The MYS Breaking News Centre 2019 Revisited

By George Bains

In September Superyachts.com reprised its role at the Breaking News Centre studio at the Monaco Yacht Show, welcoming the biggest names in the industry to share their insights on a whirlwind year. Always a great opportunity to gauge performance and highlight developing trends, we look back on the main event from this year’s superyacht calendar.

Explorers and Efficiency

Two trends that remained constant throughout the interviews were the rise in explorer vessels and the impetus being given to building more efficient designs. Shipyards and design studios were eager to share what they have been doing to respond to these trends, driven by the interests of modern superyacht owners.

2019 can be remembered as a year in which shipyards really took an ownership of environmental problems and invested heavily in innovative solutions. Launches such as Nobiskrug’s Artefact have set a precedent for greener engineering, and efforts to incorporate this have been widespread across the industry.

Feadship CEO Jan-Bart Verkuyl took to the studio to talk about the Dutch shipyard’s new facility and how environmental concerns have been central to the plans. “Instead of talking about green things,” said Verkuyl, “we just want to do it! So we thought, OK, let’s make a fantastic location that is as green as possible so we show the right example.”

Hand in hand with the quest for efficiency has been the rise in explorer yachts, a sign of more environmentally conscious owners with ambitions to explore further than ever before. Nick Dean, Managing Partner of Ocean Independence, explained how a changing client lifestyle is fuelling the explorer trend, but left some crucial advice on design. “To be green and not look green I think is going to be a crucial part of this business in the future.”

 Many new explorer designs were presented and discussed throughout the show, with Rosetti’s CEO declaring that “Explorers especially is an area where we are investing time, money and passion,” and Nobsikrug unveiling a new 56m hybrid with Vripack Design. However, what would have caused goosebumps was Espen Oeino discussing his in-construction explorer REV, soon to be the world’s largest yacht.

Record-breaking brokers

2019 has been an incredibly successful year for the brokers, with numerous records being smashed and the industry on the whole enjoying positive growth.

On day 2 of the Show, Burgess CEO Jonathan Beckett visited the Breaking News Centre where he spoke about a ‘rollercoaster’ year for his company. With high profile sales the likes of Areti and Eminence conducted by Burgess, along with the delivery of award-winning Excellence, Beckett admitted “this year will definitely be our best year by quite a big margin.”

Burgess weren’t the only brokerage to be gleaming about a successful year. Northrop & Johnson CEO Kevin Merrigan was full of praise for his team for delivering a ‘remarkable’ year. “The people who have come to Northrop & Johnson over the years are the best and the brightest and I’m very proud of them.”

Enjoying a rapid rise in recent years, TWW joined Monica Walton in the studio to discuss how the young company has developed by adhering to its own philosophy. “the whole company is double the size of last year,” explained newly appointed CEO Hein Velema. “We are still growing although we are also quite careful there. By now we have all the services, so we can deliver the full service and we still think we can grow further, but there is a limit as we don’t want it to become impersonal.”

Building Bigger

As would be expected at the largest yachting spectacle in the world, shipyards were keen to exhibit and talk about their biggest projects.

On the back of an unprecedented year in which a record three giga yachts were delivered, Benetti CEO Franco Fusignani declared it a team effort. Speaking of the shipyard’s ambitions, Mr Fusignani said “it is necessary to build bigger because it is a fantastic experience, you can impact in a positive way the production of megayachts, but it is also necessary to do this in the right way, step by step.”

New launches and flagships filled Port Hercules, Palumbo Group notably exhibiting Columbus Yachts’ flagship 79.95m Dragon. Unsurprisingly, it was Lurssen who provided the most star-studded fleet at the Show. While Flying Fox and Amadea rested out at anchor, Lurssen’s 111m TIS floated proudly in the Port. Speaking about TIS’s reception at the show, Lurssen Sales Director Michael Breman said “large boats do get noticed! She is – I believe – the longest boat to ever appear at the Monaco Yacht Show, so we are quite proud of that.”

"It is necessary to build bigger because it is a fantastic experience"

Benetti CEO Franco Fusignani on record-breaking year

"It is necessary to build bigger because it is a fantastic experience"

Benetti CEO Franco Fusignani on record-breaking year
By George Bains
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