While some other European yards are anxious over where future contracts will come from - The Superyacht Intelligence Annual Report 2015 identifies concerning gaps in the order book post 2017 - Hamming is confident about the market remaining constant. “It is normal to have periods of no deliveries,” he explains. “Last year we didn’t deliver any boats but we are delivering three this year, two next year, none in 2017 and one already planned for 2018. It is cyclical and depends on your capacity.”
Vitters, however, are not resting on their laurels and have been developing their strategy to keep attracting business in a challenging market. “A number of years ago we started to look into the higher performance market, especially in carbon fibre expertise,” adds Hamming. “That dates from 2010 and is going well but it is still a strategy that we are still developing.”
A further trend identified in The Superyacht Intelligence Annual Report 2015 was the number of inactive shipyards that the market has seen in the past decade, and Hamming agrees that this is an issue. “First we must define a shipyard: is it a shed in which you can build a boat or is it a company that has a concept?” he asks. “There are a lot of these and there have been shipyards which have just started to build one boat or maybe two boats and then closed down. It is nothing new to the market and will always happen.
“A couple of years ago I spoke to somebody from a bank and he said that there are three main sectors that attract people who think they can do it better; bars and restaurants, movie production and shipyards. The shipyard sector attracts a lot of people who think they can do it better but they are also the most prone to failure. This business appears attractive from a distance and seems easy to do, but people start and they soon realise it is more difficult than that.”
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