My visit to the 2017 Cannes Boatshow can be categorised as a success. I considered myself very lucky that my hairdresser had availability when I walked in without appointment the day before flying to the Côte d’Azur. Because, madre mía, the waterfront avenue Le Croisette is a very Dolce Vita affair! Looking at all the people in the ridiculously long entrance queue (due to a poorly organised security check) one could assume that the show was welcoming a serious clientele.
On day 4 of the show, the head of sales of a very successful Pocket Superyacht brand whispered to me in French that they sold 2 yachts on the show. I spoke to a lot of sales representatives and brokers. They all had one or three prospects in the pipeline. And most importantly, they seemed relieved to learn about Invisible Crew’s services! Really, relieved! One of them looked like he had been waiting for me his whole life! That made me chuckle.
But they are absolutely right to be concerned. Established brands seem to be selling with relative ease. New brands in the 50ft to 80ft range are popping up left, right and center. And existing brands that used to build yachts up to 50ft are now offering larger yachts. And the question that remains, and often seems to be an afterthought is: “Who is going to crew all these yachts?”
It’s easier and faster to build a yacht than a quality Pocket Superyacht crew member. So we are looking for new blood! If you are passionate about both sailing (motor or sail), enjoy looking after people, hospitality-wise and have professional yachting experience one way or another, we need to hear from you!
Every healthy business is based on an ideal, a vision. Ours is to create worry-free Pocket Superyacht owners. The industry (yards, brokers, crew,…) cannot afford to have owners disillusioned, or worse, aggravated with their ownership experience. Yet this happens so often. I started Invisible Crew after meeting two owners who sold their yacht within 2 years after investing over 2 million euros “in the industry” and were never coming back. If owners are ill-informed they will believe that they can simply manage the yacht on their own.
The first thing an owner needs is someone experienced enough to select the right crew for them. But for Pocket Superyachts, simple crew selection is not enough. It is an entry-level market for both crew and owners, so there is generally a lack in experience from both sides (crew and owner). Under the right guidance, and we have proven this, crews who take full command of a yacht for the first time in their careers, can be highly successful.
If the owners are truly worry-free, they might start dreaming of bigger boats. As an extreme example one of my clients bought a Jeanneau 64 while he was dreaming of an Oyster 885… He ended up buying an Oyster 125! Equally, crew need to start somewhere before they take the helm of a +100ft yacht.
So bottom line is that the Pocket Superyachts are important for the industry and we have to look after these owners the best we can!