Mixed reactions to FLIBS 2010 from superyacht brokers
by Malcolm MacLean
Time to canvass leading brokers for their opinions on the recent Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and, as usual, reactions are mixed.
We'll start with the most enthusiastic as Kevin Merrigan, President of Northrop and Johnson says, "I believe N and J was the largest exhibitor at the show this year. We had a broad enough selection of yachts that a buyer looking for almost any type yacht would be visiting us. We were not disappointed! We met a significant number of new clients, and had offers on many of our yachts. It will be a couple of weeks before the story is fully told, however, it appears to be shaping up as an excellent show for us. The mood was upbeat, sellers were prepared to listen, and buyers were scouring the docks. I can assure you of this, a majority of our sellers are motivated and serious…"
Over to Patrick Coote at Fraser Yachts, "The decision to significantly boost our presence, particularly at a time when other brokerage companies are having to tighten their belts, paid huge dividends for us. We fielded numerous enquiries from US buyers and sellers as well as seeing strong interest in new build projects. The European brokerage houses were conspicuous by their absence and missed out on strong, renewed interest from US clients."
Toby Walker, Sales Director at Camper & Nicholsons International is a little more circumspect: “The 2010 show was a little slower than expected, but despite this we welcomed many visitors and existing clients to our display. Early indications are positive that the US market continues to strengthen, albeit gradually."
Finally, Matt Albert, Sales & New Construction Broker at Yachting Partners International opines, “Despite the general overall feeling around the show this year, we were quietly busy at FLIBS. Of course it is very early to tell what business may come of our work here, but I think we had some promising client meetings and good yacht showings. Glaze looked great and attracted interesting visits from both sales and charter brokers. We also had a few new-build enquiries which we’ll be following up when we get back. All in all, not a show to run around shouting about but we’re quietly confident.”
So there we go, four opinions, each one from a different show, it seems.