19 Nov 2013
Yachts not collectibles yet, but change is coming...
By Thea Cheney
The final session of the first day of the Global Superyacht Forum, 'Building Relationships', saw two friends taking to the stage to discuss their shared passions, while also discussing their view of the superyacht market.
Henk de Vries - Koninklijke De Vries Scheepsbouw and Victor Muller – M/Y The Highlander / Spyker Cars, drew parallels between their two shared passions - classic cars and yachts with a heritage, such as Feadship.
Muller obviously felt great pride and responsibility for his role as the owner of M/Y The Highlander, an iconic yacht whose history under the original ownership of Malcolm Forbes lends it a very special position. "It was an honour to restore her to her former glory," Muller told the audience.
Though both agreed that yachts are not collectibles yet, the hope is that this will change and this will in turn hugely help the industry.
When asked by chairman Martin Redmayne as to what advice he could give to the superyacht market regarding marketing to new clients, Muller explained that when he bought Spyker they had been out of the market for 75 years and had very little brand loyalty or recognition. So, "I consciously marketed to people that had nothing to prove." Muller also recognised that in order to make owning a Spyker acceptable he had to build a market around them - not only selling the brand to those that can afford to buy a Spyker but also convincing the world around them that this is a luxury, highly desirable asset, and therefore validating and encouraging the desires of the actual purchaser.
This lively and fascinating insight into these two men proved a wonderful and light hearted way to end the first day of the forum. A networking drinks reception in METS' SuperYacht Pavilion followed where the discussions continued.
The Global Superyacht Forum 2013 is sponsored by Advantec Marine, Awlgrip, Caterpillar, Cayman Registry, Clyde & Co., MTN, MTU Friedrichshafen, Palladium Technologies, Struik & Hamerslag, R&Q Marine Services (Yachtsure24) and Van Berge Henegouwen.
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