MYBA Charter Yacht Show


There was a time when the MYBA charter yacht show in Genoa was a heaving mass of activity.

Superyacht charter brokers crowded out three whole docks and shuttle services ferried brokers between them all. The show lasted five days and, by the end of it, everyone who attended was exhausted and had only just managed to do everything they needed to do before the show closed

Not anymore! The 27th edition of the MYBA charter yacht show, which closed last week, was a shadow of its former self.

Stripped of big yachts for whatever reason, the Molo Vecchio had places to spare with just over 40 yachts attending.

From three very full docks full down to one with spaces to spare in a matter of just a few years.

Where before the show ran Monday to Friday, now Thursday is the show’s final day. It is not just less of boats, there are also fewer brokers walking the docks. The advent of the Internet, the freedom of online information and the increasing number of one day open days are just some of the reasons quoted for smaller attendance figures.

“Why bother to come?” says retail charter broker Nick Burleigh, “I only come for a day to see the very latest yachts but mostly the information I need to suggest a yacht to a client, is contained in a PDF file that I keep on my computer.”

“One day shows run in the south of France by the ECYP have been hugely successful,” says Northrop and Johnson broker Solenn de Braux. “In just one day out of the office, I can visit 10 boats moored up in Nice, have lunch on one and get all I need to recommend a yacht to my clients from the others. I am back home that night with out the cost of a hotel room or airfares.”

Exhibitors are less than happy paying the same, this year, if not more, for a stand at the show that has been cut by 25%. Footfall passing the exhibition stands was slow and torrential rain all but wiped out day one.

“There are more people today,” commented one exhibitor on the shows third day, “But not enough to warrant us paying to attend in future years,” he told us.

Jackie Lockhart the outgoing chairman of the show organising committee says, “That’s not fair, the show needs to be profitable it does make money and that money is used to promote the industry as a whole. By coming to the show quality brokers get to see quality yachts and we believe this is the right tool to get the yacht’s owner the value he deserves when it comes to exposure.”

There had been rumours that this was to have been the last charter show ever to be held in Genoa but that rumour was scotched when we spoke to the newly appointed Chairman of the show committee. James Graham-Clote said that the members were still considering where to hold the show in future years. There is a shortlist,” he told us, “Nice Port Vell in Barcelona or Antibes. But we have not ruled out returning here to Genoa,” he said. He believes that attending sets one broker apart from another. The good ones come to see the boats with their own eyes, Nothing beats hands on experience,” he added.