The boat shows make up such a large percentage of the superyacht industry’s events, yet only 55 per cent of crew who took the survey said they liked the boat show season. It could be that the lack of overwhelming support is due to one scenario crew have no choice but to put up with on an often hourly basis during the show season; 45 per cent of respondees admitted they had concerns about the numbers of people viewing their crew cabin during tours of the yacht.
Increasingly, shows that in the past have been known to welcome smaller yachts have now opened their berths to welcome our world of shiny white superyachts – Cannes is just one example. However, the bigger and long-standing players are still the top choice, with 54 per cent of crew awarding Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) the title of their favourite show and 25 per cent giving the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) this accolade. For many, it is the well-established reputation of MYS that keeps it holding on to the top spot. One captain of a 40-60m superyacht called it “the most traditional boat show” while a captain of a 30-40m yacht described it as “the heart of yachting” and a chief stewardess of a 40-60m superyacht simply said it was “just special”. Understandably, additional praise for the show included the number of industry representatives and the chance to get business done, though a chief engineer on a 60-80m superyacht pointed out there was a drawback when it came to reaching the vessels at anchor.
FLIBS’s runner-up success was due to its flexibility and generally acknowledged tranquility compared with its competitors. Of FLIBS, one captain of a 30-40m yacht said, “It’s affordable and it’s set up for everyone from the yachtmen to the crew,” while a chief engineer of a 40-60m superyacht described it as, “Less formal than Monaco with more exhibitors and better crew activities.”
It is promising that only eight per cent of respondees highlighted crew parties as their primary aim during the show season, with 64 per cent choosing networking with the industry as their key objective.
Taking part in crew activities is and always will be a huge appeal of the boat show season for crew (66 per cent believed the shows provided a sufficient number of events allowing for junior and senior crew to mix) but it is promising that only eight per cent of respondees highlighted crew parties as their primary aim during the show season, with 64 per cent choosing networking with the industry as their key objective (43 per cent said suppliers were the most important with whom to network, with managers coming in second at 36 percent) and, more promising, 11 per cent claiming their boat show attendance was with with a view to improve their education through seminars-style events.
So where does this leave the crew events calendar going forward? Of the survey’s respondees, 41 per cent said they were planning on attending just one boat show in the next 12 months, 36 per cent on two and just 19 per cent on three. We asked crew what type of events they’d like to see more of, with a pleasing 43 per cent choosing seminars and educational afternoons, 23 per cent the already plentiful captains’ breakfast-style networking events and 17 per cent asking for more team-building events.
So if the industry meets these requests and provides further educational events, to which departments should these be focused? Forty-one per cent felt more events should be offered to captains and officers, 23 per cent believing the interior needed a bit more love in this area and 17 per cent attributing this to the engineering department.
A promising demand for increased professionalism and crew education, the survey has highlighted what the industry must do to better support and provide for its crew during the busy boat show season. Finally we’re hearing crew ask for more education, and the collective pool of industry professionals present during the boat shows mean these are the perfect events in which to do this. So, perhaps come the Autumn season, the crew side of the boat show scene might be taking on a very different picture.
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