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HANSA 09-2017

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Schifffahrt | Shipping

Schifffahrt | Shipping Superyacht iQ gives some facts and figures in its last annual report: Global fleet (30 m+): 4,473 yachts (84% motor, 16% sail). 91% of new orders are motor. At the end of 2015, 473 superyachts were in build, of which 169 are for sale (154 shipyard »spec« projects and 15 by owners). For yachts of above 40 m, 22% are owned by USA clients, 10% Russian, while the order book (in-build) shows 21% USA and 20% Russian The legal view »A« is given the usual industry put-downs but may well be ahead of her time On the legal front, responses are forthright, Tony Allen of Hill Dickinson reporting »a diffcult year to date, albeit with some significant new build activity at the top end of the market in the first half of the year and a sudden surge in sale and purchase in the mid-market in the past two months (May & June)«. Allen notes »increasing activity from the Far East, Middle East and US, with a bent towards explorer yachts«, noting it is »a tough market with everyone looking at ›new angles‹ more than ever«. He believes that if the »ongoing spate of macro and economic crises, and micro issues of French regulation and increasing charter regulation in the Med have not significantly disrupted the industry, it would be surprising if anything could!« He notes that »those factors are not helping and are causing everyone to ›think twice‹ and be less emotional about yachting acquisitions. Clarity on Brexit might help too.« Clyde & Co’s John Leonida states »the trend is definitely one of consolidation – for all the looking back at the pre-2008 market exuberance, today we have fewer builders and fewer deliveries. There are probably a third less yards making deliveries today than there were in 2012 and the pattern continues. There will be further shakeouts before the new build industry has a period of calm.« Leonida agrees, »there is a core selection of builders with good pedigree, excellent reliability and first class customer service who are thriving in a smaller market. In a sense we have a smaller but healthier core new build industry – this, in our experience, is shown by a constant stream of new instructions to new builds, principally in the 70m mark and above. We have also seen an uptick in the ›previously owned‹ market, albeit sellers not achieving the advertised prices – but we are nowhere near the dramatic price reductions of 48 months ago«. He notes »owners are willing to be adventurous in their design choices – it is clear the explorer type yacht is no longer a fad and is very much here to stay. We see, like our colleagues, a paucity of the big sailing yachts but I note my clients are favouring smaller sailing yachts as a supplement to their bigger motor yachts. As a trend, perhaps reflecting the austerity in the broader economy, clients seem to be wanting simpler, more austere, and less ostentatious interiors«. Jay Tooker of HFW states: »My gut feeling is that the market is not very strong at the moment. The Russians are not active; the Americans are not as active as they should be given the strength of the Dollar against the Euro. At HFW we have been very busy but I do not feel that is reflective of the market. Especially among the shipyards, we are fortunate to have strong clients at the core of the sector who will be among the last to be affected by a downturn. We have been picking up new work but I suspect a good amount of it is market share rather than genuinely new business. I don’t know where new growth in the sector will come from«. On trends, Tooker says it is not really a question for a lawyer but comments on what he sees crossing his desk: »Big explorer yachts seem to be the flavour of the month.« Tooker believes »the industry could actually benefit from associating itself with other activities that rich people enjoy. The way forward must be to get yachts on the list of things that the rich do when they get Photo: Carl Groll 34 HANSA International Maritime Journal – 154. Jahrgang – 2017 – Nr. 9

Schifffahrt | Shipping made in to a certain level of wealth, alongside jets, houses, art etc. Getting on that list must be the first step in expanding interest in the product, then moving up the list the next step. The Superyacht Gallery event, in June at the Saatchi Gallery, was probably a missed opportunity – a dedicated yacht event like that will attract only a small proportion of those who were already interested in yachts but why not link it to say ›Masterpiece‹ or ›Frieze‹ and take a chance that some of the rich people who come to see art will be pleasantly surprised to encounter yachts?« Tooker points out that »at the top end of the market there is greater wealth than at any time in the past 100 years (read Thomas Picketty) and such desire as there is for yachts appears unaffected by most of the normal dampeners on activity, except perhaps embarrassment to be seen to be spending big and living it up while others are suffering and you’re sacking employees. That aside, if you’ve got the cash an economic downturn may even be a reason to buy a yacht – if there’s nothing to invest in and you’re only going to have to watch the value of something decline, why shouldn’t it be a yacht?« Tooker believes that the Panama Papers and »The Philip Green situation« (see HANSA 9/2016) are indications of the biggest factor against yacht ownership. »Superyachts are big and spectacular and you can’t hide them in the way you once could. I don’t think the rich are going to change their attitudes and desires but they may want to do it more discreetly«. Mulder Shipyard – established in 1938 and now with a firm foothold in the 30 to 40m superyacht niche – even markets its new Mulder ThirtySix as a discreet »Intimate Family Yacht«. To-date its clients have opted for this size, for private use, even though they could afford much larger. John Leonida echoes the ownership conundrum: »Millennials, and those influenced by them, are more interested in experiences than acquisition. In a way those who could respond to that through non-ownership superyacht experiences will no doubt profit. It is also true that there is a broader anti-capitalist populist political époque sweeping the world. It is anti-elitist and whether it is politically of the left or right the messages as to the accumulation of wealth by billionaires will inevitably make conspicuous consumption less attractive. It is no accident that when the Panama Papers were published hostile reporting on social media of hidden wealth and alleged tax evasion was invariably accompanied by pictures of superyachts – thus making the link between criminality and superyacht ownership. This is something which is locked in to the mainstream view of the accumulation of wealth.« The design perspective Oliver Stirling is concerned that larger design firms may be monopolising the smaller end of the market as well as large yachts as projects become fewer, noting it has become much more competitive to win projects and clients have been slow to commit to orders. He says that »the number of designers within the industry has grown enormously within the past ten years coinciding with a reduction in the number of new (yacht) jobs. Many interior and product design companies seem to be attracting ›spin-off‹ yacht projects from both new and existing clients (in the same way that yacht designers secure residential/aviation projects)«. Stirling also observes that exploration yachts continue to attract interest as a »go anywhere superyacht« as owners and charterers become more adventurous, escaping to more exotic »wilderness« destinations. »Small and large cruise ships may be monopolising this market and drawing away potential yacht charter guests seeking these experiences. The yacht industry could reverse this trend by providing large yachts with ice-class, competitively-priced charters to serve remote regions, perhaps in combination with multi-destination tour providers and/or hotel operators«. Kokomo Island Fiji is a new destination to watch that will draw »superyacht people« to the South Pacific. Conceived by Australian property tycoon (and 58 m PRÄZISION IST UNSER SCHLÜSSEL ZUM ERFOLG Unser Portfolio umfasst die Konstruktion und Fertigung von: • kompletten Wellenanlagen bis zu 16 m Länge • Propeller • kompl. Verstellpropelleranlagen • weltweite Propellerreparaturen • Leistungsanpassungen • Lohnbearbeitung Germany SCHAFFRAN Propeller + Service GmbH Bei der Gasanstalt 6-8, D-23560 Lübeck Tel: +49 (0) 451-58323-0, Fax: +49 (0) 451-58323-23 Niederlassung Hamburg Kamerunweg 10, D-20457 Hamburg Tel: +49 (0) 40-786275, Fax: +49 (0) 40 785440 HANSA International Maritime Journal – 154. Jahrgang – 2017 – Nr. 9 35

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