The Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) often sets the tone for the following year and I expect 2018 to be no different. In my role as Business Editor, MYS provides a fantastic catalyst for the content I will be producing over the coming days, weeks, months and year.

Perhaps, unlike many of the other journalists that frequent MYS, I am far less concerned about press releases and the vast number of brochures and memory sticks that are provided, than I am about the opinions and sentiments of the market’s most influential individuals, the vast majority of whom will be there. Whether it be from the worlds of law, finance, taxation, insurance or otherwise, the top brass from all market sectors will be on hand to reflect of the year gone and consider what the future has in store.

The past year has seen a whole host of developments in the business world, from the European Commission issuing a formal notice of infringement procedures against Cyprus Greece and Malta in March 2018 because of their leasing structures’ supposed failure to levy the correct amount of Value-Added Tax, to the Red Ensign Group launching its new REG Code as an updated and consolidated version of LY3 and the PYC and the US launching its own large yacht registry and flag. MYS provides a unique opportunity to discover how the years’ various legislative changes and initiatives have impacted the superyacht market and, most importantly, how they are likely to effect superyacht owners and future owners.

Over the past couple of years, one of the major buzz words for the superyacht market has been ‘disruption’. It is a term that has come to fill me variously with excitement, scepticism and, at times, outright annoyance. All, I think, can agree that the superyacht market is ripe for disruption as there is little to no doubt that there are myriad businesses and, indeed, whole sectors of the market that stand to benefit from some disruptive thinking.

As well as looking to the opinions and predictions of the superyacht industry’s most influential individuals, I will have my ear to the ground in the hope that some genuinely disruptive ideas, that shake the foundations of the superyacht industry, come to the fore at MYS 2018. I will also be evaluating the market’s response to these innovations as, to date, most attempts to disrupt the market have been met with scepticism, derision and protectionist jargon on the part of the hitherto established brands.

In the years that followed the global financial crisis the superyacht market consolidated. In 2008, there were 118 active new build shipyards, i.e. 118 shipyards delivered at least one project that year. By 2012 this number had fallen to 93 yards and by the close of 2017 there were only 51 active yards, which represents a decline of 56.8 per cent. At MYS 2018 I will keeping a keen eye on the developments of the surviving shipyards. Will acquisitions and infrastructural developments on the part of the world’s most renowned and trusted superyacht manufacturers see the new build market begin to grow, or is current output limited by the number of willing clients?


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