Five experts from different facets of the yachting industry talk to Ocean Independence about how the yachting experience has evolved and what we can expect from the next generation of superyacht enthusiasts.
Families have hugely influenced the superyacht experience over the past few years. An expanding family has often been the catalyst for buying or building a larger yacht but increasingly familial considerations are also influencing everything from yacht design to crew choice. Yachts are designed with flexible spaces that can be converted into playrooms, children’s cabins have adjacent rooms for nannies, there are large garages with the latest toys, and sometimes school rooms. Even charter enquiries today regularly centre on the needs of the children rather than the principal guests – the exciting toys and family-friendly destinations.
Today’s clients want a connection with nature and yacht design needs to reflect this. Beach clubs bring them closer to the water, fold-out balconies open up master staterooms and expanses of glass let panoramas in. Health has also become important over the last decade, with more requests for wellness areas, gyms and spas as well as bathrooms with therapy showers, horizontal showers, steam rooms.
I think the future will see more, larger semi-custom projects built on spec. These make up around 57% of the global fleet over 24m right now, but 66% of the order book. There is a clear trend towards faster, better value production and I expect the semi-custom phenomenon to creep up the size ranges – just look at the success of Amels’ larger Limited Editions.
The next generation will drive change within the industry. They spend longer periods on board and yacht designs will adapt accordingly. If I am cruising for a long time, I want the same amenities I have at home – entertainment systems, streaming services, high speed internet. My generation primarily communicates via apps; responses are instantaneous. In future, this kind of technology will play a larger role in charter booking.
Many next generation clients have been privileged to have had plenty of past yachting experience but their idea of luxury is slightly different. They are focused on functionality, quality and longevity and not necessarily the prestige. They want the yacht to have fun features, be ergonomic and to have technological advancements, like hybrid propulsion systems, world-class cinema facilities and high-speed internet.
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