Maureso puts this boom down to the fact the super-rich are now looking for a controlled environment to relax in – and what could be more controlled than a yacht? Over the last year, she has noticed new trends develop, with families spending far longer on board than they ever did before, and children getting homeschooled from the upper deck. There is also a drive from owners to explore new far-flung destinations from the comfort of the vessel.
Given this rise in sales, are hugely expensive events like this one in Monaco even necessary? They are certainly pleasant – most of my interviews took place on the hot, sunny upper decks of a yacht with a glass of champagne in hand – but commentators have argued all year that the pandemic would spell the death of fair, while industry insiders pointed to the fact that the market has worked even better than usual, despite all events being cancelled in 2020.
“The past 18 months have shown that you don’t need a yacht show to buy a yacht,” says Maureso. “Modern marketing tools like 360° walk-though videos and detailed, video conferences with brokers, captains and other experts have allowed buyers to identify their perfect yacht, some even going on to purchase the vessel without ever having set foot on board. However, nothing beats the first-hand experience of walking through one. Buying a yacht is like buying a home; it’s visceral, the chemistry has to be right. That said, I believe the format of yacht shows will naturally change, perhaps with fewer exhibitors and more focus on the yachts.”