In the latest of The Superyacht Group’s Digital Dialogues, Martin Redmayne speaks with Richard Klabbers, managing director of Sevenstar and DYT Yacht Transport, about the current migratory and yacht transport landscape. Klabbers discusses the challenges that the yacht transport market has faced in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, changing superyacht migration and the future of this market sector.

Klabbers has over 25 years of experience in the industry. He founded the business and built it into one of the world leaders in yacht transport. As well as being a pioneer in the yacht transport sector, Klabbers is an outspoken and insightful market commentator.

“The main challenge for us at the moment is informing our customers about what is possible,” starts Klabbers. “Cargo wise, all normal ports are possible, vessels can go anywhere that the operations can be completed. But, where is the client able to get to, where can they fly, what are the problems with immigration into various regions? That is our main focus at the moment, informing customers what is possible and finding out-of-the-box solutions where necessary, such as bringing the crew on board our vessels or leveraging other ways via our agencies around the world.”

It could easily be argued that as an industry we need to be less reactive and more creative in our approach to superyacht migration and yacht transport. With a slowly growing appetite for superyacht experiences beyond the tried and tested hotspots of the Caribbean and Mediterranean, the industry as a whole needs to make more effort in order to highlight to clients the art of the possible.

“At this point in time, every superyacht owner or potential charter guest wants to go somewhere. Everybody wants to use their boat. While many people are a little laid back at the moment and waiting for the moment to go, I think we are going to see a crazy October and November,” continues Klabbers.

“We see a strong intra-America trade with the US east coast, and Canada’s Vancouver area, which includes sports fishing. We see normal trade for the Caribbean and Mediterranean, although the east Med seems to be particularly interesting at the moment, perhaps because of COVID-19 restrictions to some of the hot spots. We see an increase in activity in South East Asia and I am convinced that this region is now established and will continue to grow in popularity because there are so many places to go.”

Elsewhere within the digital dialogue, Klabbers talks about his frustrations with the yacht transport market, speaking openly about the need for competition, but also warning against a proliferation of one-man-band operations and below par service that has damaged the superyacht market’s reputation and will continue to do so if we fail to educate clients effectively. Due diligence and accurate information are the flavours of the day.

To hear more about Klabber’s views on the yacht transport market and superyacht migration, watch the full video here.

Richard Klabbers

The One to One series is a collective campaign for change and industry improvement, and we welcome participants from all sectors. If you would like to take part, or contribute your thoughts, please contact Research Editor Clare Sidwell.

You can view the ever-growing archive of Digital Dialogues here.

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Sevenstar Yacht Transport B.V.


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