N2 People Skills

Sunday, October 31, 2010

After the Ebb tide must come the flood

In the past two years the Superyacht industry has had to deal with some sloppy weather. Owners and brokers have had to adapt. As quickly as a stock can go up or down in value in the market, the flood and ebb in Superyacht price has not been far  behind. Drops in the $Millions in Superyacht  price tags have been seen far and wide, seemingly keeping up with how crew turnover has been in the industry, and most lightly causing some.

But just as the Superyacht prices fluctuate, so do owners, on the one side you have some that have become over extended financially and have had to leave the industry either for good or for (we hope) a short period, while on the other there are new Superyacht deals being done as new owners try their luck in this fickle industry.

As I walk the docks of the Ft Lauderdale boat show and speak to some Yacht builders, insurance brokers  management companies and crews, the news is as varied as the the Yachts and crew, some sparkling and vibrant and others not quite so. The evidence is there for all who care to look, in the small details. A line frayed, a chip in the paint, a crack on the hull, a uniform worn, chrome that is not polished. The signs are there, this is a "Boat Show" effort put in, (or not) is a sign of the times to come, whether it is in the value of the charter or yacht. It is all in the details and how the parts interact.

On the other end of the scale, the warm and jubilant.  Superyachts being show in all their glory, crews looking their normal professional and adaptable selves, there to be seen. Sparkling and wondrous, yachts and models of new builds are inspiring to ones imagination of places to visit. One owner unveiled an impassioned vision, and soon to be reality of an environmentally conscious development with its own marina, complete with an address that allows you to pop next door (by sea) to Sir Richard Branson's for some sugar.

So as the tide ebbs and floods the Yachting industry does so as well, neap times and flood times, depending on where you are in the world depends on your tide, and being conscious of the tide is important, vital, in some places. So builders find new ways to try to keep prices in check, and brokers find new ways to sell Superyachts, and perhaps owners will look to find new ways to keep their running costs down through getting their crew longevity up and accident rate down.

Today I shall meet with the Cayman Islands shipping registry and chat about crew longevity, Crew training, crew development and the MLC 2006.