quieter fans?鈥, and then 鈥榳hy don鈥檛 we move the jacuzzi?鈥 and so on. We鈥檙e now at close to $9 million! But having everything looking fantastic is one of my selfish pleasures and of course we have every toy on board you could possibly imagine.鈥 He鈥檚 not exaggerating. Entertainment for guests includes a massive starboard-mounted climbing wall, a water slide, a water trampoline, Seabobs, paddle boards, kayaks and a fleet of Waverunners.BG yacht aerialPhoto: Bobby GenoveseBG yacht anchoredPhoto: Bobby GenoveseHe made sure to test out all his new gizmos and gadgets in person, taking a trip with family and friends last summer through the Mediterranean. Spending time on board his boats isn鈥檛 unusual. Indeed, it鈥檚 a deliberate life decision made after finding himself too caught up in work (and therefore on land). 鈥淚 was one of those people who barely ever get to enjoy their boats,鈥 he tells us. 鈥淚 thought, 鈥榃hat am I doing? I鈥檝e really got to start using these things!鈥欌BG yacht deckPhoto: Bobby GenoveseBG yacht interiorPhoto: Bobby GenoveseConversation inevitably turns to Covid-19 and the effect it鈥檚 had on Genovese鈥檚 businesses and life in general. He describes how professionally the impact has been mixed. Positives include having purchased 50 percent of a business in January that helps people with credit card or financial problems 鈥 fortuitous timing considering the state of the world鈥檚 finances. However, he鈥檚 also the master concessionaire for four of the seven largest state parks in the state of Florida, which were closed down when lockdown measures began. It was tough on his employees, but things are slowly returning to normal as restrictions have eased.BG yacht interiorPhoto: Bobby Genovese"Life on the sea with the people you love is definitely a goal Genovese has taken to heart as he reveals he鈥檚 currently in the process of purchasing another boat: 鈥淢y goal is to have one boat here in North America and leave聽BG Charade聽between the South Pacific and Mediterranean so I can go back and forth and basically live between the two boats.鈥BG yacht aerialPhoto: Bobby GenoveseSounds like a great plan to us. As we鈥檙e rounding up our chat we ask if there鈥檚 anything else he鈥檇 like to mention. 鈥淗as anybody told you that I look a lot like Brad Pitt?鈥 he wonders, 鈥淚f you want to put that in your article, that would be amazing.鈥 Consider it done. Bobby GenoveseThis is a shortened version of an article in the latest edition of the The聽SuperYacht Times newspaper. To see the full version and to receive all future issues straight to your door, . 聽

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