Britain’s Luxury Yachts in Wake of Brexit
David Cameron spoke of Great Britain as if the nation were a boat, saying he’d step down from being “the captain”. Winston Churchill’s 1930 quote, ‘If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea’ has been heard often as a suggestion that the war hero would have backed Brexit. The fall in sterling since Brexit means that the UK has become a bargain marketplace for foreign property investors. The exchange rate also increases interest in British luxury yachts.
Whether you’re seeking your super or mega yacht, selecting your family boat or just attending a regatta or boat show, summer is the prime time to get out on the water.
Britannia’s Rich Maritime History Continues
Britannia ruled the waves a hundred years ago when two-thirds of the world’s ships flew the British flag. The industry sank steadily after the second world war, then was almost undone in the 1970s and 1980s due to a general economic downturn in British industry. South Korea, Japan and China are now the world’s biggest boatbuilding nations. No longer launching giant liners, the British boating industry remains a global market player.
Britain is the 5th largest global producer of leisure, superyacht and small commercial boats, launching 10,120 vessels in 2014. Howard Pridding, CEO of the British Marine Federation (BMF) is optimistic about Britain’s boating future: “Britain has a worldwide reputation for design, innovation and quality, this has made us a force in leisure.” BMF members employ over 31,000 people, contributing almost £3bn to the UK economy.
Custom Designed Yachts Built in Britain
With nearly 30 years of yacht building experience, Falmouth’s Pendennis is the go-to company when you need your yacht refitted or wish to order your new custom designed sail or motor yacht. Pendennis’ annual turnover is between £32m - £35m. The boatyard is one of a handful of remaining British builders crafting 6% of all superyachts.When considering the cost of your superyacht, bear in mind the rule of thumb of €1m per metre in length, or around £840,000, with today’s exchange rate. A global fleet of 4,476 mega yachts (30 metres or more) sail the seas today, with an average value of $10m (or around £7m).
To illustrate the impact of currency fluctuations on a purchase of this size consider that exchanging 10 million dollars for pounds on June 27 yielded £7,563,000. A week prior when the paired exchange rate was lower, that $10m only got you £6,715,000. The exchange rates increase sales of British luxury boats, whilst paradoxically paring the profits.
Come Aboard a Princess Yacht, Made in Plymouth
The elegant lines of Princess’ V62 S are set off by a sociable cockpit with a fully equipped wet bar and barbecue - the ideal venue for your next summer event. The sunroof glides open, transforming the entertainment area at the touch of a button.
Below deck, her generously proportioned lower saloon has a 40” LED HD TV, and an expansive dining area adjacent to the large galley with a full sized fridge/freezer. The yacht sleeps six, with en-suites in the stateroom and both guest suites. She is all yours for £1,175,000 before VAT.
Princess was forced to restructure after a year that battered British boat makers. Hurricane force winds causing hundreds of millions of pounds of damage to the South West combined with unfavourable euro to sterling exchange rates for losses of £11.3m in 2014.
The Timeless Luxury Experience
The luxury yacht industry caters to the top tier of global wealth, known as Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals, they are an elite club of individuals that have been studied by venerable British firm Campbell & Nicholsons. Crafting yachts since 1782, they were “learning the ropes when Napoleon was still in school”.
According to their market analysis, 211,955 UHNW persons have assets collectively worth $29.9 trillion. Their yachts are often worth more than their over-the-top opulent homes ashore. Wealthy Americans own a third of the world’s biggest yachts, wealthy Brits the second largest share at some 11%, according to Campbell & Nicholsons.
“The superyachts brokerage market has shown signs of recovery for the past few years, with the number of sales in 2014 and 2015 increasing significantly since the economic downturn of 2008,” said a sales broker at Camper & Nicholsons.
This Summer’s Best Boating Events
The seas are also open to those without Roman Abramovich’s budget. Pendennis’ restored 1937 Malahne is available for charter for £112,950 or €135,000 a week plus expenses. The 50 metre classic motor yacht has painstakingly re-crafted art deco interiors. The six cabins generously accommodate ten guests and an eleven-person crew. A rare pre-war yacht is now refitted with iPads in every room, a modernisation that would baffle former guests Grace Kelly and Liz Taylor.
Seeking something slightly less ostentatious? The best sailors and fastest boats are at the America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth from July 22-24 where a day ticket is just £25. Or decamp to the Isle of Wight for the regattas during Cowes Week from August 6-13. Southampton features Britain’s biggest boat festival, drawing over 500,000 people from September 16 through 25. Order your advance ticket for just £20. While you’re there, indulge in a tour of the new Princess V62 S yacht because you never know when your ship might come in.