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Quick Q&A: Tommaso Chiabra, CEO and Founder of Royal Yacht Brokers

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Written by
Laura Nicholls

The wolves of yachting are out hunting day and night for the most beautiful superyachts to bring to the market. Royal Yacht Brokers do business with a slick image and young dynamic and are currently representing six luxury yachts on the market, including the newly delivered 38.36-metre Custom Line 120, O, which is where SYT meets with company CEO and founder Tommaso Chiabra onboard during the Dubai International Boat Show to admire the fresh staterooms that have yet to be slept in, and talk about how the wolves of yachting came to be.Tommaso Chiabra Photo: Tommaso ChiabraTommaso, tell me about your background and how you came onto the yachting scene.

My partner and I founded Royal Yacht Brokers in 2011. I am from Genoa, so I grew up by the sea and it became my passion. What else was there to do apart from joining into the business of yachting?

Once I started to approach the yachting industry, first with a supplies company, it fast developed into brokerage. We already had a network of clientele and we moved into many locations such as Monaco, London, Turkey, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Los Angeles and we are soon going to be in Hong Kong hopefully during the third quarter of 2019. We want the Chinese market to be our next hub as much as America is.Custom Line 120 yacht O at the Dubai International Boat ShowPhoto: Tom van OossanenWhat is your opinion on the market, especially during 2018?

I think 2018 was steady. It didn't fluctuate too much but I believe the market won’t grow unless there is a major economic appreciation of the market - which I think everybody is expecting. 2018 was quite conservative as people are apprehensive after the big crisis and are more conscious before committing to large purchases or huge constructions.

Have you seen a change in client demographic?

The demographic is younger, way younger. I see that the demographic is growing because technology is allowing a lot of people to make a lot of money at a younger age. The world is much faster. I believe the clientele is also more multicultural now and we also believe that the Chinese yachting culture is coming. Similarly to how the Russian culture has adapted to yachting: 20 years ago we said they didn't appreciate yachting and cruising as much as Europeans, but now they have adapted to it more than us!Custom Line 120/02 in Monaco Photo: Aurélien Herman / SuperYacht TimesThe image of Royal Yacht Brokers is fresh and fun, what is so unique about the company compared to other brokerage companies?

The old model of brokerage has a separate sales broker and charter broker. My team work united and the sales, marketing, leads, client relations, customer care, research and analysis have to be conducted by them all. It is a different way of thinking, and that's what I think has led us to this point of being so successful and fast growing.

When I started in this business I saw a possibility because people were very old school - they were not responsive. There are brokers who are happy with their clientele so they don't feel the need to go the extra mile or answer their phone after work hours. This is what a young and ambitious person would do naturally! Custom Line 120 Vista Blue cruising in the BahamasPhoto: Ferretti GroupWhat interest have you had for the Custom Line 120O?

Yes, people come on board and see we have a boat that is completely new and delivered only a few months ago. The owner has never slept on board but it is still sold as a used boat! The owner decided to buy a bigger 50m+ second-hand boat whilst he was building O. It was emotional, but he and his family are happy with their new boat.     

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