The Balearic Islands and the future of the Mediterranean
The Balearic Yacht Show looks ahead in the Med…
Martin Redmayne, Chairman of The Superyacht Group, joined the Balearic Yacht Show to address the future of the Mediterranean and host a lively discussion at the virtual Balearic pub about what managers and captains need from the market.
While only comprising 0.75 per cent of the world's oceans by area, the Mediterranean remains the centre of the yachting universe. The Balearics are a vital node in this interconnected space. The well-documented trend towards more isolated destinations and exploration is forming a new baseline for what is considered a ‘normal’ yachting designation. But it is a misnomer to think of this migration as a zero-sum game; the gain for remote regions is not the Mediterranean's loss. The fleet is growing, and the potential for more development to fill the space left by any superyacht migration is tantalising.
The superyacht market has been buoyed by a boisterous pandemic period for UHNWIs. The availability of cheap long term finance on new superyachts, and the appeal of superyacht ownership in the pandemic landscape, has strengthened order books further. As we look ahead to the literal opening of the Mediterranean, there is also the potential for a more conceptual re-imagining of what the future of cruising will look like, as highlighted by Redmayne.
“We need everyone who is even on the cusp of yachting, be it a florist or a taxi driver, to appreciate the value of yachting and see it as an ecosystem that delivers unbelievable value across the entire Mediterranean.”
Some of the issues that may have seemed generations away are now very firmly in our sights. As highlighted by Redmayne, 2030 is only two new build cycles away. The significance placed on 2030 by various corporate and governmental targets has been immense. It represented a functional block of time in which we told ourselves, ‘we can get it done by then’. But as 2030 approaches, we can see the influx of regulations already. The implications that this will have on the way owners can interact with their yachts, and by extension, the yachting experience as a whole will be significant, as summarised by Redmayne.
"We need to make sure that the marinas and refit infrastructure are ready for the future fleet."
The success of the Mediterranean and the success of the yachting industry are intertwined. As a generation of knowledge, tradition and systems pass out of the industry, we turn to a new generation to take on a fresh set of challenges that were not considered seriously in the 20th century. With estimates of a minimum of 120-130 superyachts over 30m set to be delivered per year between now and 2030, we will need to be dynamic to efficiently and sustainably manage this growth.
The process of effectively managing and operating a vessel is in constant evolution, and the owners' expectations towards their vessels are as high as ever. Managing increasingly complicated systems under an increasingly strict regulatory framework, while at the same time meeting the owners' expectations, requires healthy feedback from those at the sharp end of the decision-making process. The virtual Baleriacs pub discussion provided the perfect opportunity for this.
As mentioned by captain Dùghall macLaclainn, “There exists in Palma a better depth of field of contractors, more knowledge and more experience, than probably anywhere else in the Med”, but what exactly can the region do to lift its proposition even further? Joining Redmayne to discuss this were: Captain macLaclainn of M/Y Tango, Captain David Atkinson of M/Y Palladium, Richard Masters of Master Yachts, Sam Thompson of JMS Yachting, and Feargus Bryan of Watermark Yacht Management.
As well as the Balearic proposition, the in-depth discussion between the captains and managers tackled some of the most pressing issues facing the fleet, such as; The intricacies of re-fit project management, the immediate need for more reliable shore power for the 80m+ segment and the supply chain issues in COVID landscape.
Links to both discussions are listed below:
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