Many have gathered for Captain’s Day 2021, including 70 Italian superyacht captains, all with the aim of drawing up reports on how two years of pandemic have impacted a sector that is, to say the least, unique in its kind. The implications are also pragmatic. The aim is to understand trends and operating methods for the next ten years, also on the basis of what has changed in the global system since the COVID-19 emergency.
Occasions like these are not entirely uncommon, as these issues were also discussed at the Monaco Yacht Show and during the YARE, organized by Navigo. The data put forward by the professionals match and offer a general picture of the situation that is useful for understanding the superyacht market trends from different points of view.
Captain’s Day 2021: the chartering trend
The Captain’s Day 2021, held at Marina di Loano on November 10th and 11th, was organized by ItalianYachtMasters, the association that brought together no less than 110 Italian and international brokers, captains and industry professionals.
Jonathan Beckett (CEO of Burgess) and Raphael Sauleau (CEO of Fraser Yachts), who together cover 80% of the superyacht market in terms of consultancy, sales, services and chartering, were also present and what emerged was a constantly growing market. All in all, this is a thriving industry that finds no obstacles whatsoever, except perhaps its own will to become as ‘green‘ as possible in order to respond properly to the environmental issues that occupy the front pages of all the media.
The superyacht sector in numbers
The numbers are staggering, both for used and new boats. And this confirmation follows the equally positive trend in the market for yachts under thirty meters in length.
So the fears raised by the COVID-19 health emergency, which affected other markets but not the recreational and superyacht market, have therefore been dispelled.
As for superyachts, second-hand sales increased by 54% between 2019 and 2021. This confirms that superyachts are perhaps less affected by the ageing of style which smaller yachts are subject to. And the sector is less obliged to chase the latest fashions, instead favouring refits worthy of the name.
Charter services are also seeing a 58% increase in bookings over the same period. And this is a sign that says a lot about the search for a new sense of freedom in the nautical “hospitality” sector. The clientele, as confirmed by many sources, is being held back by the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, but appreciates superyachts more than hotels. Superyachts offer a luxury and ‘experiential’ value that, needless to say, is more attractive than the old grand hotels.
There was a lot of talk at the convention about chartering. The main location for charters remains the Mediterranean, which accounts for the largest share of the superyacht charters’ favourite destinations, while 32% opt for the Caribbean.
This year’s Captain’s Day also provided an opportunity to take stock of the operations of the ItalianYachtMasters Association, chaired and founded by Captain Gino Battaglia, which – it was stressed on the sidelines of the event – is endowed with high values and carries out “intense work with the aim of promoting the pride and tradition of Italian seafaring at an international level”.
Erik Althaus (CEO of Althaus Luxury Yachting), David Legrand (Fraser Yachts) and Antoine Althaus also took the floor to confirm the validity of the association. Together they praised the growing activity of ItalianYachtMasters, reiterating how it fully participates in making the name of Italian yachting great at international level, known also thanks to its captains of superyachts “known and appreciated all over the world”.