Yacht owners that have become active on the business side of the industry have called for active changes in its models during a panel at the Superyacht Forum in Amsterdam. This follows the launch of their platforms aimed at reducing charter by slashing booking fees. "Stop your disrespect." Ahoy Club's Ian Malouf advised the market.
Attending the panel were Australian businessman Ian Malouf, founder of Ahoy Club and fresh of a $578 million exit in the waste management space, Philippe Bacou, founder of Yotha and Matty Zadnikar, founder of SeaNet. All founded yachting businesses in recent years stepping over from yacht ownership. The debate was moderated by Martin Redmayne.
According to Malouf, his primary goal is to improve the market and his secondary one is to make money. "I think we’re portrayed as a one click and you’re there business, but we have a large team and we are a full-service digital platform." Malouf commented. "We have the cheapest structure in the business and we expect it will go lower before it goes higher."
Malouf's 54m Mischief
Historically resistant to change, yachting has reacted defensively in recent quarters to the entry of these new actors. Malouf described their behaviour as "cartel-like". According to Philippe Bacou, the market is responding aggressively due to the platforms reducing commissions.
"When you provide something that is automatic instead of manual it reduces costs. What we are doing is making savings here." Bacou detailed. "Of course, we all want to make money, but it comes down to global satisfaction."
Ahoy Club and Yotha's web-platforms power an online search of available yachts for charter, a digital booking process and communication system with the yacht and their concierge team. Thanks to automation, the companies say they can reduce booking prices by near 15%.
Bacou's 43m Philmi
“Their behaviour has been poor but expected,” Malouf described. “We’ve been treated like we’re coming into an industry of brokers who think they own the boats. Our pricing structure is cheaper and we’re being told by many that it’s not acceptable and that it is an act of price-fixing.”
When a representative from a large brokerage house asked Malouf whether it would have been better to go to industry bodies like MYBA or LYBRA and try to improve the sector from the inside, the Australian businessman responded.
"Sometimes you have to break things to fix things and that’s what needs to happen. You’re talking about joining arms and walking down the road, which we’re witnessing and it’s a behaviour that’s unpalatable. The question of why didn’t we go to the industry is the reason we are here. For you to even ask me that question is a joke."
One of Seanet's Benettis
"You expect me to bend a knee for the incumbent and say, is it ok for me to enter your industry? Well, you don’t own this industry and it needs a shake, is getting a shake and will be shaken by us. What happens in a market is you have a business and competitors come in and compete, and whoever provides the best service for the best price and for the best commodity usually ends up with the best business."
The representative responded, as the market typically retorts, saying large brokerage houses offer a knowledgeable brokers, which can't be matched by these digital platforms. Pointing out Ahoy Club has a concierge team, Malouf went further, saying some central agents won't present valid charters that Ahoy brings to them.
"A few central agents will block a charter from us getting to the owner. Our remedy to that is that we respect your CA agreement until you breach it by not recommending our choice. That’s when we’ll go to the owner – it’s simple and fair. We’ve done over 100 charter contracts so far – we make no money off the small charters but they’ll come through. You talk about building relationships and that’s what we’re doing."
Malouf, Bacou and Zadnikar all encouraged the market at the end of the debate to focus on the end client and not to skim clients for commissions. "Put your commission drive aside and focus more on what the client wants." Zadnikar outlined.
"Stop your disrespect." Malouf added on.
Matty Zadnikar comes from the safety monitoring space, having founded and run Z-Group for over 20 years. In 2014, the group was acquired by American industrial safety group Total Safety, which allowed Zadnikar to transform his yachting hobby into a business. Founding the company, Zadnikar announced an investment of €32 million to jump start SeaNet's fleet in the Med, which is based on a co-ownership model.
Made up of Azimut and Benetti yachts of up to 40 meters, the idea is to give owners an option to buy only part of a yacht and improve its efficiency. On a 93ft Benetti Delfino, priced at €9 million, SeaNet lets you buy a 25% ownership stake for €2.3m with annual running costs of just over €110,000 instead of €450,000. This set up grants buyers a total of 7 weeks of use of that type of boat in the SeaNet fleet for 7 weeks per year.
