One can imagine that attending the Monaco Yacht Show as a prospective buyer or charterer can be a daunting enterprise. Those more au fait with the intricacies of the yacht market will understand what they hope to gain from attending the show (be it for one day or the entire event), whereas those new to Port Hercules may wish for a little guidance. As a result of this, the Monaco show will once again host the ‘Sapphire Experience’, a programme of activities that aim to provide a concierge service for interested parties. As an industry that is focused on enticing new clients into the market, this provides an introduction to a range of brokers and shipyards at the show, and – from an ownership perspective – is the opportune occasion to gain a real understanding of what the superyachting world is like.
Monaco Yacht Summit, launched in 2015, returns again this year. The event “that seeks to inform and educate yachting clients” brings together industry professionals and owners for a day of conversations. The programme this year looks at ‘myth busting’ common misconceptions of all aspects of ownership, from chartering to operations. Addressing the growing appetite for cruises off the beaten track, a panel will look at destinations further afield than the Med, a recent new build project, and feature an interview with renowned naval architect Espen Oeino and a superyacht owner.
I hope the show will continue to demonstrate to new owners the vast possibilities that yachting affords. Rather than just the glitz and glam associated with the industry, the explorer vessels and cruising capabilities of some yachts should encourage clients to look at the freedom yachts provide, not just the glasses of champagne on deck.
"Rather than just the glitz and glam associated with the industry, the explorer vessels and cruising capabilities of some yachts should encourage clients to look at the freedom yachts provide, not just the glasses of champagne on deck."
The undisputed home of large yachts, the 2018 shows boasts a number of high-profile vessels: 95.2m Kismet, 90m Dar, 88.5m Illusion Plus, 88.5m Barbara, 81m Air and 77m Go, to name just a few. If the show is hoping to wow owners (present and future) with an impressive selection of yachts at the top end of the market, I’m sure they won’t be disappointed. For owners looking to upsize or buy in the 60m+ range, many brokerage houses are bringing a sizeable selection of vessels to attract potential buyers. The presence of Illusion Plus, the largest boat built in China, is sure to draw a lot of attention. The vessel will be making her debut at the show, and she demonstrates the Chinese-quality build that is now available to the market. For owners looking for alternatives to established European yards, this 88.5m is paving the way for vessels built in Asia.
But how effective is the show for clients wishing to sell their yachts? As outlined in The Superyacht Report’s Monaco issue, the conversion rate between exhibiting vessels that are subsequently sold is around 20 per cent per year. Looking at 2017, there were 101 yachts at the show and (as of June 2018), 17 of those have subsequently sold. Of course, the relationships and contacts made at the show are harder to quantify, but time will tell if any of the headline yachts will be sold in the coming months.
There have been many notable examples of the behaviour of owners and the usage of their vessels moving away from the preconceived notion of yachting, and I wonder if this will be reflected at the show. Projects such as REV and Ray Dalio’s Alucia2 are just some of the high-profile announcements that demonstrate the options available for owners wanting to change the boundaries of yachting.
Over the past twelve months, I have noticed a significant increase in the number of superyachts, companies and crew that have committed to a number of environmental or sustainability programmes. Last year, I was struck by the sheer amount of plastic waste at the show; rubbish bins were full to the brim with plastic bottles. I expect that many companies will be unveiling different environmental initiatives for owners and charter clients to implement on board; these could range from innovations encouraging recycling to simply raising awareness of the dangers of single-use plastics. Ultimately, as the role of clients in ocean conservation is becoming stronger and more palpable with each year, the actions of the industry can hugely influence the health of our environments.
Overall, I hope that owners and clients use the Monaco Yacht Show as an opportunity to see the vast machine that drives the entire industry, and see it as a market where they will invest their time, money and passion.
Image courtesy of Monaco Yacht Show
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