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SuperYacht Times reveals market research at 2019 Seatec refit seminar

Events
Written by
Saskia Henn

Held every year in April, the Seatec exhibition for yachting, boating, and shipping technology takes place in Marina di Carrara in Tuscany, the centre of the largest superyacht production district in Italy. Organised by IMM CarraraFiere, which has collaborated with the Italian Trade Agency for the past three years to produce the exhibition, Seatec is the only event dedicated to this sector in Italy and southern Europe. 

Seatec exhibition 2019Photo: SeatecAt this year’s exhibition, SuperYacht Times’ intelligence team hosted a seminar in which they presented their research about the refit market for the first time. Over the past two years, the SuperYacht Times team has tracked the market for 40-metre plus yacht refits, culminating in 1,254 shipyard visits by 816 yachts to 100 different shipyards in Italy, the United States, and Spain among several other countries.

Seatec exhibition 2019Photo: SeatecSeminar kick-off by SuperYacht Times

The event kicked off with a presentation about the market by the founder of SuperYacht Times, Merijn de Waard, and the media company’s Head of Intelligence, Ralph Dazert. The presentation started with a snapshot of today’s superyacht market: currently, there are close to 5,000 yachts over 30 metres in operation. The past two years have seen around 190 new sales per year, with the length of a sold superyacht averaging 45.1 metres and the volume averaging 709 GT. The presentation continued with a focus on the refit market, touching on both market data and the challenges faced by SuperYacht Times in charting the refit market.

Seatec exhibition 2019Photo: SeatecPanel one

The findings from the presentation by De Waard and Dazert generated a discussion about how to create an industry-wide definition of a refit and how to get shipyards involved in sharing data. As was noted in the deliberations with Alberto Perrone Da Zara from Lürssen and Daniele Di Giampaolo from Amico & Co., it may currently be challenging to encourage shipyards to share their data due to competition and privacy concerns.

Seatec exhibition 2019Photo: SeatecPanel two

The second panel focused on the role of the yacht builder in the refit process and included input from the founder and director of JMS Yachting Franc Jansen, Andrea Carlevaris from ACP Surveyors and Stephen Hills from Pendennis Shipyard. All members came to the conclusion that owners should plan their yachts’ refits as soon as possible, but they also recognised the difficulties that can arise with such long-term planning due to uncertain cruising plans and the amount of unexpected extra work that is often generated by for example a survey of a yacht.

Seatec exhibition 2019Photo: SeatecPanel three

The seminar concluded with a panel about superyacht refit trends by Alberto Perrone Da Zara from Lürssen, Pierre-François Lepoutre from Monaco Marine and Stewart Parvin from the new refit shipyard Cantiere Rossini

They discussed several notable topics, including the feasibility of scrapping yachts. The panel and audience agreed that, due to owners’ reluctance to spend money to scrap their yacht, as well as the difficulties shipyards have profiting from the process, scrapping is not necessarily a worthwhile endeavour. 

The second topic of discussion was made up of an analysis of the different business models of various refit yards, as well as an examination of the increasing involvement of newbuild yards with the lifecycle maintenance of the yachts which they built.  

Seatec exhibition 2019Photo: SeatecSuperYacht Times’ refit seminar highlighted a number of increasingly relevant developments in the refit market and brought forth a variety of important ideas for how to approach it in the future. Merijn de Waard commented on the company’s findings, “the refit market is a growing market, but there are hardly any useable statistics. Before we can even begin collecting the information we need to understand the market fully, which is not easy. 

He reflected on this year’s Seatec exhibition, adding, “for us today was a very good moment to learn more from different experts in the field and to understand how we can help to bring this sector of the market forward. It has also been great to work with the Seatec team and I want to thank them for helping us to arrange this.“

In the words of Fabio Felici, President of IMM-Carrarafiere, organiser of Seatec,"we are very proud to have hosted in our exhibition an event of such technical importance for the sector. The SuperYacht Times team has perfectly grasped our incentives to produce the first report on the refit world with a view to shedding light on this crucial production segment, both for the Italian and for the international marine industry. 

"For this reason, we want to thank everyone involved in the project for having developed a seminar specifically to this aim, inviting a panel of prominent experts who have brought their contributions to the topic by illustrating different perspectives for the development and advancement of the sector."  

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