Ian Malouf built his wealth in waste management in Australia with the DADI Group that was ultimately acquired by Bingo for $578 million earlier this year. With the help of his daughter, Ellie Malouf, the two have now switched their attention over to yachting with Ahoy Club, a market that they're now positioning themselves to try and dominate.
Owner of the 54-meter Mischief, which Malouf is also marketing for charter through Ahoy from €137,650 per week in the off-season, the Australian businessman recently listed the yacht for sale at an asking price of €24 million.
Philippe Bacou also launched his yacht platform, Yotha, in 2018 after 15 years of experience on the ownership and charter side of the market. Earlier in 2018, the French businessman raised an additional €1.4 million from strategic investors to develop and launch Yotha. His 43-meter ISA, Philmi was delivered in 2014.
Roy Disney, the grandnephew Walt Disney, rescued the crew of a sinking yacht during the Transpac regatta. The boat of Roy Disney, Andrews 70 Pyewacket, which also took part in the regatta, picked up nine crew members from the sinking Santa Cruz 70 OEX boat, led by John Sangmeister.The racing committee received SOS-signal from the OEX boat at around 2 am, on July 15, reporting that the yacht’s rederpost was damaged and the vessel began to take on water.<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTranspacRace%2Fvideos%2F424508521486179%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>An hour later, the OEX crew was picked up by its rivals on Roy Disney's yacht, with no one of 9 crews getting hurt. After that, Pyewacket with the rescued people on-board and its own crew of 10, including Roy Disney, returned to Los Angeles Marina del Rey, from where the Transpac race started.With the reason of the steering axle’ breakage still unknown, the OEX yacht eventually sank. meanwhile, her owner, John Sangmeister, is an experienced yachtsman that had won the Cup of America in 1986–1987. For Sangmeister this was the eighth Transpac race.Transpac is a 2225-mile offshore race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. This year, the regatta has seen several more collisions, with Maserati trimaran Giovanni Soldini running into a huge underwater object. The crew, however, continued the race after stopping for repair.Except for OEX, 6 more hulls out of recording 90 participants, withdrew from the competition this year. Started on July 10, the regatta will see the award ceremony in Hawaii on July 26th.
July 18, 2019
Dutch court has declared the yachtbuilder Moonen Yachts bankrupt, reports International Boat Industry. The decision has been made just two weeks after Moonen had announced they had been about to close a deal with a new investor, in order to boast production.According to IBI, despite the bankruptcy procedure, the builder will continue negotiations with the potential investor. Moreover, the new potential stakeholder of the yard can even benefit from the bankruptcy, as they will be relieved of the responsibility to pay off Moonen’s debts.The name of the potential investor has been kept in secret, although some sources claim it is an Australian company. Earlier, the Mexican steel giant Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) was the main investor at Moonen. In 2015, Moonen issued a statement on payments suspension due to financial problems of AHMSA. The Mexican concern claimed, it was no longer able to finance the construction of two of the three in-build semi-custom-yachts from the Moonen ‘Caribbean’ series, with construction begun a month earlier. At the time, the reason of AHMSA’s financial problems was a 40% price reduction on steel on the international market, caused by dumping of Chinese and Russian competitors.In 2017, the top management reshuffle took place in Moonen. The new CEO announced, he began the process of restructuring the company. In 2018, the shipyard received the World Superyacht Award for the 36-metre Brigadoon, followed by an order for its sistership that should be completed by 2020.But with only one boat under construction at the asset, the board of directors of Moonen decided, further development of the shipyard was impossible without the support of a new, financially stable investor. To keep stable operation, Moonen needs to build two or three projects ranging in size from 30 to 50 meters simultaneously.
