29 June 2018

Big Boats and Serious Buyers at The Superyacht Show 2018

Spring has taken on a decidedly Spanish flavour in the yachting industry – not only are yacht charters in Spain increasing in popularity but the country is becoming a veritable yachting hub; with Barcelona and the Balearics hosting three yacht sales and charter shows almost back to back over a busy few weeks in late April and early May.
Along with long-established events such as the MYBA Charter Show and the Palma Superyacht Show, this year was particularly exciting as it marked the premiere of The Superyacht Show, hosted by LYBRA (the Large Yacht Broker’s Association), an association that Fraser, as the world’s leading luxury brokerage, is a proud member of.

After a whirlwind May, the team at Fraser has finally come back down to earth with a chance to reflect on and review The Superyacht Show – an event which, in going back to basics, has disrupted the traditional yacht show format.

The Superyacht Show 2018

Barcelona 2-5th May

This was the show that had the whole industry talking since plans were unveiled earlier in the year. The largest superyacht brokerages in the world united to showcase the finest yachts for sale and charter. An exclusive concept where only two things mattered: the client and the yacht.

Held in the superb OneOcean Port Vell in Barcelona, a world-class marina in the heart of one of the most vibrant cities in the world, LYBRA delivered what it set out to achieve in launching The Superyacht Show. A promise to strip away the distractions that have become typical of today’s brokerage shows.

While there is definitely a need for occasions where Owners - and potential Owners - can visit yachts and meet with representatives from brokerage houses, shipyards and a variety of ancillary service providers all in one place, such as the Monaco Yacht Show, with The Superyacht Show LYBRA has also identified that there is space in the busy boat show calendar for a more intimate affair. One that focuses on yachting as a lifestyle rather than a business.

In announcing this brand new format, LYBRA Secretary General Eric Blair said: “Boat shows are great for professional networking, supplier meetings and B2B discussions but the most important people, the yacht buyers themselves, have started drifting away. Our members wanted to go back to basics where the real stars of the show are the superyachts.”

Fraser at The Superyacht Show – “Quality over Quantity”

Over four days, from May 2nd – 5th, over 1200 brokers and buyers descended on Barcelona. They were able to visit 22 yachts for sale and charter between 40m and 80m+, presented by eight leading global yacht brokers: Fraser, Ocean Independence, IYC, Northrop & Johnson, Burgess, Edmiston, Merle Wood & Associates, YACHTZOO. For LYBRA organisers, this reception surpassed first edition expectations. “This show is all about quality, not quantity” commented Jonathan Beckett, President of LYBRA, in a statement to the press.

Fraser presented five yachts for sale: M/Y SAINT NICOLAS, M/Y OKTO, M/Y APHRODITE A, M/Y ANASTASIA and M/Y LATITUDE as well as M/Y JAGUAR and M/Y BACCHUS for charter. The luxury Fraser stand was the perfect location to host clients for meetings or a coffee after visiting the stunning yachts on display, the ambience of which was enhanced by the chic furniture provided by Fraser partners Kettal.

A select group of luxury lifestyle partners were invited to attend, including Airbus Corporate Jets, Airbus Corporate Helicopters, Aston Martin, Triton Submarines, Mandarin Oriental, BOAT International, The Financial Times, BWA Yachting, and Boutsen Design.

For Broker Maarten Ten Holter, from Fraser’s Monaco office, the chance to have more time for clients was greatly appreciated. “The Superyacht Show is much more personal which allowed me more one on one time with my clients,” he explains. “Overall the show felt much less hectic than other events and with less of a B2B aspect. The quality of yachts was also very high.” He also applauded the choice of location. “Barcelona is a great city, easy to reach for clients from all over the world.”

A relaxed atmosphere prevailed across the show and along with viewing yachts, attendees were able to mingle over a glass of Champagne and live music. Corporate branding was replaced by a chic yet relaxed aesthetic to again emphasise the luxury yachting lifestyle rather than the business of yachting.

When asked what they found so refreshing about the format of The Superyacht Show, Fraser brokers overwhelmingly responded time. As sales broker, Antoine Larricq told Boat International: “Other shows can be such big events, there’s too much pressure, too much rushing from one place to another, too many things to do or to see. Here you’re less pressed with time — we are here to show beautiful exclusive yachts, in total discretion, to a selected number of clients.”

For Larricq, he was thankful to have the opportunity to devote the time that each yacht deserved to a viewing. He was able to tell each yacht’s story, using that of M/Y SAINT NICOLAS, the 70.25m Lürssen launched in 2007, as an example. He told Boat International how important communicating the yacht’s unique background – in this case, only one owner, the same Captain for a decade, private use and impeccable maintenance – is in the yacht sales process.

Buoyed by the success of the inaugural edition, plans are already underway for 2019’s The Superyacht Show. Along with ten new berths, a few more luxury partners will be invited to participate. Some things, however, will stay unchanged: the back to basics formula and the location. “The average yacht length on display was far greater than what is normal in a typical yacht show and our marina is a perfect facility to accommodate vessels of that size,” General Manager of OneOcean Port Vell Ignacio Erroz commented in a statement to the press after the show. “With both the MYBA and LYBRA shows taking place in OneOcean Port Vell, we are now firmly on the map as a major superyacht destination.”

In fact, further emphasising Barcelona’s increased importance in the industry, Fraser was delighted to open a new office in OneOcean Port Vell in April – we are the first brokerage house to do so. By assuring the full range of Fraser services are available in this vibrant city, our dedicated team continues to ensure our clients and yachts are supported, when and where they need us.

LYBRA: Driving Change

Who is LYBRA? The Large Yacht Broker’s Association, commonly referred to as LYBRA, is an association for superyacht brokerage companies who have yachts with an LOA greater than 30m in their Central Agency fleet. By offering the world’s most influential yacht brokerages, such as Fraser, a platform to come together to discuss issues of current and future concern for everyone in the yachting industry, LYBRA aims to champion positive change and improvements in yachting around the globe. Learn more at www.lybra.org.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s edition of The Superyacht Show and hope to see you there! For more information, contact a yacht sales broker at Fraser today.