Our resident YouTube aficionado Kass Schmitt ponders if “as seen on YouTube” charters could be a new trend.

This month’s featured channel was a tip-off from my friend Jeremy, who was surprised to raft up next to an American-flagged 1980 Amel Sharki 39 in Newtown Creek in the spring of 2021.

The channel was, until recently, called Sailing Panda, and it chronicles Amanda and Darren Seltzer’s remarkable journey from complete sailing newbies to owners (and skippers) of an adventure charter business in just two years.

As I write, the American 30-somethings have released 69 episodes, covering their departure from Florida in February 2020, just ahead of the pandemic, to their arrival in Portugal just 14 months later, having visited the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Maine, Newfoundland, Greenland, Scotland’s western isles, Northern Ireland, England’s south coast, and the west coast of France.

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Highlights for me have been their visit to a thermal spring in Greenland and their explorations of the West Wight (always fun to see familiar landscapes through others’ eyes), but what I’ve enjoyed the most is watching as they’ve been slowly seduced by the idea of performance cruising as they work their way down the west coast of France.

Although they originally thought of their boat as a tool for getting themselves from one scuba or surf adventure to the next, it was not long before they discovered they actually enjoyed the sailing in itself.

While spending some time up the Odet, they visit Pogo Structures for a tour of a Pogo 36. Shortly after they are left positively buzzing after sailing through a fleet of Classe Mini 6.50s out racing.


The final two episodes cover their passage to Portugal, at which point audience is left hanging until a recent short video update explains that, having sailed the Amel as far as Venice, they replaced it with a Neel 45 trimaran and sailed it back to the USA, where they have set up a skippered adventure charter business called Outer Passage.

Establishing the new business has precluded the production of further videos, but I’m hoping they will eventually be able to at least finish the story of their travels with Panda, and perhaps give us at least a glimpse of their life aboard Panda Rosso.

In the meantime I wish them all the best for their new venture. As Sailing La Vagabonde’s former Outremer has also entered the skippered charter market, I can’t help wondering if “as seen on YouTube” charters could be a new trend.