After a stormy, chilly start yesterday, the MYBA Charter Show in Genoa, Italy, enjoyed bright sunshine and warm temperatures today. The docks were filled straight through the day with leading charter brokers from all over the world, each with a unique take on what the show represents this year.
For starters, the show is smaller than in years past. Three marinas are usually a part of this show, and this year, only two are filled. A MYBA representative told me that in terms of boat sizes, there is more feet/meters of boats here than in recent years, placing an emphasis on the show’s profitability. Still, brokers were chatty on the docks about what the downsized show indicates, including the fact that precious few new launches are on display.
Several European brokers suggested that bookings are up, which makes owners less likely to enter their yachts in a show like this one (why spend money on marketing if you already have all the business you need?). A few top American brokers, however, told me they see no major uptick in business and instead think more owners are choosing to display their yachts at open-house events in the South of France, where the yachts are based during the summer. This saves the owners money on fuel required to get to the Genoa venues while at the same time getting the yachts in front of at least the European members of the charter industry.
A couple of brokers suggested that the show is smaller because there just aren’t that many new charter yachts out there right now. With the global recession, shipyards either slowed or stopped production for a few years, and the industry is now seeing the “deafening silence” of those production lines being dormant. In the next few years, more new boats will launch, but right now there’s a dearth of them coming into the charter industry for the simple reason that fewer yachts are launching overall.
In keeping with that theory about a dearth of new builds was all the talk on the docks today about refits. So far, the boats turning the most heads at this year’s show are the 183-foot Benetti motoryacht Galaxy and the 94-foot Peri motoryacht Bibich. Neither is new to charter, but both underwent substantial refits and look like new inside and out. It’s rare for refits to outshine new builds, but this could be a trend worth watching, especially when you consider the buzz that surrounded the refit 197-foot Abeking + Rasmussen motoryacht Dream at the Antigua charter show a few months ago. This would be two charter yacht shows in a row where the refits were the talk of the town.
Stay tuned for more here on CharterWave from the docks in Genoa tomorrow.