The Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) has once again come and gone in the blink of an eye, and yet the myriad announcements and topics of conversation revealed during its staging will continue to reverberate throughout the superyacht market for the days, weeks and, in some cases, years to come. For many businesses, MYS provided the perfect launch pad to announce new directions, partnerships and infrastructure developments.
On Friday 14 September, the superyacht industry was saddened to learn of a fire that broke out in the floating dock of Lürssen’s shipyard in Bremen-Aumund and on board the superyacht that was within it. At an exclusive event on the Tuesday before MYS, Peter Lürssen, managing partner of Lürssen, provided an update on the situation at the yard.
“The event has been a great shock to us and our deepest regret goes first and foremost to the owner, who was expecting the end of the production process, with the delivery due for early next year,” explained Lürssen. “But - and this is an important message that I would like to bring across - this damage does not affect the substance of our company and the group. We have always been very conservative in the way that we structure and maintain our group and, as bad as this fire is, it does not affect the substance of our group. With regards to the cause of the fire, I know as much as you do and we are waiting for a report from the police, followed by a report from the insurance companies.”
However, the news was not all sombre on the part of Lürssen. The German superyacht manufacturing behemoth, best known for the production of the world’s largest yachts, announced that it had signed the contract for the construction of a 54m project. Indeed, over the last year in particular, Lürssen has been actively pursuing projects in the 55-80m market, having previously been overlooked for certain projects because of its reputation for only building the world’s largest vessels – a fact that Lürssen was eager to dispel.
“While we are grateful for the success of our large builds, it is essential not to forget that our core business must be between 50-80m,” continued Lürssen. “Although the preconception is that Lürssen only builds large yachts, we have delivered a considerable number of smaller vessels over the last 15 years, including 29 under 90m. Over the same period, we have delivered 15 yachts above 90m.
With both the interior and exterior penned by Bannenberg & Rowell Design, project 13800 represents the first time the two superyachting stalwarts have collaborated so closely since Coral Island in 1994.
Elsewhere, Amico & Co., the Italian refit specialist, introduced a whole host of infrastructure developments that are due to be completed in the coming years. Chief among these developments are the creation of a new superyacht marina in Genoa and a proposal that will see the Amico & Co. refit facility become a turnkey destination for superyachts in the 40-150m range. The development of the refit facility includes a 15,000sqm yard expansion and the construction of a 4,000-ton shiplift capable of lifting vessels of around 95m.
However, the development of Genoa as a superyacht hub doesn’t solely rely on infrastructural investment. In tandem with the new marina and improved facilities, Amico & Co is playing an active role, with a number of local partners and government officials, in the operation of a new superyacht association called Genova for Yachting. Amico & Co, together with 30 local partners, will use its lobbying power and influence to bolster the yachting market in Genoa.
Further major news in the refit sphere included the announcement that MB92, which recently acquired Compositeworks (now known as MB92 La Ciotat), has become the long-term partner to La Ciotat Shipyards in the development of a new 23,000sqm refit facility that will be serviced by a 4000-ton shiplift. MB92 will be granted occupancy rights for the next 35 years.
“We needed a shrewd and skilled partner to enter into a 35-year partnership with us, in order to maximise this opportunity and create a win-win deal," commented Jean-Yves Saussol, CEO of La Ciotat Shipyards. "This means not only sharing the costs with us, but sharing the revenue as well. MB92 presented us with the best offer in this respect."
Reports from the ground of MYS 2018 suggest that the show was a resounding success for the superyacht market with shipyards, be they refit or new build, suggesting that, more so than in recent years, the event provided a serious opportunity to get contracts signed and business moving. There was a near unerring positivity about an apparent market uptick, but time will tell as to whether this is business bravado, or the industry is enjoying a purple patch.
Image - Lürssen project 13800
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