8 Aug 2012
Olympics set precedent for London's superyacht infrastructure
By Lulu Trask
Will they or won’t they? This has been the debate of the superyacht industry in 2012 concerning London superyacht traffic. Well, just as Team GB, overtaking their Beijing medal haul, has greatly superseded its nation’s expectations, London superyacht activity has done the same.
A visit to Canary Wharf this week found this journalist surrounded by bows, tenders, sundecks, people spending half a million euros on Olympic tickets, and arguably the world’s most expensive bunting (that of 65m Seanna reaching the water of the Thames, pulled down by a bottle of champagne).
“Canary Wharf is a really iconic part of London. What people don’t always realise is the waterspace around it; we can still accommodate the same size ships that we could when it was a working dock,” said Gareth Stephens, harbour and waterspace manager of London Docklands, who highlighted the fact that the docks, even in this busy period, were able to accommodate 175m cruise ship MS Deutschland.
Despite fluctuations in confirmed numbers for the London Olympics, Canary Wharf alone has been home to some of the world’s largest superyachts, namely Lürssen’s 126m Octopus. Surrounding excited families and Canary Wharf businessmen and women on their lunch breaks was the spectacle of Amels’ 74m Ilona, Benetti’s 65m Seanna, Amels’ 52m Deniki, Feadship’s 45m Harle, Benetti’s 37m Sea Blue’z, Bloson’s 36m Osprey, and Benetti’s 30m Favorita, with three additional superyachts at the Royal Docks 2012.
These numbers and figures will no doubt mean different things for different people, however with 465m worth of superyachts in the Canary Wharf area alone, this is surely a promising start to putting London on the superyacht map. “There was a lot of talk in the industry about the amazing figures of the amount of boats that would be coming,” said Benjamin Sutton of concierge service for the superyachts coming to London, MGMT, who pointed to distance, timing (the Olympics lie in the middle of the Mediterranean season), and what Britain is famed for – the weather - as possible drawbacks.
"The fact that so many large yachts have made the long and expensive journey from the Mediterranean to London during the height of the charter season is remarkable," said Sutton. "We never expected to see one hundred superyachts; we can’t do it in London, we don’t have the space. So there was a lot of talk of, ‘are you disappointed with numbers?’ No, we weren’t at all. The big boys turned up.”
So, a viable destination for the short-term, but what about the long-term? Though infrastructure is lacking, there was hope from the MGMT team that the success of Canary Wharf as a temporary berthing place would impact upon future superyacht developments. “Obviously we’re not sure what the long-term plans are in terms of development down here,” said Sutton, “but it’s definitely something worth considering. They could put in some infrastructure here to make it a semi-permanent feature, so if yachts did want to come back to London there would be facilities for them, which is something London is lacking."
The superyacht owner industry, and the crewing industry, is a close-knit one, so word of mouth will be a key driving force for the capital’s future success as a superyacht destination. SuperyachtNews.com spoke to First Officer of Seanna, Matt Baldizzone, who was impressed by the facilities.: “The security has been very good, the people are always very friendly, and there hasn’t been any trouble – it’s really good. The tube’s just there, the Docklands Light Railway is there, everything’s quite close, and the shops in this complex are pretty good.”
And would the crew member recommend others take their superyachts here? “I think it’s a good spot to come for sure. London’s always a good experience.” Praise such as this has obviously already made its way around the industry, with Nigel Upton of MGMT confirming that just last week the company had a call from a 75m yacht wanting a berth for six months over the winter.
If action is to follow word of mouth, perhaps the Canary Wharf horizon will take a very different shape in the future. “We are trying to create a superyacht legacy for the UK, just like the Olympics legacy,” said Sutton. “We’re really trying to promote London as an alternative destination. Hopefully the success of this means boats will come back.”
London Waterways Website
Add a comment
Other Business News
The private aviation market in China is enjoying something of a purple patch, which in part can be attributed to the functional purpose jets serve. Superyachts, by contrast, are a nascent phenomenon and their growing appeal in the country may lie in marry More
Princess Yachts has appointed Richard Lambert as its new M Class Director. Lambert, whose focus was vessels up to 45m in his previous role at OceanStyle, will oversee the development of Princess' superyacht business. More
Jamaica has been selective in using the best practices of the yachting world to craft a competitive flag. Launched at the end of 2012, work is now completed on delivering a fully fledged Jamaica superyacht flag that its team says has the edge over others. More
Netherlands based turnkey electrotechnical yacht systems specialist, Piet Brouwer, announced the doors are officially open to its office and workshop on the Carrer Monseñor Palmer, Palma de Mallorca. More
- Loher facing insolvency if no buyer is found
- 'Triton' sold at auction for US$11 million
- Jamaica superyacht flag gives competition a run for its money
- The social media revolution starts @Superyacht
- “Company goes free” critique on Costa could be levelled at superyacht sector
- Loher CEO speaks out on 1 June deadline
Superyacht Intelligence Data
Most Recent Comments
- Jamaica superyacht flag gives competition a run for its money More
- Michael Payne appointed CEO of Camper & Nicholsons International More
- FMC issues warning on yacht transport More
- Creditors demand investigation into 'sordid history' of yacht transport company More
- Global standard to crack down on tax evasion and 'hot money' More
Bond TM is an independent consultancy company for AV, IT, communication, navigation and security systems. We manage new builds and refits projects for the most advanced super yachts and provide to the industry the best 24/7 IT support.
Helkama Bica Oy
Helkama is specializing in development and production of marine and offshore cables. Our experience in this field goes back more than thirty years. We produce only halogen free cables and the cable range include both flame-retardant and fire resistant cables. Helkama marine cables are approved by all major classification societies.
Nautic Crew International, Inc.
Nautic Crew Intl is a Crew placement company started by yachting professionals that truly care about your future crew because we understand the dynamics of life onboard. When it comes to hiring new crew or looking for a position, Experience the Difference!!
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS is the Marine Industry Leader for Shore Power Conversion equipment ranging in power from 8kVA - 1000kVa.
For 40 years Pantaenius has been providing yacht insurance to yacht owners all over the world.
Reckmann Yacht Equipment GmbH
Reckmann Yacht Equipment GmbH is a specialist company for reefing systems, masts and hydraulics and will celebrate the 120th anniversary in 2012. Today, the company is one of the leading producers and traders of headsail reefing equipment and is a synonym for quality, continuity and innovation.