“There has never been a better time for clients and owners to build that longcherished superyacht project.” This was the message of president Michael Breman at the annual general assembly of the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) on 21 September 2010. Held in the Hôtel Hermitage on the day before the opening of the Monaco Yacht Show, the event was very well attended and saw various speakers provide detailed information on the current state of the large yacht sector. The existing board of SYBAss was also unanimously reelected for a three-year period and two new members were welcomed to the association (Horizon Yacht and Sanlorenzo).
Opening the general assembly, Breman reflected on how prescient it had been of the world’s leading superyacht yards to join forces in 2007. “As the yachting industry has been affected by the economic downturn since 2008, it has been of great value that the world’s most experienced superyacht builders could collectively address the challenges they face,” said Bremen. “It has ensured that all our members are in a prime position to serve superyacht owners in the future.”
The meeting also looked at the various successes achieved by SYBAss over the past three years in its keynote areas of interest, namely promotion, professionalism and regulations. In the latter field, SYBAss technical director Chris van Hooren detailed the association’s role in effecting changes to the forthcoming Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).
“Working with several other industry bodies and many SYBAss members, we were able to present a clear case to MCA as to how the new MLC would reduce guest accommodation on superyachts by up to 40 percent,” Van Hooren explained. “MCA has in turn presented a paper (TWG 95) to ILO that takes into account the specific needs of superyachts. This is a good example of how SYBAss represents our industry’s interests in the world of maritime legislation.”
Reasons for cautious optimism in the superyacht market were outlined in a presentation of the SYBAss Economic Report by Rutger Mohr from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). “The industry needs to prepare for a two-speed world where different regions experience different degrees of growth,” explained Mohr. “There will also be a dual speed recovery among UHNWIs and a clear flight to quality in the superyacht sector as the upturn gathers pace.”
Mohr’s clear and comprehensive elucidation of these conclusions was supported by an in-depth report given exclusively to SYBAss members. Attendees were also presented with details of the annual SYBAss statistical report by SYBAss project manager Robert van Tol, while Raphael Montigneaux of Boat International Media elaborated on an analysis of activities by non-SYBAss members.
Show time for SYBAss
Other guest speakers included Gaëlle Tallarida, MYS managing director, and Andrew Doole, VP & COO of Yachting Promotions Inc, who gave an overview of the upcoming shows in Monaco and Fort Lauderdale respectively and their plans for partnering with SYBAss now and in the future.
Tallarida was presented with a special ‘SYBAss Avenue’ signpost to mark the success of the dedicated SYBAss member area at the Monaco show, which made its debut in 2009 and has been further extended at this year’s show. A similar approach is being taken at FLIBS, with the 2010 event having for the first time a special preview evening exclusively for the guests of SYBAss members on the eve of the show (Wednesday 27 October).
Election of the board
According to the articles of the association, the board of SYBAss serves a three-year term before coming up for election at the general assembly. All the current board members were candidates for re-election and this motion was confirmed by all members present. The SYBAss board for the period 2010 to 2013 consists of Michael Breman (Lürssen Yachts), Fabrizio Sgariglia (Perini Navi), Vincenzo Pogerio (Benetti), Billy Smith (Trinity Yachts), Koos Zitman (Feadship) and Theo Hooning (secretary general) .