View From The Top by Jonathan Beckett, Burgess CEO

It’s hard to imagine looking back, but ten years ago, more yachts were being built and more sales were being completed than at any time before in the history of the market. Superyachts were even being built as speculative investments.

Fast forward five years and we were gripped in a global financial crisis and there was speculation that the superyacht industry’s bubble was about to burst.

Five years on to the present day and the industry is entering a healthy sales and new build phase, as outlined in the most recent market report

As I have commented before, these events are cyclical. If nothing else, the financial crisis has shown us that superyachts are an inherent lifestyle choice. It remains a buyers’ market and there is a strong inventory to choose from. That said, I predict that 2014 will be the best brokerage year since 2008.

Equally, owners are more aware that a good operational management team is worth paying for. As with any business, it’s the team you appoint that makes the difference; be it the crew on board or the “behind the scenes” operations. This has contributed to our own yacht management fleet growing over 17% in the last 12 months alone, incorporating an increasing number of yachts in the larger size sector.

The charter market also experienced an upsurge in demand towards the end of 2013. I believe we will see continued demand this year and an ever expanding fleet of fantastic superyachts as more commercial yachts go private (a recent trend). I also predict increased interest in large yachts accommodating more than twelve guests. The new Passenger Yacht Code will become the norm for 85m-plus vessels very quickly.

2013 also bore witness to one of the most talked about superyachts ever delivered: AZZAM. At 180m she is the longest yacht in the world and we were especially proud to have played our part as owner’s technical consultants and project managers in the build process.

Through careful planning and a lot of hard work, we have grown our business organically. Although I don’t have a crystal ball, I foresee that the same outstanding service, innovation and determination will keep Burgess at the forefront as industry leaders over the next ten years.

This accounts for the launch of our newest division, Burgess Yachting Financial Services. BYFS was established to offer improved insurance cover and reduced premiums to yacht owners through dedicated in-house specialists. In its first year it has already been well received and has established an excellent platform from which to grow in the future.

I don’t predict a return to the buoyant pre-credit crunch days any time soon, but I do expect the market to build on 2013. Buyers still have the edge but as the existing inventory ebbs, we will start to see a shift of power back to the sellers.

As a final word, fantastic value purchases are still out there and I encourage you to review the current price reductions and various new build opportunities due for delivery this summer.

Contact our team at any one of our global offices: 

London, Monaco, New York, Miami, All Offices.


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