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Jonathan Beckett: Burgess CEO predicts the future of yachting

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Families are key to developing the next generation of owners

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The superyacht industry is an ever-shifting landscape, but few people are as well placed to predict the future market trends as Jonathan Beckett, CEO of international brokerage house Burgess. We caught up with him to get his views on emerging markets, evolving designs and much more…

“I think it’s an exciting time to be in yachting,” he says. “When you look at the number of superyacht owners in the world today and how many of them actually have children, I think there’s great potential to increase their number quite considerably over the next ten years. If they’ve grown up on boats and their family has had boats for a long time, I think they are keen to continue. It’s an interesting market for us to explore.”

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Charter is an important avenue for bringing in new clients

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“We have been very successful in converting charter customers into owners over a long period of time,” Beckett continues. “A lot of people start off by chartering a boat to see how they go. Maybe the first or second yacht is not quite right for them; it’s a sort of ‘getting to know you’ process. That is a great gateway into the yachting market.”

Burgess currently has more than 100 charter yachts on its books, including the 95 metre Oceanco yacht Indian Empress (pictured above).

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Charter clients’ demands are evolving

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“High-speed internet is a regular demand, as well as water toys and a six-star service. You can immediately tell if a boat has six-star service, rather than four-star or even three-star,” he explains.

New superyacht water toys are constantly being offered, but Beckett argues that these are not essential for running a successful charter yacht. “I don’t think you’ve got to have anything out of the ordinary. You obviously need tenders, maybe a limousine for getting people ashore dry, maybe a Jet Ski. Do you need to have a flyboard? I don’t think somebody would select the boat purely on that basis.”

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