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.
Italian builder Codecasa has launched a 43-metre Project 122, the latest superyacht in their Vintage series featuring a 43 meter hull. The yacht was initially launched in summer 2018 at the company’s Viareggio facility, and is to be delivered to her owner in May 2019, after sea trials.The yacht with a beam of 9 metres and a maximum draft of 2,6 metres attributes a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. Engined by two Caterpillar 3512C of 1,650 HP, she reaches her maximum speed at 16,5 knots. At the same time, with a comfortable cruising speed of 11 knots, she boasts a cruising range of 4,000 nautical miles thanks to her fuel capacity of 65,000 litres.Project 122’ interior design concept was developed by the Codecasa team. The concept implements a combination of elegance and modernity, with predominance of light and neutral colours applied to natural materials.The yacht’s accommodation capacity amounts to ten guests within 5 cabins, including the owner’s full-beam suite. The latter is located on the main deck, featuring two en-suites. As to the staff, there is accommodation space for up to 9 crew members on-board.In contrast to previous 42-metre versions, Project 122 boasts a Sun Deck Jacuzzi and a Captain’s Cabin situated on the upper deck. The yacht’s on-board tender storage holds a Zodiac rescue boat and a Castoldi 21 jet tender. Codecasa is planning to display the yacht at the upcoming Versilia Yachting Rendez-Vous, held in Viareggio in May. Meanwhile, the company's yard is busy constructing two more vessels, a 55-metre and a 65-metre projects to be finished later this year.
February 19, 2019
During the recent Miami International Boat Show 2019, a new product from the series of collaborations between Mercedes-AMG and Miami builder Cigarette Racing Team was released. This year’s model was inspired by Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Coupe, featuring the same colour patterns and design motifs.This 12,5-metre racing boat has been christened 41 AMG Carbon Edition. One of her most significant features is carbon-fibre construction developed by Cigarette engineers in order to resonate with Mercedes model. It is evident, that Carbon fibre becomes a new trend among fast boats structure materials, for instance, as it is in the latest Pershing 8X. Still, the constructors claim, their new model is one of a few boats of that kind, where carbon is used as not complementary but major constructing material.Cigarette Racing Team’s president Skip Braver emphasises that from his point of view there are not so many differences between cars and boats. “Just as they did with the car, we lightened the boat without sacrificing performance. We modified the design by lowering the centre of gravity and used carbon fibre across the whole boat,” he said.The innovations introduced in hull construction enabled the builders to make the new boat 227 kg lighter than previous 50 Marauder AMG powerboat built in collaboration. 41 AMG Carbon Edition lays on sandwich construction with carbon-fiber structural layers around the boat’s lightweight hull. The deck and hardtop are also made of carbon fibre.Daimler AG and Cigarette work together on design concepts of all AMG boats. This year’s edition transmits the colour patterns of Mercedes saloon, easily recognisable in the boat cabin, with a prevalence of red and black. It is noticeable, that normally dark colours, especially black, are avoided in boat upholstery design, as they easily get hot in the sun. Within this boat, the dark colours can be used due to upholstery materials featuring cooling ability, that can decrease heat up to 30 percent.AMG 41 is equipped with Mercury Racing 400R engine of 1,600 horses. Thus, the boat is capable of reaching her maximum speed of 72 knots with 8 passengers on-board. Meanwhile, she cruises comfortably at around 55 knots with a maximum capacity of 20 passengers. Due to carbon materials used in the construction, a hull becomes firmer, lowering the boat’s flexibility and the “feeling of ship motions” even at the highest speed.Hull construction for such models normally takes about 8 months, including 2 months set aside for painting. Hand-stitched upholstering also takes more than a month. During the process, the project goes through multiple approval stages, so that it would finally satisfy both parties involved in the process.According to Braver, the two brands have already started working on their next joint project. “It feels like mutual admiration and when we hear them talking, it seems like they feel the same. It’s an honor to be partnering with them,” he concludes.
