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September 28, 2011

The 2011 Monaco Yacht Show, the pinnacle of the superyacht industry calendar, had a strong presence from Australia with Superyacht Australia launching the new Australia Unlimited brand.  Nicholas Baker the Australian Government Senior Trade Commissioner based in Paris attended the show supporting the Australian companies present.

The general reaction from Australian companies at the show was that they saw a positive trend with business more widespread than in recent years. Given the general view that the global economy continues to appear fragile this upward trend was welcomed by AIMEX and Superyacht Australia members. Despite the high Australian dollar companies exhibiting at the show enjoyed strong enquiries and were all happy with their outcomes. It was very obvious there is a lot of interest in Australia and Australian manufactured products.

MaryAnne Edwards AIMEX & Superyacht Australia CEO said “there was a continuous stream of visitors to the stand who wanted more information about cruising in Australian waters and all made positive comments regarding the new Australian branding and the quality of the products being displayed. The new marketing booklet was extremely well received with all booklets gone by the morning of the final day and all USB sticks containing the GSR gone within the first 2 days.”

“The key barrier to more superyachts coming to Australia is distance and this was reinforced by the majority of Superyacht captains I spoke to. The interest is there, and many captains are keen to persuade their owners to venture our way. Having relationships with other key Asia Pacific destinations is critical so we can make the journey to this region attractive and provide key information regarding stop over options. It is also critical to make sure that we are on an even playing field when captains and owners are choosing destinations. Superyacht Australia is currently lobbying government on a number of issues in this regard.”

This year’s event welcomed a number of new vessels and new launches. Cakewalk, at 86m the largest superyacht ever to be constructed in America, made its debut appearance at the show. It was the largest yacht in the marina, alongside Seven Seas, the 86m Oceanco 2010 build. Continuing this theme, Pendennis chose Monaco to premiere 44m Hemisphere, the world’s largest catamaran.

It is sales that drive the industry and the frequent blaring of horns across the marina suggested that sales were made which is good news for the industry here and overseas. There were rumours of several big purchases among these deals with the introduction of many first-time buyers to the market. Nomade was sold in advance of the show, whilst yachts such as Shooting Star and Quinta Essentia were a hive of activity across the four days.

Matthew Johnston Muir Winches commented that “there is a greater feeling of optimism regarding the Superyacht market and there are a number of new projects we are following up. Enquiries at the show have been better than last year and having the new Australia Unlimited branding and a professional stand in such a great location is certainly ensuring we have a significant presence at this show.”

Looking to the future, many companies chose this year’s show as a platform to unveil their latest concepts, with established names such as Feadship, Oceanco and Amels showcasing new designs. They were joined by the likes of Odyssey, RF Yachts and Wider, which introduced its first ever superyacht project, the Wider 150 to the market.

It is hoped that the optimism generated at Monaco will transfer to FLIBS and METS where AIMEX and Superyacht Australia will have strong representation.