This years long awaited edition of the Monaco Yacht Show took place last week after the raft of cancellations in 2020. There were doubts whether Informa’s pre-eminent industry gathering would take place at all, but after the successes of Cannes, Genoa and Southampton, and the introduction of strict safety protocols, it was all systems go in Monte Carlo.
With only marginally less visitors than 2019, the docks were buzzing throughout the event with the COVID measures causing minimal disruption and the sun shining over Port Hercule the global yachting community once again converged en mass to connect after what has been a phenomenal time for shipyards and brokerages (but more on that later..)
Over 80 vessels attended with an average size of 54m. The largest was Benetti’s flagship M/Y IJE measuring in at a colossal 108m, and she was by no means the only mega or even gigayacht on display. Other standouts included Rossinavi’s 70.2m ultra luxury ice-class vessel M/Y Polaris, the largest construction in the Italian shipyard’s history. 2021 Feadship new launch 94m M/Y Viva, dominated with her open beach house styling courtesy of Azure Yacht Design and Studio De Voogt and low emission hybrid diesel-electric powered engine. Turkish shipyard Bilgin Yachts showed their prowess with the exceptional 80m M/Y Tatiana, whose standout features include the huge duplex spa and beach club located on the aft with phenomenal interior design by long term collaborator H2 Yacht Design.
And lastly, the vessel that turned the most heads at the Monaco Yacht Show 2021 had to be the multi-award winning 80m M/Y Artefact, launched in 2020 by Nobiskrug. Meeting all exacting IMO tier III regulations her groundbreaking architecture and exterior styling by Gregory C. Marshall truly sets her apart even amongst the world’s most spectacular launches. A steel composite superstructure houses an unprecedented floor-to-ceiling glass central section and 740 Sqm of glasswork weighing in at almost 60 tons, creating an unconventional and original silhouette. It is clear for all to see why she was awarded the Motor Yacht of the Year accolade at the World Superyacht Awards just before showing at Monaco. (For those eagle eyed yacht spotters out there M/Y Artefact made her way to Palma straight after the MYS!)
After a global period of uncertainty, both buyer and charterer interest in superyachting has skyrocketed. The SYBASS Economic Report claimed that “The fog has dispersed”.
According to Boatpro 2021 sales stand at 461 year to date with more recently announced, including the sale of 66m B.Now Oasis from Benetti, the largest model in the range. The strength of the market was further affirmed by the sheer number of clients clamouring for visits throughout the Monaco show. ‘’It is great to see clients having such confidence in the industry, we have seen this throughout the summer with strong sales and over 550 charters contracted, we are almost at record figures.’’ said Toby Maclaurin of Ocean Independence.
The story at the shipyards further echoed this optimism with order books and sheds full. Arthur Brouwer, CEO at Heesen said at their press breakfast which kicked off proceedings at Monaco ‘’We, as an industry, are already close to exceeding the total number of yachts sold in the whole of 2020, and at Heesen, we plan to contribute to exceeding that figure in 2021!’ Brouwer also noted that the renowned Dutch builder had ‘’sold nine yachts and delivered six in the last 18 months’’ and that ‘’the superyacht market is back to the dynamic times of the early 2000s.’’
So far so good, but what did the shipyards and designers have in store to quench the appetite for newer, larger, more innovative and sustainable superyachts?
Tankoa’s Albert Mancini designed 76m Apache concept had the wow factor with its 9.5 metre glass bottomed ‘flying’ pool, a feature which has never been attempted on a superyacht foredeck, and with a massive 125 square metres of beach club.
“ I wanted to avoid the typical cave dark effect seen in many beach clubs,” says Mancini. “Apache’s beach club design is not just an area for accessing the sea to be enjoyed only when anchored during the day; it is fully integrated with the main deck salon so it can be used day or night as an extension of the outdoor living space.”
Over at Feadship their 81.75m future concept ‘Pure’ showcased the shipyard’s commitment to sustainable, zero-emissions technologies with a fuel flexible engine room that would be ready for a future transition to carbon neutrality.
Its sleek five deck design includes a striking double height glass atrium and inside-outside configuration conceived by Studio De Voogt. The yacht also features a somewhat controversial lower deck pilothouse where Captain would command the vessel with no direct line of sight instead using radar, AIS, maps, depth sounders and cameras strategically placed around the yacht presented via an augmented reality platform. A configuration more common on naval vessels and submarines, but on superyachts? This no doubt will become an ongoing industry talking point for some time to come.
Also during the MYS and somewhat closer to home, MYBA announced a 3 year extension to its contract with Barcelona’s Marina Port Vell ; bringing the eponymous charter show back to the Med after a two year absence. So we can expect a full back to business calendar of yacht shows in the spring of 2022.
The jewel in the yachting crown definitely shone at the Monaco Yacht Show this September and if current predictions are anything to go by, a fortuitous future lies ahead for the global yachting industry.
By Lucie Gardiner