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HANSA 10-2020

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Schifffahrt | Shipping

Schifffahrt | Shipping Superyacht industry accepts pandemic The superyacht industry is changing and grieving simultaneously. Many are still in the »denial« and »anger« phases of grief – concerning the collapse of the market as we knew it – now entering the »bargaining« stage of the Kübler-Ross model. By Nick Jeffery Cancellation, one by one, of the MYBA charter show, Superyacht Show and Monaco Grand Prix in May, DNV GL’s Superyacht Seminar at the Yacht Club de Monaco in June, the majority of superyacht charters in July and August, followed by Cannes and Monaco Yacht Shows in September, and METS already cancelled for November, has kept hitting just when people hoped it was all soon going to be »back to normal«. Early on during lockdown, online zoom webinars and presentations allowed some sort of social interaction, while positive industry »players« kept reminding us we must all remain strong and upbeat. It felt like a self-support group with plenty of mutual back-patting as well as providing the opportunity for self-promotion in the comments box »Hello from Monaco! I’m very impressed with your statement and would now like to plug my own company…«. After a few weekly events, with SuperYacht Times’ webinars peeking with over 800 attendees, zoom webinars fizzled out, possibly the sponsorship and rehearsed sound-bite promotion becoming too much. But they had helped some transcend into and even beyond grief’s »depression« stage, while allowing a glimpse inside leading superyacht builders’ and brokers’ home offices. Halving Market Jonathan Beckett, Chief Executive of Burgess, stated during lockdown that it could be two years before the charter market is back to pre-pandemic days. Some superyachts, that typically enjoyed 10-12 weeks of summer charter, have had zero bookings this summer, seriously impacting the viability of charter revenues covering the cost of running a yacht. Jamie Edmiston, Chief Executive of Edmiston, summed up, »Yacht charter went quiet for a period of time at the height of the pandemic but over the last six weeks or so (mid-July to late August) we have seen significant uptick in demand for people who want to get away in a secure environment with their families«. Price reductions are ubiquitous in both sales and charter. Nick Hill, Partner of Hill Robinson, a large independent yacht management company who booked 80 weeks of charter in 2019, noted that one in ten owners positively opted out early in the 2020 season to offer their yachts. Hill Robinson implemented significant procedures aboard its fleet encouraging – but not enforcing – cli- Heesen has its largest-ever, 60 m long steel displacement yacht currently in build, on target for launch in 2021 © Heesen 22 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 10 | 2020

Schifffahrt | Shipping © Abeking & Rasmussen »Soaring«, built by Abeking & Rasmussen © Heesen ents to agree to be tested, as its crew were isolated ashore, before joining yachts for the season, and daily temperature tests were expected all round. Hill told HANSA at the end of August that Hill Robinson’s charter business was »consistent with 2019« but »we know industry-wide it is probably fifty percent down«. At the time of going to press, the 25 th edition of Les Voiles d’Antibes – for which Hill Robinson is lead sponsor – was still scheduled to go ahead, along with Les Voiles de St Tropez, albeit with restrictions in place to reduce crowds ashore. While fully-crewed superyachts were standing by for last-minute charters on the Côte d’Azur, Berthon Boat Company’s Managing Director, Brian May, noted many British owners wanted to ship their boats to the South Coast of the UK, »increasing their ability to use their yachts without the need to travel through airports, at a time when being able to cross a border quickly and easily is no longer guaranteed«. May added that »Covid has increased enormously the interest in yachts, that enjoy self-sufficiency and a safe environment in this difficult time«. Berth holders in Lymington benefit from Berthon having engaged the services of a clinical decontamination company that can »fog« a yacht, after say a contractor has been aboard, reducing recommended quarantine times from 72 hours to one hour. Brokerage viewings were as busy as ever with Berthon International’s Sue Grant’s down-to-earth walk-through video tours, quite a contrast with the big-budget superyacht films. Explorer yachts evolve Espen Oeino believes »post-Covid designs may be a bit different from what we see today in as much as they may have more space for provisioning and bunkering giving increased autonomy, perhaps three months, like REV». »Olivia O« with its X-bow – which Oeino explains »is the best for reducing speed loss in heavy seas and eliminating slamming« made an appearance in Monaco in 2020. Espen Oeino International was also part of the exterior design team for two 140 m diesel-electric hybrid cruise ships launched in the past twelve months, »Roald Amundsen« and »Fridtjof Nansen«. Mini cruise ships and large yachts will most likely remain separate niches of vessel even if there is an overlap of operations such as carrying out research while cruising. Lürssen, famous for building 100-metre-plus superyachts, is keen to promote its 60- to 75 m capabilities too, probably having noticed a drying up of very large yacht orders. One they are particularly proud of is the 55.5 m Bannenberg + Rowell design – based on »Carinthia VI«, designed by Bannenberg the Elder and built by Lürssen in 1973. The design statement: »a fearless use of colours and textures as well as museum quality interior furniture pieces underline the approach of tremendous attention to detail – not only in the interior spaces but also in the technical areas. A truly bespoke engineered yacht«. While Lürssen pitch themselves at the »smaller« bespoke superyacht owner, series production builder Princess Yachts, backed by LVMH, HANSA – International Maritime Journal 10 | 2020 23

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