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Live from Palma: Interview with Arne Ploch

Events

Organised by the Balearic Yacht Brokers Association (BYBA) and in partnership with MYBA The Worldwide Yachting Association, The Palma Superyacht Show is currently in their 3rd successful year.

The journey began with BYBA president and CNI broker, Arne Ploch, together with friend and colleague Mark Handler of Ocean Independent. Starting out with just the simple idea of putting some boats together in the newly opened Port Adriano and with an expectation of only five or six boats on show, the first event turned out to be an unexpected success. 35 boats turned up, including local brokers Burgess, Johnson, Dahm and Fraser Yachts.

Shortly after that Port Adriano started to get busier and busier, just as the Palma Boat Show was cancelled. Ploch and Handler seized the opportunity to join forces with the 30 year old show and so the Palma Superyacht Show was born. Though the lines between a purely business to business event or business to client event are a little hazy, with 42 yachts in its second year and approximately 55 in 2014, the partnership evidently worked.

With such a successful collaboration, it has been questioned why not join up with the superyachts club to create an event like the Superyacht Cup. Ploch answers that, “The Superyacht Cup is a regatta, it’s not so much a brokerage show. We have a problem in this whole area which is draught. Only the big sailing yachts can be on this STP side, the boats with draughts above 4 metres. It would be nice to join together and make it larger, but this needs more time.

Run entirely by brokers, this show is a little different to other boat shows. The Palma Superyacht Show marks the potential beginning of a whole host of shows put on purely as a marketing tool for the brokers and the yachts, and a fair way to organise a show at cost price with the whole industry working together.

Ploch comments, “It’s an industry organised event without any need to make money. We cannot lose money, it cannot cost us money but everything we make here goes back to the exhibitors. The price for the berthing of the boats is really low and all the exhibitors work very closely to make it a success. We don’t make money here and I think that’s the way forward on these shows, there’s not so much money involved in the industry anymore.

Out of the 50 yachts on display, 30 are sailing yachts, something Ploch insists is unintentional - even though his market as a broker is predominantly motor yachts, Palma is a centre of sailing yachts. With the Balearics reputation as a good charter destination, he suggests that charter may make its way onto the show in the future as well as a more even mix between sailing and motor.

Although Ploch’s dreams of expansion over the next 3 to 5 years don’t reach quite as high as the heights of the Monaco Yacht Show, he is assured that the Palma Superyacht show will continue to grow and remain an exciting pre-season show.

By Merijn de Waard

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