Fraser Sells Most Yachts for 8th Year Running: 2017 in Review
2017: A Fine Year to Celebrate 70 Years in Business
The dominance of Fraser as the world’s leading luxury yachting company continued in 2017, as the brokerage sold more yachts than any other for the 8th consecutive year. The company’s 70-year anniversary was also marked by a raft of other successes, including a strong summer charter season, a rapidly expanding management fleet, some exceptional new-build projects, and a record-breaking placement record by The Crew Network. Nevertheless, the year has not been without its challenges, with the devastating hurricanes impacting the winter Caribbean yacht charter season and new build orders slowing in certain sectors.
However, the outlook for the industry in 2018 is overwhelmingly positive and Fraser has taken a resolutely future-focussed view, establishing many superb partnerships to ensure that the brokerage’s offering to clients remains the finest in the industry and the marine environment is preserved for generations to come.
Fraser is proud to present the following statistics, which summarise the brokerage’s activity across all sectors in 2017.
Yacht Brokerage: Sales Record Continues, with M/Y ULYSSES a Highlight
In a fantastic year for superyacht sales, Fraser excelled once again, selling more yachts than any other yacht brokerage worldwide and maintaining market dominance for an eighth consecutive year.
The superyacht industry as a whole enjoyed a near 10% rise in yacht sales in 2017, with Fraser outperforming the competition by selling over 50 superyachts, including the sale of the spectacular M/Y ULYSSES.
Sailing yachts for sale have been the surprise performer in 2017, with a jump from 11% to 14% of the brokerage market. Yachts in the 24m-30m range continued to sell strongly with a 14.5% growth rate on the previous year, and yachts in the ever-popular 40-50m range were also in demand.
The large superyacht market suffered, particularly in the 60m-70m range, with four yachts sold by Fraser in 2017 compared to 15 in 2016. Fraser is proud to report, however, that the sale of M/Y ULYSSES was logged as the most significant transaction of 2017.
Based on the current market condition and last year’s trends, Fraser predicts a positive outlook for luxury yacht sales in 2018.
Yacht Charter: Summer Bookings were Strong & New Cruising Grounds Beckoned
It was a positive year for the Fraser yacht charter management division. If all the charter yachts booked by Fraser during 2017 were lined up, bow to stern, they would stretch for 20kms – almost all the way from Nice to Monaco! Fraser overcame the industry’s slow start up until the summer to secure over 3,700 days of charter bookings in total, with particularly strong results in the months of July and August.
Sadly, the hurricanes that swept through the Caribbean in September 2017 caused mass destruction. As a result, charter bookings were dampened for the winter season. Thankfully, most of the islands are recovering fast and many islands are as pristine as ever. Fraser has been heavily involved in hurricane recovery efforts, aiding with supplies and aid transfers, as well as fundraising efforts across the world.
The interest in new and exotic cruising grounds continued to grow in 2018, to the extent that there was a lack of yachts in remote locations to service the demand. This is an extremely exciting development, with the superyacht cruising map increasing its reach across the globe, and endless possibilities becoming available for charter clients.
America remained the strongest charter market for Fraser, accounting over 40% of the charters booked. The most popular charter yachts fell into the 5-10 year age range. Fraser’s longstanding connection with their clients was highlighted by their impressive rate of repeat business, with 48% of bookings made my returning charterers.
Yacht Construction: Stable Overall
The new-build market remained durable, with 113 yachts deliver worldwide in 2017 – the largest vessel of which was the 142.81m S/Y A. There are currently 409 yachts over 30m under construction worldwide. While the 50m-60m yacht-building sector has enjoyed a 112% increase in figures, the other size ranges have all fallen slightly, with new orders slowing down across the board.
Fraser not only signed several large new-build yacht orders in 2017, but the project management team also delivered a stunning 74m vessel. The team was also responsible for the coordination of a 124m refit project. Several more refit and conversion projects are on the books for 2018.
Italy and the Netherlands remain the dominant players in yacht construction, with 174 yachts in progress in Italian shipyards, and 56 yachts on order in the Netherlands. Globally, there are 129 shipyards currently working on superyacht construction, and one-third of all yachts being built are currently offered for sale.
Yacht Management: A Growing Fleet, Increased Demand for Services
In 2017, 18 yachts joined the Fraser management fleet. A growing industry trend saw yacht management services sought in increasing numbers, as clients sought to gain operational efficiency and remain compliant with maritime regulation.
As legislation becomes increasingly complex and yachts continue to grow in size, operational assistance from yacht management companies is progressively being viewed as vital for the smooth running of both large and small yachts. The Middle East is the fastest-growing market that is requesting yacht management services.
Crew Placement: Changing Times, Changing Methods
Fraser’s crew placement division, the Crew Network, enjoyed a phenomenal year, with record placement results worldwide.
The crew placement industry is experiencing rapid change, with the Crew Network adapting seamlessly to the rising importance of social media and online technology in marketing and recruitment practices.
Additionally, with many yachts over 70m now classed as passenger vessels, the Crew Network took the bold move to dominate the large yacht recruitment sector. The Crew Network has also begun to offer professional recruitment methods from the corporate and military sectors, such as psychometric testing for senior officers.
The Crew Network is dedicated to building a solid talent pipeline for the future, with efforts including collaborations with the Italian Yacht Chef Association and the establishment of the Italian Yacht Stewardesses Association.
70th Anniversary Celebrations: A Year of Partnerships
Fraser’s 70-year anniversary was not marked by parties, but by partnerships. Many collaborations were established with companies that align with the Fraser brand and its vision for the future. The brokerage’s aims were to provide unprecedented levels of service and to raise awareness for environmental issues affecting our oceans.
Fraser joined the fight against plastic pollution in 2017, partnering with the charity Plastic Oceans, as well as Can O Water, who are producing a stylish, recyclable aluminium drinking can that is set to replace disposable plastic bottles that are currently used on luxury yachts.
Fraser and Porsche teamed up to deliver a luxury supercar service to Fraser clients at events in France and Florida. Moreover, Kettal, the designer furniture brand, decked out the Fraser lounge at the Monaco Yacht Show in luxurious furniture.
Fraser also announced an exciting collaboration with Zingraf Real Estate Christie’s, which enables Fraser clients to access luxury real estate for sale and rent all around the world.
Always Looking Forward
Fraser enjoyed great success in 2017, which perfectly celebrated the company’s 70-year anniversary. However, Fraser always has an eye on the future, with a positive outlook projected for 2018 and ongoing efforts that are underway to build a strong, prosperous, and environmentally responsible future for the yachting industry for years to come.