2011 MYS: Patrick Coote On The Superyacht Industry

By Ben Roberts / Paul Joseph

Fraser Yachts is one of the leading charter companies in the world, specialising in luxury vacations and with access to virtually every top quality charter vessel anywhere across the globe.

Integral to their strategy since joining in 2006 has been Patrick Coote, who became Fraser’s Group Marketing Director four years later. Superyachts.com sat down with Mr Coot at the Monaco Yacht Show to discuss the company’s new concierge service, as well as the tumultuous period that the superyacht industry continues to battle against.

“[we] realised that yacht owners and operators, captains and crew need a lot more services than just a boat,” Mr Coote said.

“They need a huge range of different services to keep the boat operational. So we’ve come up with a concierge card which now any of the customers at Frasers Yachts can use, and it basically gives 24/7 access to a multi-lingual call centre team and whatever they need, be it specialist maritime needs or pure luxury lifestyle needs.”

The excitement around the new service, however, is tempered by the acknowledgement that the industry as a whole continues to suffer from the global economic downturn. But whilst Mr Coote is cautious with his optimism, he does see light at the end of the tunnel.

“As an overview, sales are tough, the market is tough, anyone that says it isn’t is not giving an honest picture”, he said.

“More so at the top end, 50 metre plus. Our bread and butter business is 30-45 metres and we’ve seen some good sales recently. Charter is doing fantastically, up 50% on last year, management is always a very steady business … our crewing division is doing well. But sales are tough.”

He continued: “I certainly thing that as the market picks up new contracts will pick up too. There are an immense amount of yachts on the market right now – we have 170 yachts over 24-metres for sale, we have 27 here in Monaco right now.

“As the market picks up, as boats begin to sell, I’m sure people will start selling new build contracts. They will inevitably take off again when the market readjusts and sorts itself out.”

By Ben Roberts / Paul Joseph