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March April 2019 Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry


FIRST PORT OF CALL FOR MARINA PROFESSIONALS The Marina & Yard Pavilion is a specialised pavilion at the METSTRADE Show; the world’s largest marine equipment trade show. The pavilion is the first port of call for marina professionals from around the world. With over 70 exhibitors, it’s the world’s largest trade exhibition for the marina & yard industry. 19 20 21 NOVEMBER 2019 RAI AMSTERDAM THE NETHERLANDS METSTRADE FEATURES ORGANISED BY POWERED BY MEMBER OF OFFICIAL METSTRADE MAGAZINE OFFICIAL SYP MAGAZINE OFFICIAL MYP MAGAZINE

BOAT SHARE CONCEPTS Chartering large vessels is increasingly popular despite the high cost. Around 25% of the world’s superyachts are available for charter. in Palma, Agana, Corfu and the Seychelles,” he notes. “Proximity to any heritage sites is also important. Our Agana and Dubrovnik bases in Croatia are good examples of this.” He adds that there are large concentrations of charter boats in marinas in Palma de Mallorca on the Spanish island of Mallorca, Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia on the Adriatic Coast, and Greece’s Lefkas and Corfu on the Ionian Sea. And ‘clusters’ of marinas are of growing importance to charter companies, the report says. One example of this is the Association of the Boating Industry (ANN) and Spanish Maritime Cluster in Spain. Clusters are particularly important to smaller providers of charter, which require ‘on the spot’ tourists, rather than larger charter companies that are better able to advertise their services online. Technology is proving a significant aid to smaller companies, allowing them to offer online booking, apps for smartphones and WiFi solutions. Global destinations Charter companies are seeing success elsewhere around the world. Le boat explains it is mostly focused on Europe but has recently started operating in a new cruising ground on the Rideau Canal in Canada. Footloose focuses on the British Virgin Islands, while Dream Yacht Charter offers over 1,000 yachts in over 50 global destinations. Chris Callahan of Moran Yacht & Ship told Boat International: “We have seen quite a bit of interest shift to the Bahamas this winter [2017], with a number of larger vessels visiting the Exumas.” Bob Denison, president of Denison Yachting, agrees that the Bahamas is a destination to watch, but he also predicts growth for the west coast of the USA, reporting more charter enquiries for Alaska. And the Asia market is expected to exhibit the most growth of any region at 8% CAGR from 2017 to 2025, according to a Transparency Market Research forecast. The report notes: “The market in the region is receiving a major boost from the rising number of charter destinations, increasing wealth of people and greater availability of yachts. Thailand, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia are some of the popular yacht chartering destinations in Asia Pacific.” But it is not all plain sailing. In Europe particularly, there are regulatory uncertainties and difficulties for crossborder operation. For example, some skipper licences are accepted in one country but not another. The Ecorys SWOT analysis also notes that charter is a “rather unregulated business”. While this offers easier entrance into the sector, it also carries the risk of low quality services and unreliable providers not guaranteeing safety standards or fulfilment of all regulatory requirements of a boat. Young following “No young boat owners are entering the market,” states the Ecorys report, and the average age of a boat owner in Europe is now around 45-55 years. For reasons such as affordability and accessibility, younger people are choosing charter over ownership. “The problem for this sector is, however, that if people don’t start young, experience shows that they won’t start at a later age,” the report says. But, according to industry representatives, this is countered by a trend towards more chartering and ownership is not a necessity. “In the last [few] years, sales of boats went down, but chartering went up, even though periods of charter were shortened,” it says. Boating associations and charter companies confirmed this trend. They stated that, as consumers spend less and less time on boats, renting is gaining popularity. Chartering has many advantages. The charter company is responsible for maintaining the yacht, allowing boaters to ‘pick up and go’. Different boats can be selected depending on charterers’ needs. And new ideas are driving popularity: yachts are becoming private and exclusive entertainment areas, mixing business with leisure. ‘Party boats’, which sail to different destinations each day, are increasing in prevalence. Nevertheless, companies report that bareboat charter still remains their most important activity. Ever larger Wilson explains that the average size of chartered yachts has increased and larger ones are becoming the preference. “The smallest yachts now are around 11m [36ft], whereas three to four years ago, the smallest would have been 9-10m [29-33ft]. And boaters are chartering more catamarans than ever before.” While sailing yachts are preferred by more traditional sea-faring enthusiasts, motor boats tend to be more attractive to the broader masses, Ecorys found. This is because they are easy to handle, and provide comfort, speed and power. The motor boat segment accounts for 72% of boat and yacht sales, representing a total of €5.12 billion. And Forbes notes that, of the approximately 4,500 superyachts in the world, roughly a quarter of these are available for charter. But the average charter cost for a superyacht is prohibitively expensive at US2,000, plus fuel, food and port charges, so are largely the purview of the HNWIs. - March/April 2019 21

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