The luxury of private mobility is extending beyond land and into the ocean with the rising demand for yachts in Asia. “There is a strong preference for yacht ownership in Asia and a tendency towards new, or very recently built yachts,” elaborates Mark Woodmansey, Burgess’ yacht broker.
“Owning and using a yacht is no longer just about having a holiday,” he says. “With huge developments in communications and connectivity, the world is smaller than ever before and we are seeing a number of our most experienced owners now using their yachts as a mobile office and/or home, where they can host business guests, take board meetings and conduct their business affairs, while also being able to explore wonderful cruising grounds with family and friends on board.”
Cruising through the waves with a private space to boot is indeed a tantalizing mode of travel; and Burgess is in the mission of kick-starting this opulent lifestyle by providing world-class services to new boating additions, catered specially to the Asian market.
Woodmansey divulges more about the realm of yachts, and what to take note of before investing in one.
How should a new buyer select his/her first yacht?
It is key for a first time buyer to get a good overview of the market to understand what is on offer and to start thinking about how he or she wants to use their yacht. Is it for entertaining or exploring off the beaten track? Is it for cruising with family? Do they want to berth it locally or keep it in a popular cruising destination? Do they want to use it only privately or put it into charter? It’s also sensible to buy something that is easily accessible as a first step into the yachting market, enabling a new owner and their team to manage, run and enjoy the experience of yacht ownership. Ideally you also want to look for something with a good resale value.
When it comes to purchasing a yacht, what are other factors that should be taken in consideration?
The importance of good ownership structure, flag state selection, insurance coverage and crew are the biggest things to take into consideration when purchasing a yacht. Professional yacht management is another key offering to the new owner. The operational and technical management, crew, accounting, safety and security and operations of the yacht can be administered by a management company who support and validate the day to day operations of the captain and report directly to the owner and his/her team.
What are some things one should consider in order to find a yacht that fits their personality and lifestyle?
The key consideration is brokerage or new build. For most owners, there will be a time when the only real way to satisfy the yacht owning itch is to build their own yacht to their specifications. A good build management team, with naval architects, ex-captains, marine engineers and project managers will make sure that the build specification, the selection of shipyard and the subsequent build and delivery of the yacht are the enjoyable and rewarding experience that the owner expects.
What are the most common yachting destinations in Asia that you have noticed?
Asia boating is based around the three main hubs of Hong Kong, Singapore and Phuket, and the cruising grounds that are reachable from there. As the yachts get larger and the interest in boating deepens, we are seeing exciting destinations such as Raja Ampat and the Komodo Islands coming into play as well as more far flung areas such as the Okinawa Islands of Japan, Palau and Saipan. We have already seen in the past 12 months that Thailand has real potential to become the main hub of boating in Asia with good progress on the route to foreign-flagged yachts being able to operate for charter in Thai waters.