The 2017 edition of Yachts Miami Beach saw several changes, with a new layout and admissions policy, but what did the top yacht brokers really think? What would they change about the show if they could? And how is the US market faring after the recent Presidential election? We spoke to some of the leading figures in the superyacht brokerage world to get their thoughts.
Phillip Bell, sales broker at Northrop & Johnson, said that charging an admission fee for the first time was “certainly a step in the right direction”. He added: “Although we saw less people on the docks this year, the overall feeling was that they were much better quality and not the unqualified crowds usually associated with the Miami show.”
Sales broker Paul Burgess concurred, reporting an “uptick in qualified buyers and interested parties” at the Watson Island area of the show. “I think we definitely will see some sales as a result of Yachts Miami Beach,” he predicted.
Speaking about the division of the show into four areas (Simply Sail Miami, Miami Marine Stadium, Collins Avenue and Watson Island), Bell added: “It's early days for the development of this show, but considering the logistical restrictions associated with hosting a large boat within Miami, dividing up the show is essential. We have some beautiful yachts over 150 feet (46 metres) which have previously been unserviced by the Miami show, so being able to include them now will only help establish this show as one on the main global venues.”
Bell also argued that transportation options between the venues needs to be improved, with three-hour commute times reported during the show.
Turning to the US market in general, Bell concluded: “We are seeing a definite improvement in sales and more serious inquiries, which began a couple of months before the elections took place. Undoubtedly the stock market health has continued this air of confidence through the first quarter of 2017, and the continued strengthening of the US dollar has certainly established the US market as one of the most buoyant within the yachting industry.”