“I think that clients are looking for something different and we’re certainly seeing an increase in requests for adventure type charters” shares Bray. “For example, we currently have one owner who’s being doing the same route for a few years and is looking for a new experience. I think this mentality paired with renewed confidence that the infrastructure is improving here and in nearby exotic locales, is reassuring clients that it is a safe and exciting option”.
As for the market recovery Australia is seeing at the moment, Bray feels they made it out of 2008 relatively unscathed compared to the rest of the world. “We hear different comments that Australia was relatively recession proof and I think to a certain extent, that is a fair comment” Bray continues. “Where the rest of the world was dumping assets and placing their yachts on the market at a reduced price, most local owners were able to maintain a status quo as they had the financial stability to hang on.”
One issue Bray does have to contend with his battling the local government for greater awareness of the superyacht industry. “We are currently lobbying to open the waters to more international business through Superyacht Australia. Unfortunately at the moment, foreign flagged yachts are not permitted to charter in our waters, which is putting a strain on foreign charter revenue” Bray explains. “I think once the authorities realise that opening the waters will have a knock on effect for the wider economy – charter clients, owners, marinas, refit facilities, etc. – they will see the true value of the yachting industry.”
Bray Management features a small team of ex superyacht crew who know what it’s like to work on the other side and offer a variety of services including yacht management, charter, events and day-to-day maintenance on board. While still in its infancy in Australia, Bray’s approach to management “follows the European style where charters, legislative headaches and the regular upkeep of life on board should not fall to the owner or captain.”
Further information can be found on their website here.