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7 things to expect from the superyacht market in 2017

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Russian buyers are returning to the market

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The past five years has seen a gradual decline in the number of Russian clients buying into the superyacht lifestyle, according to Camper & Nicholsons’ 2016 State of Wealth, Luxury and Yachting report, but this trend is showing some signs of reversing in 2017.

David Seal, sales broker at Northrop & Johnson, told Boat International that the green shoots of recovery are emerging in this market: “I have seen an increase in Russian buyers in the last quarter of 2016 and hope to see this continue into 2017. Yachts are still so aspirational for wealthy Russians, and so they will always find a way to indulge in their passion whenever they can.”

Meanwhile, Simon Goldsworthy, senior broker at Camper & Nicholsons' London office, argues that this trend may be due to the rising cost of crude oil. “The recent OPEC decision to limit oil supply should help the Russian economy and stock market. Many Russian clients have a lot of their wealth in that stock market so they should start feeling wealthier and more confident to buy yachts. I see Russia as coming back strongly in 2017.”

Alev Karagulle from Burgess Yachts sounds a note of caution, adding: “The decrease in Russian business over the last couple of years has been significant so the return of this important market is not going to happen overnight."

High profile superyachts owned by Russian clients include Eclipse, Queen K, Radiant and Motor Yacht A (pictured above).

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2
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Asian interest will build gradually

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One of the great white hopes for the superyacht industry is tapping into the great wealth of the Asian market, and although there have been many high-profile sales to Asian clients in recent months, such as the 81 metre Royal Huisman Project 400, it would be unwise to expect an overnight transformation, according to Karagulle.

“The development of the superyacht market in Asia is certainly on an upward trajectory, but it is a slow burn which will take some time to fully mature,” she argues.

Seal concurs, pointing out that the main interest from China seems to be in buying out yards rather than ordering yachts, “I believe that we may still have to wait a little longer before Asia realises its full potential. This will take time to filter through, but I have no doubt that it will come.”

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  • FRESH INDUSTRY DATA
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3
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The charter market will be the key to attracting new buyers

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The past year has seen a number of high-profile first-time buyers enter the world of superyacht ownership, including the owner of 70 metre Feadship Joy, who is reportedly the yard’s youngest ever client.

Encouraging this trend will be a key priority for brokerage houses in 2017, according to Raphael Sauleau, CEO of Fraser Yachts. "This is something that everyone needs to be concentrating on, there is a huge amount of potential clients out there that are not even aware of yachting," he told Boat International.

Attracting newcomers is something which will be pursued on two main fronts in 2017, Karagulle explains, “Charter is a pivotal part of the equation as it raises awareness of yachting to new audiences. Attracting more newcomers is a major challenge. This said, over the last decade, the larger brokerage houses have invested significantly in marketing initiatives aimed at new audiences — and continue to do so. This is a long-term commitment and the results will only play out over time.”

Goldsworthy agrees, describing the charter market as a “gateway drug” and claims that social media could become a “game changer” helping to spread the glamorous superyacht lifestyle to a wider audience than ever before.

Meanwhile, Seal argues that a holistic management approach is important when persuading newcomers to part with their hard-earned money. “Finding a way to present a purchasing and management structure as one package that frees the owner up to just enjoy his yacht is a constant challenge,” he adds.

Sauleau agrees, citing complexity as one of the key aspects of the industry's image that needs to be addressed.

Subscribe to BOAT Pro to access brokerage sales data and unlimited specs for 11,719 yachts in our Superyacht Directory – the world’s most comprehensive superyacht data.

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BOAT Pro is the only superyacht market intelligence product that can offer:
  • FRESH INDUSTRY DATA
  • MARKET INSIGHT
  • GLOBAL ORDER BOOK DOWNLOADS
  • EXCLUSIVE REPORTS
  • MONTHLY SUMMARY EMAIL
  • UNLIMITED ACCESS TO SUPERYACHT SPECIFICATIONS
Sponsored Listings
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