February 19, 2019
Italian builder CRN has recently announced sale of their new project, a 60-metre superyacht with custom aluminium hull yet assigned to number 141. She is going to become the newest project produced from CRN’s partnership with Nuvolari & Lenard design studio, that has been lasting for more than 50 years.CRN Ancona facilityThe design of the model was developed by the yard’s technicians, while interior and exterior concepts were finalised by the studio. Thus, CRN Project 141 is conceived to feature advanced high-tech solutions and dynamic lines in design concept. The new vessel will be built at CRN’s Livorno facility. She is scheduled for delivery to the owner in 2023. Further details and renderings of the project will be released as soon as they become available.CRN Ancona facilityCRN, being a part of the Ferretti Group, specialises in design and construction of fully custom aluminium and steel yachts with LOA of up to 100 metres. The company’s Ancona facility, where all the CRN megayachts have been built, occupies almost 80,000 square metres. At the moment, the yard is busy building four fully custom CRN yachts, including recently sold 70-metre CRN 139 yacht devised by Vallicelli Design. At the same time, 18 custom line models of 30 to 42 metres in length, two 50-metre Riva and two Pershing 140 units are currently being constructed at the yard.
February 18, 2019
Italian yacht builder Viareggio Super Yachts (VSY) has released new renderings of their 63,8-metre superyacht Project 003, currently being under construction at the company’s facility in Viareggio. The vessel sold in 2016 is now going through final constructing processes, while the delivery first planned for September 2018, has been rescheduled to the beginning of 2019.The yacht’s exterior design has been developed by Espin Oeino. With a beam of 11 metres and a draft of 3,15 metres, Project 003 features total 915 square metres of guest areas. Within that space, she offers accommodation to up to 12 guests, with the staff of up to 16 members on-board. There are six cabins, including the master suite with panoramic views and outdoor terraces.Interior design concept was commissioned to Darnet Design studio based in France. The design was inspired by the owner’s previous yacht, with the focus put on spacious rooms and warm colours, visible in leather panels and polished marble. Key interior motif is implemented in decorative steel and nickel panels resembling coral reefs, that will reflect the owner’s passion for scuba diving. Furthermore, Project 003 is equipped with on-board diving centre for 12 people at a lower deck. At the same time, the sundeck will be equipped with bar area, infinity pool and fire pit.Project 003 will be powered by a pair of 2,682 HP Caterpillar 3516B engines. Thus, she will reach her maximum speed at 17 knots, and cruise with a range of 5,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. The naval architecture by Laurent Giles studio is featured with bulbous bow, for better seakeeping under rough weather conditions.Although this yacht is named Project 003, it is in fact the fourth VSY superyacht. However, number 3 represents the conceived evolution of similar models Candyscape II and Roma. At the moment, the yard is also busy working with Siemens and Lloyd’s Register on hydrogen fuel cells technology for their 65-metre project Waterecho.
February 18, 2019
Italian shipyard’s ambitious superyacht project launched on February 5, 2019 at the company’s Livorno facility has been yet christened Project ZOZA. This 107-metre yacht with a displacement of more than 5,500 GT, and a 17-metre beam was reportedly thought over by the owner, an Australian billionaire James Packer, nine years ago. Photo: Instagram/@giorgio_casettaThe concept was developed in cooperation with Burgess Technical Services from the start on. Different designers were involved in the planning of exterior design concept that required a long process. Hugo van Wieringen from Azure Architectes and Reymond Langton Design, as well as Benetti’s designer Giorgio M. Cassetta had contributed to the project, while Zaniz Jakubowski from Zaniz Interiors finalised exterior and interior outlines of the yacht.The core idea of design concept was creation of see-through spaces, which would have given unhindered panoramic views from any part of the vessel. Significant amount of glass used in the construction and simplified structures serve that purpose on the vessel of steel hull and aluminium superstructure. Moreover, ZOZA’s six decks provide many alfresco zones in the sun or in shade. On the main deck, guests will find dining and lounging spaces, under the shelter of superstructure, while a private deck leading to the helicopter pad with a refuelling station, is located above. ZOZA operates on diesel-electric propulsion system with 2 Azipods and 2 massive bow thrusters. The propulsion package is based on the most modern technologies and allows vibration-free navigation in complete silence. The yacht can silently operate on her batteries for up to 12 hours without an engine running. The air conditioning system is something to be mentioned, too, as it is regarded one of the biggest fitted to a vessel of that kind, with cooling capacity of nearly 3,000 KW. In order to enable construction of superyachts of that size, Benetti have invested a lot in their yards recently, meaning the infrastructure, organizational, safety, and security matters. The company has added a two-shed expansion to their Livorno construction facility and have also set up the Giga Yacht Construction Programme attracting expert employers to the brand.
February 15, 2019