“The world of superyachts moves fast and owners need to have their fingers on the pulse in order to spot the opportunities before they pass them by.” So says Hein Velema in one of his regular updates on the state of the industry.
As CEO of Fraser Yachts Velema is able to get an overview of the whole industry. He has seen 2012 turning into a turbulent year with a dramatic decrease in the number of yachts sold in recent months.
He has revealed that the number of yachts sold is just half of what is was this time last year.
While 2012 started well for sales with the number of yachts sold ahead of the previous two years, recent months have shown a dramatic drop.
The number of brokerage yachts (over 24 metres) sold in May this year was nearly half what it was for the same period last year (20 and 37 respectively) and in June it fell even further.
The market is still very uncertain and unpredictable with potential buyers appearing to hold off instead of purchasing a yacht in time for the summer season, probably because of the uncertainties in the EU region and the US elections.
Velema pionts to the East for salvation indicating that there is an increase in new builds for Asian clients
Recent months have seen a number of orders for new builds from Asian clients. Interest sparked from the Hainan Rendezvous and other spring shows in the region have led to several orders being placed in large European shipyards.
China has a restriction on yachts over 12 months old being imported into the country therefore making new builds more appealing to Chinese clients than a brokerage yacht.
Overall, shipyards worldwide have seen a slight increase in orders over recent months. This is a welcome sign after the difficult times experienced in recent years.
The charter market is still relatively slow for the peak season with lots of clients demanding discounts before they commit.
In Yacht Management Velema believes that new fiscal regulations are causing further problems in Italy where it is expected to be a very quiet season. However the charter and new construction industries are benefiting from growth in new markets including Brazil and China respectively.
He does however report that the crew market is busy but with much more short term placements than usual. There are he says, still many crew looking for work despite the fact that we are well into the summer season in Europe.
However professional and certified crew who have good references are not having serious problems finding work. Yachts do appear to be hiring crew later in the season and for shorter periods than usual with much more seasonal work being offered rather than permanent positions. Highly qualified and experienced stewardesses are the most in demand and find jobs quickly.
The month of June saw a large number of placements made and now there are very few opportunities remaining worldwide.