Opinion: All is not lost for UK superyacht industry post-Brexit

Written by SuperYacht Times

This guest article was written by Joint Managing Director of Pendennis Shipyard, Mike Carr.

The UK is a true powerhouse in the global superyacht industry: its diversity and scope of skills, talent and ability is far greater than many may imagine. It is not just made up of easily-recognised brands such as Sunseeker, Princess Yachts and Pendennis. Its reach goes far deeper and wider, with world-renowned designers and naval architects, component manufacturers, legal and insurance services, classification societies (Lloyds and MCA) and a network of organisations that provide training and career development to thousands of UK captains and crew. Mike Carr SYUK, the representative body and an organisation which I was proud to be Chairman of a few years back, reported that the sector had achieved year-on-year growth over the past seven years – no mean feat.However, I don’t think that anyone in the UK would disagree with the statement that the past few years have been unsettling at best. Firstly with the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and more recently with the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.M5 yacht sailingPhoto: Giuliano SargentiniNo industry likes uncertainty in the marketplace, especially one that is as interconnected and global as ours, with supply chains and services stretching across continents and borders. During the early days following the UK’s decision to leave, Pendennis was asked by several clients to write Brexit clauses into contracts to protect their projects from any negative repercussions. However, as time has gone by and the situation has become clearer, the need for such protection has fallen by the wayside and we have seen a return to business as usual. I am sure that many of our industry colleagues have experienced the same.Pendennis shipyardPhoto: Rupert PearcePendennis sees itself as an international business, with strong ties to mainland Europe, the USA and beyond. Nothing supports this statement more than our investment into the marina and associated shipyard in Vilanova Grand Marina, Barcelona in the autumn of 2018. Two years on, this international venture continues to surpass all previous growth predictions, with many clients returning for their third and fourth visits to the facility. We have a multi-lingual team based on site who are dedicated to delivering the highest standard of service and skills that our clients are accustomed to at our UK home base.

The UK superyacht industry has every reason to anticipate a vibrant future ahead. At Pendennis, it is our hope that now Brexit has been concluded and our future relationship with the EU is more defined, we can capitalise on this and look for further opportunities to grow and invest into our businesses both at home and abroad. Whether or not we agreed with the decision to leave, if we can focus on the positives of Brexit and look for the opportunities that it may bring, the UK superyacht industry will be all the better for it.

This article was originally published in the Spring 2021 issue of The SuperYacht Times newspaper. To receive all future issues straight to your door, subscribe to the newspaper here.

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