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Mar Apr 2015 Marina World

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SUPERYACHT FACILITIES Palladium, moored up at Pantalán del Mediterráneo, Palma de Mallorca, at an unfinished dock when the captain failed to find mooring elsewhere. A security firm was hired to complete the deal and everyone was happy. brought this style to yachting in 1720 in what is today the Royal Cork Yacht Club, founded by a member of the British Parliament. Superyachts of the time were owned by royalty, nobility and captains of industry and this continued well into the nineteenth century with outstanding notables like Sir Thomas Lipton. Thus, the superyachts I call ‘traditional’ are a lot more than age and shape. They are not the type to be seen for long at the same ‘fashionable’ harbour during high season. By nature, they seek alternative destinations and secluded bays where guests can enjoy the solitude that being at sea has to offer. They drop anchor close to small communities where a superyacht guest is as alien as any other outsider arriving by any means. Most superyachts are prepared to be autonomous and the basic local products to be found in these remote places (vegetables, fruit, bread, flowers) are as much a part of the discovery as a logistical requirement. New cruising grounds According to the records of the Singapore Superyacht Association, superyacht visits to the Asia Pacific region grew by 100% over the four year period of 2008-2011. Turkey became the wintering spot for many superyachts that had previously favoured the western Mediterranean. The traditional Caribbean cruising ground from Florida to St Thomas has expanded and now reaches Grenada. Brazil has a bad name since the murder of Sir Peter Blake in 2001 (such scars take a long time to heal) but Never underestimate the dockside needs of a superyacht. more and more yachts are venturing to the east coast of South America. Let’s remember that the distance from the Canaries to Antigua is 2,500nm but from the Cape Verde Islands to Fortaleza in North Brazil it is only 1,400nm. Weather in the South Atlantic is very steady, mild and predictable and it’s easy to head off for these more unusual cruising grounds. Down to Paranaguá there are countless bays, cities and villages to enjoy. Anyone prepared to cruise down to Patagonia, the Magellan Straits, Tierra del Fuego and the Falklands (Malvinas) will have an unforgettable experience. But can these alternative destinations increase their appeal to superyachts? This is a question that many of us have addressed in different ways via conferences, articles and forums. And we have failed to create a general understanding of the real needs of the crew and the guests aboard a superyacht. This is understandable. Forget about the superyachts in terms of size alone and think differently about those aboard them. Many people (mostly land lubbers) see superyachts as beautiful ferries for rich people; King Midas boats that convert everything they approach into gold. But most superyacht owners tend to be discrete people who do not need to show off their wealth. Yes, there are exceptions and the publicity given to these people has created the wrong image. Many proud marina developers are excited to announce that they will build a very luxurious hotel in the marina and top restaurants in order to attract superyachts. But superyacht owners are used to staying in extreme luxury hotels all over the world. They invite and are invited to the best restaurants on earth. Their onboard chefs are often top level and many very good restaurants would envy the galleys in which they cook. Luxury is not what owners are seeking and, in order to truly provide what they want, you have to learn to speak what I call ‘superyacht language’. Here are a few tips: 1 Decide if you are going to be a winter destination, a summer cruise destination or, if you are lucky and the marina is in a very beautiful and interesting place, a mix of both. Don’t waste your resources on infrastructure that will not be appreciated. - March/April 2015 21

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