I read in a report recently that ‘there are more superyachts on the order book of the shipbuilders’ yards than ever before,’ and this irked me for a number of reasons beyond the fact that the statement is patently untrue. I don’t think the team that developed the report are necessarily to blame, aside from the fact they should have contacted The Superyacht Group, clearly they sought the advice of so called ‘industry experts’, who are clearly more in the business of lip service than candour.
What I find annoying is that ‘experts’ are content to wax lyrical about the superyacht market to anyone that will listen, to the extent that attempts to strengthen and support the market from governments and external investors are hampered by misconceptions generated at the research phase. Taking a festive analogy as our foundation: drinking from a poisoned chalice you received as a gift, regardless of the quality of wrapping paper, will still kill you or, at the very least, make you feel pretty rotten.
Simply pretending that things are okay is rarely a precursor for them becoming so. But, perhaps the aforementioned experts were engaging in the popular childish pastime known as ‘opposites day’, wherein children say the opposite of what they mean as a form of temporary amusement. So, perhaps what the experts meant was not what they said; maybe “there are more superyachts on the order book of the shipbuilders’ yards than ever before,” should have been translated as “the superyacht market is in the midst of a steady period of decline, during which the number of yards delivering vessels annually has more than halved since 2008”?
Wherever this particular source of information came from, the superyacht market’s attempt to inflate its numbers and shy away from scrutiny is, among other things, part and parcel of the steady decline it finds itself in, if only because the truth is so easily unmasked. Fortunately, as if by a Christmas miracle, there is a tool at hand that is able to dispel many of the myths and falsehoods spread by ‘experts’. In February 2018, The Annual Report: New Build 2018 will be hitting desks and it remains the only honest source of market information. Numbers don’t lie, people do.
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