July 18, 2019
Damen SeaXplorer division has shared news, that the first hull in Damen's SeaXplorer 77 expedition series La Datcha has been transferred to Damen and Amels' Vlissingen facility for outfitting. The superyacht was launched earlier this summer at the Galati facility, with her delivery scheduled for September 2020.Designed by Azure Naval Architects, La Datcha is set to become the first private luxurious ice breaker, capable of exploring the furthest destinations possible. The six-deck expedition yacht will feature a 77-metre LOA and a14-metre beam, along with a draft of 6.5 metres, adding up to interior volume of 2,560 GT. The explorer vessel will boast a speed of 14.5 knots and will be able to break ice up to 40 centimetres thick , as long as maintain autonomy at sea for up to 40 days. Thanks to generous storage spaces, a wide range of equipment and tenders can be housed on-board, including 2 helicopters, 1 submarine, 1 VIP tender / rescue boat, 1 beach lander tender, 1 dive support tender, 4 waverunners, 2 expedition ribs and 2 snowscooters.Photo: Tom Van Oossanen via DamenThe yacht’s custom interior design by Amels and Damen will be trademarked with full height windows of the observation lounge, main saloon and the owner’s suite and an observation deck upstairs. Expedition Yacht 77 will come with hot water Jacuzzis — 1 indoor and 1 outdoor, a sauna and steam bath, massage room and a fully equipped gym.La Datcha Expedition Yacht 77’ six guest cabins, including 2 master suites and 2 VIPs, offer accommodation to 12 guests, along with a crew of 25. Each suite comes with a bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe.
July 18, 2019
This week, Italian builder ISA Yachts, a brand from Palumbo Superyachts portfolio, rolled out its current in-build 65-metre flagship project ISA Classic out of her welding shed and moved her to the outfitting stage at the Ancona facility.The vessel features exterior and interior design by Enrico Gobbi of ‘Team For Design’ who has penned several more ISA models. Within her 1,300 GT interior volume, the yacht’s layout encompasses 6 staterooms along with a convertible cabin. The full-beam owner’s suite is located forward on the main deck and a huge full-beam beach club with three opening transom doors lays right below the pool placed on the main deck.The largest ISA project so far, the 65-metre was sold to an experienced European owner in 2017. The yacht is set for delivery in spring 2021.Other news from the builder include recent sale of ISA Super Sportivo 100ft GTO with potential top speed of 50 knots, along with taking on another ambitious project, the 100-metre superyacht concept Crossbow.
July 17, 2019
Turkish builder Alia Yachts that is about to triple in size with a new facility, is getting ready to debut its 60-metre flagship superyacht Samurai at Monaco Yacht Show 2019.Launched in 2016, the vessel has received little publicity since then. She features exterior styling by Omega Architects, naval architecture by van Oossanen and interior design by Redman Whiteley Dixon, combining top northern European design with Eastern yachtbuilding capability.Alia President Gökhan Çelik has commented:We’ve been sitting on the superyacht industry’s best-kept secret for the last three years. In terms of overall design and construction quality, Samurai demonstrates what we’re capable of and I’m delighted we finally have this opportunity to show her off to the yachting world.The exterior profile of Samurai features bold vertical windows, elegantly arched superstructure and long aft overhangs. Thanks to her sleek lines, a high-volume interior of 1,050 GT is disguised, mostly inside the hull.A spacious beach club and gym with fold-down transom door and side platform, a tender garage with room for two custom tenders of up to 7 metres, the crew quarters, crew dinette and pro-spec gallery, are all to be found on the lower deck, besides the engine room.The main deck provides accommodation for 10 guests across four cabins and a full-beam, forward-facing master suite. The staterooms, open-plan main salon and dining room benefit from natural light and sea views thanks to the full height windows. A stairway on the aft deck provides direct exterior access to the beach club below.As well as the wheelhouse and captain’s cabin, the bridge deck provides space for ample alfresco lounging with dining for a full complement of guests, a fifth guest suite, and a panoramic lounge on the open foredeck.Techno wise, the yacht is capable of a top speed of 21 knots and a transatlantic range of 4,250 nautical miles at economical speed. The power comes from twin MTU 16V4000 M73L engines, complemented by patented Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) by Van Oossanen. Alia Yachts was founded in 2008 by Gökhan Çelik, together with his business partner Ömer Koray, in Antalaya, Turkey. Its purpose-built facilities are equipped for cutting-edge yacht construction in carbon-reinforced composites, steel and aluminium up to 60 metres. The shipyard recently completed an expansion of its facilities, adding 16,000 sqm, increasing production capacity and allowing larger yachts to be built entirely under cover. Photos via Alia Yachts
July 17, 2019