On the 23rd of March, members of Superyachts industry gathered at Corinthia St George’s to attend the 10th Annual Conference and discuss opportunities available within this ever-evolving market. Throughout the day, attendees were invited to network and listen to panel members from a variety of businesses involved in superyacht sales, chartering, crew training, engineering and management as well as hear talks from experts in legalities; insurance; taxes; regional regulations; sustainability and more. Those seeking knowledge on cutting-edge technologies or new trends made sure not to miss out on dedicated discussions from leading vendors providing comprehensive solutions for customisation, multirole performance and safety assessment.
The superyacht industry is no stranger to challenges and opportunities, and the recent conference held in Malta was a testament to that. The Hon. Aaron Farrugia, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, opened the conference with an insightful introductory speech that highlighted the importance of the industry, not just for Malta but for the world at large. What followed was a highly anticipated panel discussion that was engaging and thought-provoking. The discussion was entered around the major challenges and opportunities within the superyacht industry, and it was fascinating to hear from experts who shared their expertise and experiences.
The discussion led by the insightful panelists, Ken Hickling of Riela Yachts, Marco Hurrle from Melita Power Diesel, Rory Jackson of Vessels Value, and Richard Hekker of OPES JET, delved deep into a crucial topic - the impact of global events and the economy on the market. The panelists provided valuable insights on the challenges and opportunities presented by the dynamic market, ranging from the use of technology and regulatory compliance to sustainability measures. The insights gathered from the panel discussion shed light on what tomorrow looks like for the marine industry and the crucial role that innovation and adaptability play in navigating the constantly evolving landscape of the industry.
The issue of onboard fires has been a growing concern in the world of transportation, specifically in aircrafts and yachts. It was a surprising and intriguing topic that was brought up during the event. The discussions entered on whether or not Lithium-ion is the main culprit behind this rising trend. The implications of such fires on insurance policies were also discussed thoroughly. The knowledgeable panel members – Elliot Bishop of Shoosmiths, Mike Wimbridge of PANTAENIUS UK LTD, Richard Selby of Maritime Aviation and Dr Peter Mansi from Fire Investigations UK – went into detail about ways to reduce the risks of onboard fires and how to effectively extinguish them should they occur. The information presented was not only educational, but also mind blowing, leaving attendees with a greater appreciation for the serious nature of the issue at hand.
A group of esteemed professionals from various law firms and tax service providers gathered in one panel to discuss the ever-changing landscape of taxation around the globe. Led by Dr. Alison Vassallo of Fenech & Fenech and joined by Janet Xanthopoulos from Rosemont International, Alex Chumillas of Tax Marine & Aviation Spain, Carla Bellieni of Piana Illuzzi Queierolo Trabattoni, Jean-Philippe Maslin of Richemont Del Viso Avocats, and Maja Ban of MYS Croatia, the discussion focused on the impact of current world events on their field of expertise. In addition, the panel tackled various topics related to taxation in different jurisdictions, providing valuable insights for businesses and individuals alike.
The recent discussion on cyber-security, held by expert panelists Alexandre Bayeux, Vincent Huens de Brouwen, Kurt Schrauwen, and Andrew Douglas, shed light on the importance of protecting ourselves from digital threats. While the panelists covered the significance of cyber security in the aviation and yachting industry, they also emphasised the ways in which we, as individuals, can unknowingly expose our personal information through our mobile phones and online activity. It was eye-opening to learn how these actions can have unintended and severe consequences, not just for us but for the companies we are associated with. The insightful video that followed demonstrated how easily we can make mistakes and overshare our daily lives, and reminded us to be vigilant in safeguarding our privacy. In today's digital age, this discussion was a valuable reminder that we all play a crucial role in protecting our personal information. We all ended the discussion by jotting down “Don’t be a Dave!” A joke that is only understood by those that were present but had a crucial meaning.
As the attendees returned from their lunch break, they eagerly awaited the presentation by sustainability expert, Ken Hickling. The room was buzzing with energy as Ken took the stage and began to educate the audience on the importance of sustainability in the superyacht industry. He expertly highlighted not only the importance of preserving the planet, but also how sustainable practices can benefit the industry financially. One of Ken's points that really stuck out was the fact that neglecting even the smallest steps towards sustainability could result in losing out on business opportunities. As the presentation came to an end, the audience left feeling enlightened and motivated to implement sustainable practices in their own vessels.
Monaco has long been known as the playground of the rich and famous, with luxurious casinos and extravagant yachts dotting its pristine coastline. However, there is more to Monaco than just opulence and excess. Janet Xanthopoulos, the head of the Marine and Aviation Division, recently discussed how Monaco is becoming the capital of advanced yachting initiatives. With its state-of-the-art facilities and focus on sustainability, Monaco is leading the way in revolutionising the yachting industry. From innovative designs to eco-friendly practices, the principality is setting a new standard for advanced yachting. As the rest of the world looks on, Monaco continues to lead the way in luxury and innovation.
Art on Board is a fascinating topic that has piqued the interest of many, including industry professionals and collectors alike. Recently, Pandora Mather-Lees from Art on Superyachts, along with her business partner Tilman Kriesel and Michael Burle from Liberty Global Group, delved into the intricate world of art on board. Through engaging stories and discussions, they shed light on the impact of the pandemic and instability in Ukraine on the niche industry, as well as the importance of insurance for vessels that house valuable art. This professional team provided informative and creative insights into an often-overlooked aspect of the high-end art world.
As the conference entered its final stages, a team of experienced experts took the floor to discuss the state of the global marina and refit industry. With decades of combined experience in the field, Quentin Bargate, Pierre Balzan, Roberto Perocchio, Joe Degabriele, and Michael Mifsud explored a variety of topics, ranging from the needs of marina owners, captains, and staff to the current and future state of facilities around the world. From the demands of discerning clients to the challenges posed by ever-changing regulations and standards, this team of thought leaders left no stone unturned in their quest to help attendees better understand the intricacies of this essential and rapidly-evolving sector.
The atmosphere was electric as attendees gathered to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the annual Opportunities in Superyachts conferences. The Chairman's inspiring speeches and remarks left everyone feeling positive and fulfilled, highlighting the incredible achievements of the industry over the past decade. As the event came to a close, attendees were treated to an impressive cake to top off the celebrations. The conference was expertly organised by Quaynote, and we would like to thank them for their insightful and well-run events. Congratulations on 10 successful years of bringing the industry together!