Fair winds for bigger S'pore Yacht Show

The Singapore Yacht Show is back in town, bigger and more vibrant than before.

With Singapore and the region being the new hot markets for the global luxury boat sector, manufacturers have brought their latest designs to town.

Andy Treadwell, managing director of the Singapore Yacht Show (SYS), which is being held at the ONEĀ°15 Marina Club until Sunday, said that this year's show has twice the number of boats on display compared to last year.

He has already seen a lot more genuine buyers this year since the show opened on Thursday.

Hank Compton, director of international sales at Grand Banks, said: "The 2014 financial year was one of the strongest years for new boat sales in Asia-Pacific in more than 10 years. Through direct sales efforts, along with the help of our dealer partners, we have delivered six new boats in the region, including two boats in Singapore.

We are thrilled with this result and expect this trend to continue into the foreseeable future."

Indeed, the growing wealth in the region has fuelled the demand for luxury items, including yachts.

The Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report 2013 released earlier this week showed that there is a growing interest in yachts among the region's 4,690 ultra-wealthy individuals, who have a combined net worth of US$625 billion (S$782 billion).

Wealth-X chief executive Mykolas Rambus highlighted this at the Asia-Pacific Yachting Conference 2014 here on Tuesday. He pointed out that superyacht owners are generally 30 per cent wealthier than owners of private jets, and that only 7 per cent of luxury asset spending in the region went towards yachting last year versus the global average of 16 per cent.

Also helping the industry here is the fact that the yachting clients in the region are generally younger than the global average and are receptive to new lifestyle experiences.

Mr Treadwell said that with the luxury boat markets in the West slowing down since 2008, companies are now seeking new markets.

Since Asia needs one proper boating show to rival that of its Western counterparts, Singapore, with its infrastructure and connectivity, was the obvious choice. He added that even buyers from China come here to purchase their boats.

BT reported last week that Grand Banks has decided to unveil its strongest line-up ever with three new luxury motor boat designs.

Simpson Marine announced their largest display to date at the SYS, including two luxury yachts from Italian-designed yacht brand Monte Carlo Yachts.

Paul Whelan, general manager of Simpson Marine, said: "We definitely foresee better sales at this year's Singapore Yacht Show with 2014 starting off on a good note. Yacht sales this past year have been upbeat for Simpson Marine with nearly 30 new and used boats sold in the 12 months to January 2014."

The interest is also growing with local companies. Hong Seh Motors, the distributor of Maserati cars in Singapore, has also been distributing Riva boats and Cranchi yachts here. Yesterday, it announced its appointment by the Ferretti Group as the exclusive authorised dealer for Ferretti and Pershing yachts in Singapore. Its new office is strategically located at OneĀ°15 Marina Club.

This article was published on April 12 in The Business Times.

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