Joel Waterhouse, Yachting and Aviation Manager, Mark A. Hagan, VAT Director and David Webb, Yachting and Aviation Senior Associate recently attended The Superyacht Forum Amsterdam. The event was attended by over 600 industry professionals over 3 days in Amsterdam with a focus on sustainability in yachting.
Key discussion topics included how the industry needs to work together to develop and champion solutions to make a better environment for all, specifically focusing on environmental and human factors.
While environmental protestors stormed the event on Day 3, the event organisers took the decision to give them a voice, allowing them on stage to say their piece and, in response, explain the steps the yachting industry as a whole is already taking to reach a common goal.
Key areas such as diversity, inclusion and equality were discussed with the general consensus being that while progress is being made, there is still work to be done by all.
Based on current dynamics and capacity, it was proposed that over the next 30 years the number of superyachts in operation globally could double due to the volume of new builds combined with existing fleet refits, improving the size and quality of the market across the board.
There may also be a change in how yacht ownership looks for the next generation, as newer clients are less obsessed with owning a yacht outright. Instead, choosing to lease, opting for ‘fractional ownership’, or even something entirely new could be more the norm going forward.
Increase in fires
Fires on superyachts are becoming more frequent and there is a lot of research being undertaken to understand what’s causing this. It would be easy to say it is due to less stringent controls in respect of 500GT vessels, reduced expertise during refits due to covid, or perhaps the increase in popularity of lithium batteries, however, insurers, class societies and owners will need to review all factors to ensure yachting is safe for all.
It was proposed to the forum that, in an environment where faith in ‘trickledown’ economics is at an all-time low, the superyacht industry is still a significant positive contributor to local economies. Starting with employing potentially thousands of skilled workers during the build, the finished yachts then support an entire ecosystem of qualified crew, small businesses and a range of complementary professional services for decades during the vessels’ life. All paid for entirely by the owners themselves. Truly helping to spread the wealth!
Finally, as always, the Superyacht Forum is a great place to connect and reconnect with the industry experts who attend. Aside from the show itself, regular networking and breakout sessions allow meaningful conversations with lawyers, advisors, brokers, crew members, pursers, flag representatives, bankers and even competitors to establish how we can work together better in the future. None of this more so than at the Red Ensign Red Party on Day 2, where everyone could discuss mutual topics of interest in a contemporary central Amsterdam location.
Please contact Joel Waterhouse to discuss your yachting needs.