What needs to improve to make the industry better for owners?
In short, the build process. Traditionally a project starts with the client going to a design studio and it will produce the exterior lines, the layout and some preliminary specifications. Following that the shipyards are approached and are invited to bid on the project, and a contract is then awarded based on a number of preliminary factors. This is when all the trouble starts in my opinion, as a lot of the preliminary work features what I would define as copy and paste work. It is easy to get stuck doing the same old things that have worked in the past but these ideas may not work anymore. You have to stop and ask why certain things are done in a particular way, as it can have a significant impact on the final cost and operation of the yacht.
How do we encourage new clients to the market?
There are various aspects that need to be addressed in order to make yachting more appealing to new clients. To begin with, the service sector of the industry needs to be reformed. Concierge services and crew management companies and other similar services need to change. Sometimes I look at this sector of the market and see a bucket of crooked people trying to suck money out of yacht owners.
I also think the build process needs to be thought about again, as the process of going to the designer first, having preliminary specifications drawn up and then going to the shipyard is wrong.
What is the potential for the Yacht X-Tender?
There is huge potential. It is a product that will do very well in the European and American markets. I don't know the Chinese market well enough to speculate as to whether or not it will do well there. However, I have sat down with many owners who hear and understand where I am coming from and recognise some of the issues I have experienced personally. You have to look at it from the other side and see what is best for the owner in order to produce something they will truly enjoy.
Read more about Bouricha in the next issue of The Superyacht Owner.