Palma de Mallorca has traditionally been a hub for sailing and regattas; attracting a prolific sailing superyacht fleet while the motoryacht market has been less present. Because of the nature of Palma as a sailing destination, the Palma Superyacht Show has arguably become the biggest sailing yacht show in the world, and this has played a vital role in its success so far; setting it apart from other yacht shows in the calendar. In an exclusive conversation with SuperyachtNews, Marc Händle, senior sales broker at Ocean Independence Palma, explains how the show has not only stimulated the local brokerage market, but also helped to balance the amount of sailing yacht and motoryacht activity in the region.

“The Palma Superyacht Show has really helped to develop the brokerage market here by giving us another tool to help sell second-hand yachts,” comments Händle, adding that he has been able to sell a yacht every year following interest at the show. “We continue to try to balance the number of sailing yachts and motoryachts at the show in accordance with the market in Palma: whereas Monaco is the centre of brokerage houses selling very large motoryachts, Palma focuses on the 30-60m size range.” 

For local brokerage houses, the buoyancy of the motoryacht market is important given the current lack of interest in sailing yachts. “The sailing yacht market is very complicated as it is very difficult to sell sailing yachts at the moment,” Händle continues. “I think this has something to do with the people that are buying boats and time. Potential clients are typically working a lot and rush through their lives, whereas sailing means the opposite. A lot of people don’t have time to own a sailing yacht, which is sad because sailors are usually more enthusiastic and involved as owners. I hope this will change because every trend creates an opposing trend.”

The market, however, is looking better for motoryachts. “People are still buying second-hand motoryachts, but the market has changed to a very stylish and modern way of designing and building – people want their yachts to feel like their houses,” observes Händle. “My personal thought is that we will run out of good quality second-hand yachts for sale in the next one or two years, and buyers will have no choice but to pay a high premium for a quality second-hand yacht or otherwise build new.” 

In only its sixth year, the Palma Superyacht Show has grown considerably over its relatively short existence. Despite the saturation of superyacht events, the show has clearly filled a gap in the market. Reflecting on its growth so far, Händle, who was involved in the creation of the event alongside Camper and Nicholsons’ Arne Ploch, believes it is a resounding success.

“The show has exceeded our expectations in terms of how big it has become; we even had to extend it this year,” he concludes. “Prospective clients like it because they can view yachts in a relaxed and enjoyable environment, and the yacht owners like it because we have kept the show has economical as possible for presenting their boats. Of course, the brokers use it as a tool to help sell, but the aim has always been for the show to work primarily for the clients.”

Image credit: Sofia Winghamre

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