Shipyard update: How Nobiskrug is working through Covid-19

Written by Laura Nicholls

Over the first five months of 2019, the superyacht industry celebrated 53 sales of new-build projects over 30 metres. For the same period in 2020, 34 new-build sales have been recorded on SuperYacht Times iQ - an unsurprising figure given the current worldwide pandemic. However, having kept in touch with a large cross-section of the industry during this time, SuperYacht Times has found that the majority remain optimistic that business will soon bounce back. With this in mind, SuperYacht Times spoke with Nobiskrug’s Sales and Marketing Director, Fadi Pataq, via Zoom from the South of France, about the yard's sales and activities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mogambo yacht at Nobiskrug ShipyardPhoto: Guillaume PlissonGiven the current situation, Nobiskrug’s sales numbers are, of course, different this year. But having sold a good number of projects over the last few years, how important is it for Nobiskrug to sell more in the near future?

We were fortunate in 2017 and 2018 to have signed around five projects, which was very positive. There was a slight slowdown in 2019, but two commitments were still on the table which we were hoping to sign in 2020. Unfortunately, with the current crisis, we can’t expect those clients to move forward. We're not expecting much out of 2020 but will maintain these contacts and commitments so hopefully, when things pick up they can come alive again. As far as new enquiries are concerned, we haven't seen anything new this year. I think we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it all depends on what happens with the upcoming season. We remain hopeful!Artefact yacht by NobiskrugPhoto: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesThe effects of covid-19 on the economy are mostly quite negative. What are your thoughts about this? How is it affecting your clients?

It will affect a lot of clients. In our case, not being able to travel is quite difficult as the clientele we deal with are all hands-on and very experienced. As far as new clients are concerned, we've seen an influx from the tech sector. I would say that half of our order book is from this industry. These clients are a little bit more aggressive during this time, but only because they're looking for a good deal. If they find one, they'll chase it. It's a double-edged sword in a way, and these reactions vary on what business these individuals deal in. Nobiskrug clients are mostly from Russia and the Middle East and have their business in oil, gas and retail and the hospitality business.Black Shark yacht hull transport to Nobiskrug, Rendsberg Photo: Jeff BrownIn the news recently, the German Naval Yards Kiel - which has the same parent company to Nobiskrug - has confirmed a partnership with Lürssen to bring their naval shipbuilding capabilities together. Does this have any impact on Nobiskrug?

This partnership has no impact on yachting. For a bit of background: the German naval shipbuilding industry was very fragmented. So the Lürssen and the Safa families got together and agreed they needed to consolidate naval activities within Germany under one joint venture. It's a positive move, and for Nobiskrug it has strengthened our position in Germany.Nobiskrug yacht Artefact launch in RendsburgPhoto: NobiskrugDo you think there is room to grow the market in yachting? How can we do this?

Judging by our new order book, which is full of new owners who have never owned a yacht before, there is certainly room to grow. These new owners have come through the charter market and decided to start a new-build project. I also think there a lot we can learn from the tech sector - we need to pay more attention to this industry. 

This interview was part of the 14th SuperYacht Times Webinar. If you missed out, catch up via the video found below. All past and future SuperYacht Times Webinars can be found here.



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