Under the ‘La Belle Classe Superyachts’ banner,and in collaboration with the insurance company; Only Yacht, The Yacht Club de Monaco has held its 5th economic symposium.
Over 45 professionals from across the Luxury Yachting supply chain including boatyards, brokers, designers, captains, bankers, maritime experts, lawyers, port directors and boat show organisers attended the dinner-debate to freely discuss the economic situation in the yachting world.
Hein Velema, CEO at Fraser Yachts was representing LYBRA (Large Yacht Brokers Association), a newly formed Monegasque body grouping of the five principal brokers in the Principality.
He and Olivier Blanchet of BNP Paribas each gave a short speech.
They reported on the current situation and gave their macro-economic views after which all the key players reviewed the past year and gave their predictions for the future.
Olivier Blanchet observed that between 2011 and 2012, there was “an average drop of 30% in prices for second-hand yachts, with a rise in the number of second-hand boats for sale, particularly in the 24-35m market
Demand for funds to finance yachts remains steady, although more than two-third of acquisitions are still made without a request for funding”.
He revealed that crisis or not has however revealed how the mega-yacht (+80m) sector is surprisingly healthy: “New buildings just got bigger and bigger in 2011 and 2012. Some 25 to 30 boats of 100m are already sailing! A few projects for 160-plus metres are in the process of being built.”
It was suggested that one reason for yachting not to be affected to a greater extent by the crisis lay perhaps in the support of a wealthy international clientele
Worldwide, there are estimated to be around 82,000 ‘ultra-high net worth individuals’ whose fortune exceeds 50 million euros. 1,226 of these are billionaires, with 480 billionaires in the US followed by China in second place with 147 billionaires).
It has been noted that 20% of the top 100 billionaires are under the age of 50. Owners are getting younger. They are on average 10 to 15 years younger than they were 20 years ago.
For those for whom yachting has become a passion and a mean to unwind, their expectations have changed. Compared to those of their “fathers” who became owners relatively late in life, the yachts of these new owners often have to meet the needs of an extended family with children
A new generation conscious of its duty to protect the marine world is leading to increasingly eco-friendly yachts being built. These are enthusiastic owners, better informed and advised for whom the purchase of a yacht is a more carefully thought-out project.
Laurent Perignon, COO of Camper & Nicholson, believes there is no crisis suggesting that it is more a return to a normal situation. “Obviously, we are not seeing a return to the crazy years of 2003-2008, but now it is the reality of yachting in general.”
Tony Allen, a lawyer with Hill Dickinson is more optimistic, particularly at the premium end of the market, where a significant number of clients have recently completed orders for very large vessels
In his opinion, the keys to success for boatyards are pedigree, quality, transparency and closer collaboration with their clients.