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'Premium Superyachts To Enter Market Following COVID-19', Burgess CEO Claims

31 March 2020 • Written by Olivia Michel

Some of the industry's top superyachts could be listed for sale as a result of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Burgess chief executive Jonathan Beckett has said.

Beckett spoke with BOAT International as part a new series of informative interviews titled At Home with BOAT. In episode one of the new series, _BOAT Internationa_l editor Stewart Campbell sat down with Beckett to discuss how the pandemic is affecting the brokerage market.

While acknowledging the difficulties arising from the pandemic, Beckett emphasised throughout the discussion one positive result of the outbreak: that buyers can anticipate some top superyachts to enter the sales market over the coming months. Speaking to Campbell from his home, Beckett said “interestingly, we listed about seven or eight boats for sale last week”, adding that for people who might have been thinking about selling before, “the virus was the trigger”.

Beckett clarified that this influx of sales was due to superyacht owners realising that “they’re clearly not going to be using their boat for the next couple of months”. And while the charter market may stay quiet for the time being, Beckett confirmed that buyers can expect that “some good boats are coming on stream”.

The Burgess CEO suggested that the virus may lead to some top superyachts ending up in the sales market over the next few months.

Adressing the issue of superyacht charters amid the coronavirus pandemic, Beckett admitted that although “Med charters were 10% up from any previous year” at the end of February, “charter, as we know, has sort of fallen of the edge of a cliff. No one wants to be on a boat right now."

However, Beckett said that Burgess was managing a few charters lasting between eight and 10 weeks for families wanting to isolate on a superyacht. “It’s a great place to go, to anchor somewhere in an exotic location with your family, even if you can’t move the boat around." Beckett also revealed that a number of Burgess' crew are still quarantined at sea during lockdown and said the broker had issued advice to crew.

Beckett suggested that the Monaco Yacht Show could be the first proper show of the season to go ahead this year. Picture Credit Nick Karvounis/Unsplash.

Speaking specifically about Burgess, Beckett said that although the current climate is “obviously extremely disturbing from a health point of view and from a business point of view” the brokerage firm, which has offices in the US, Australia and Asia, was already well set up for remote working.

Beckett implied that the superyacht event season could be disturbed up until the Monaco Yacht Show in September and suggested the industry might be permanently changed by the coronavirus crisis. "When we come out of this, we are all going to be working in a slightly different way and probably a smarter way," he said.

For more episodes from At Home with BOAT, click here.