Monaco - The trend for ever larger floating palaces has been on full display at the Monaco yacht show as the world's biggest yacht, codenamed Project Azzam, nears completion under a veil of secrecy in Germany.
Considered the most prestigious event of its kind in the world, this year's show included a record six mega yachts, notching up an average length of 80.11m. These giants of the seas are around twice the size of the average super yacht, already around 45m in length.
Blue skies, fluffy white clouds, over 130 superyachts crammed into the bay outside of Port Hercule and 90 inside the show harbour. Its sunrise on Day 1 of the 2012 Monaco Yacht Show, and silhouetted against the hazy orange horizon the three masts of the iconic 88 metre ‘Maltese Falcon’ catch the eye as always amongst the gathered fleet.
Meanwhile ashore Prince Albert of Monaco has done the opening honours and there is a definite first day buzz around the stands and the dock. Capt. John Percival of Hoylake Sea School and Council Member of the Professional Yachtsman’s Association said; “Its the busiest first day on the PYA stand that we’ve ever had!”
One big talking point was the merger of the two Palma based companies Rolling Stock and Pinmar into a single entity called Global Yachting. This was announced just in time to coincide with the opening of MYS, and had plenty of tongues wagging about how the market will receive the news. Rolling Stock MD, Rupert Savage told us; “Of course there are lots of questions, we expected that and we have all the answers. Like is it a merger or a takeover? And the answer is no, its a joint venture.”
Rupert continued; “We are both known as Spanish companies but our reach is totally global, and becoming ever more so. This is where our customers will benefit from the JV which offers increased services and geographical coverage to the yachting world.”
Day 2 saw a presentation and luncheon to update the yachting industry on progress with the Marina Port Vell project in Barcelona and the Barcelona Maritime Cluster, made up of MB92, Barcelona World Race, The Port Authority and Marina Port Vell itself.
In reply to a question from The Islander about the completion schedule of the new Port Vell Superyacht Marina, Marketing Director, Norma Trease answered that they expected to be open for business during summer 2013. This was endorsed by the vice mayor of Barcelona in a conversion afterwards, indicating it seems, that all the necessary city authority approvals are in place for construction to go ahead this winter.
In the evening a ‘Sea Changes’ event was held at the Stars and Bars restaurant by the PYA where the latest details on the MCA driven Large Yacht Code (LY3) was be divulged to a very ‘keen to learn’ audience.
The tender dock was extremely busy and displayed some very innovative new models, with plenty of sea trials being arranged for enthusiastic potential buyers. The Islander took a spin in a classic J Craft tender which had all the build and seakeeping qualities expected from the Swedish yard, and was described by one person on the sea trial as a ‘Riva on steroids’!
Another one that stood out on the dock was the colourful bright green Revolver ‘Numero Uno’. As the name implies she is the first built in a proposed series from the Italian Revolver Boatyard based on Lake Garda. At 42 ft, with a distinctive sleek Italian styling, and a top speed of 50 knots the Revolver seems to offer a unique tender delivering plenty of performance, style and comfort all in one package!
So how was MYS overall this year?
Bertrand Vogele of YPI said: ‘This year’s Monaco Show was a hive of activity – there were some excellent quality visitors in attendance and some very attractively priced yachts. We had three yachts in Show with four at anchor. We brought clients from all over the world including our Chinese offices and I’m pleased to announce that some of our clients did actually make serious offers on some yachts in show.”
Richard Lambert from OceanStyle/Burgess said: ‘Whilst the Monaco show was a very impressive forum for the showcasing of some excellent opportunities to existing clients and yacht owners there was a large abundance of trade visitors and I feel that more could be done to attract new potential yacht owners into the market.’
Hein Velema, CEO at Fraser Yachts commented: ‘The great atmosphere during the Monaco Yacht Show luckily didn’t reflect the disappointing 2012 brokerage statistics. We had offers on several of our listings and hope some of these come to fruition.’"