Chairman’s Message 20 July 2021

We are into the second half of 2021 and the boating industry is reporting a marked recovery from the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are seeing an impressive rebound, especially in the superyacht market which has gone from strength to strength. Sales of new and second-hand superyachts are at levels comparable to the bumper year of 2018, so there are definitely some positive vibes for the industry.

Sanlorenzo Asia, a division of Simpson Marine, has just announced the sale of a new build Sanlorenzo superyacht for an Asia owner, and Sevenstar Yacht Transport has never been busier. In this newsletter they provide some tips on what you need to know when transporting yachts around the world. Whether you are new to the industry or an old hand there will be something of interest to everyone in the HFW Yachting Industry Briefing which can be download from their website, and new APSA Member LJ Fiduciary looks at Corporate Yacht Ownership and its benefits. From Hong Kong, Colin Dawson reflects on how the recent fires in Aberdeen have shaken the yachting community, highlighting the importance of insurance for yacht owners, and Asia Pacific Boating’s July/August issue looks at the future of sailing in Asia.

Travel continues to be a complex issue to navigate, with travel bubbles constantly changing and restrictive lockdowns still happening (especially ‘Down Under’), which all create a mood of uncertainty.  But there are some parts of Asia are are opening up to superyachts and Thailand’s ‘Phuket Sandbox’ programme, which has just been launched, is definitely some welcome news for the region. In the UK, where I am currently based, the superyacht industry seems to be moving forward apace, and APSA will be present at the Monaco Yacht Show in September. Please let us know if you are planning to be there!    

Digital and social media platforms continue to be an important way to engage with a wider audience, and APSA is exploring some exciting new ideas for the second part of the year. One of these is a new fast-growing storytelling platform called PeckaKucha, which means “chit-chat” in Japanese. The ’20-20’ format consists of 20 image-based slides, each automatically advancing every 20 seconds, with a sound track. These time-based talks have grown organically into a global live event series attended by 3,000,000 people in 140 countries. We anticipate that this new initiative will provide APSA with another digital platform to follow on from the APSA Grand Tour series which started our 10th Anniversary celebrations earlier this year.

Another element of APSA’s year-long 10th Anniversary celebrations is the launch of our Founding Members Interviews. Over the next couple of months, we will be talking to each of our active founding members who have contributed to the growth of the Association – in this newsletter we start with current Chairman (me!).  I have been interviewed as one of 45 Founding Members who came together to form the Association in 2011.

One of those Founding Members is no longer with us: it is with great sadness that APSA has learned that Daragh O’Higgins from Techworx, passed away in June this year. Our condolences go to his wife Kay and the Techworx team in Phuket. APSA will be looking at ways to support Daragh’s legacy, by acknowledging professionals who have helped to grow the superyacht industry in the Asia-Pacific region. It is the professional commitment of people like Daragh O’Higgins that laid the foundations for the success of the industry and our Association.

Stay safe, keep connected, and hopefully see you soon!

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