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Is the Economic Downturn Good For Yachting?
Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2009 7:17 PM
Joined: 23/10/2008
Posts: 12

While I was in St. Maarten I noticed an interesting trend. There were very few dayworkers walking the docks. I stayed at the main marinas in St. Maarten, and only once while I was on deck was I approached by a dayworker. This was odd to me because there were hundreds of large yachts in St. Maarten, however, it seemed very few unemployed workers to go with it.

Now the vessel I was on, a large 150' trinity motoryacht, had hired a temporary stew, who had been in St. Maarten for about 3 months looking for work. She was well involved in the dayworker/crew house/unemployed crew scene in St. Maarten.

I took it upon myself to ask her, where were all the crew looking for work? She replied that many of the crew had left already back to their respective home countries/normal careers. It seems that the lack of jobs, had in fact encouraged people with "normal" careers in waiting to give up on yachting. She further went on to say that most of the wannabe young crew, who were just giving yachting a shot, had given up on it and moved back home.

Perhaps, the economic downturn is in fact good for this industry. Maybe it has separated the wheat from the chafe in the sense that it is starting to whittle down those who are not truly dedicated to this industry. The dreamers and wannabes, seem to be running out of money as are the legitimate crew, and are deciding that its time to go home and pursue other careers.

This is good because it leaves the industry with only those crew who are truly dedicated career yachtsmen and women, instead of demanding greenhorns looking for a paid vacation. This might be just the thing the yacht industry desperately needed in order to clean up and further professionalize its ranks.

What do you think?

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Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2009 7:40 PM
Perhaps the only ones sticking it out have trust funds and the means to support themselves for a longer period of time! Duh. Wheat from the chaff? More like how much money do you have saved to live on till you get a job. Used to be that you could fly into a place like St. Maarten and have a job by sundown. Not anymore. I think it's too bad that a lot of people who might have made good crew never had the chance to try it out.
Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2009 8:29 PM

Sure its good.  Rationalize the industry and bring in good business practice. 

 Also brings  some  dignity back to us old guys.  What you have been seeing for the past decade was a bubble.  50 percent of the people on the water had no business being was not their passion

Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2009 8:39 PM
Ya,  couple years ago  during the BOOM a yachtbroker asked me to drive a yacht on a sea trial for a customer.  Everything when cool  but the guys accountant was not happy.  He needed to hide a big stack in an offshore asset and this yacht only cost 3 million.  To solve the problem the broker sold him two yachts.  Sounds cool but you guys had to work for this fool.
Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2009 8:56 PM
And if your interested in what the future may hold for superyachts have a look over on Financial Times dot com and read   The Future of Capitalism.   Crystal ball stuff.

Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2009 9:22 PM
Will check that out. I think a lot of people thought they could make easy quick, tax free money and this is what led them to the industry. I remember getting room and board on a boat in exchange for varnish work and beer money... and thinking I was the luckiest person ever.
Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2009 9:40 PM
I urge everyone to follow the recommendation of the poster above and check out the series of articles in the Financial Times on their special section entitled "The Future of Capitalism." It is truly brilliant and not full of economic doublespeak in the least. To read it you'll need to join (free) but an excellent series. Thanks for the tip!, put future of capitalism in the search box, follow the prompts to join for free and viola the section will pop up when you get your email confirmation.
Posted: Sunday, March 15, 2009 6:02 AM

Whats interesting about the article is the almost 2 trillion dollars that the US wants to borrow from the worlds financial markets. Aside from the fact that their might not be that much money floating around, will be how the US governments appetite for cash will crowd out other borrowers.  Would be sorta like if each morning the owner of your yacht went down to the local cash machine and withdrew every dollar in the machine leaving none for you.

   I see problems with other countries saying...HEY, waite just one minute uncle sam, where are you going with our bag of cash !!!! I see money becoming much more expensive as borrowers compete for available cash.   Its has to effect the superyachts.  Id suggest to make sure your owner can afford the yacht before you go to work for him and avoid the  depressing drama of finding a new job every other year. 

Posted: Sunday, March 15, 2009 6:46 AM
New job every other year? Hah! That would be a lucky situation these days. The blame for the state of the topsy turvy economy, today more turvy than topsy, does not lie with the "Americans" however convenient it may seem to blame a particular nationality for the woes of the world. Globalization is fluid, for better, or worse communications, transportation, and education have broken barriers that thousands of miles of oceans and mile high mountains used to hold secure. The blame for the woes of the economy is on the shoulders of those titans new and old who have all forged their own Ponzi schemes, which is a funny term for an old childhood game, a house of cards. The blame for the fallen cards lies with not just the general contractor who made lots of big promises, but also with those who thought they were "in the know" and getting rich upon richer. It takes a lot of work to form a good snowball, you need to carefully work it, add snow judiciously and mold it to meet you needs. But once you drop that snowball from the top of a hill your work is done. The snowball starts growing, bigger and bigger, suddenly many people are watching that snowball. They invest in it, you become rich. The snowball keep getting bigger, you do nothing, but but it still gets bigger, more people invest in this growing snowball so it gets even bigger... do you guys get it? It's not an american (though I gotta say they appear to be the worst offenders so far) thing, it's a greed thing. Most of these people that have lost huge amounts of money were already mulit millionaires! It wasn't enough! They had to have more! People like this come from every continent and every nationality. Jamocha (Feadship) anyone?
Posted: Sunday, March 15, 2009 7:19 AM
Joined: 21/01/2009
Posts: 36

Globalization.  Every country had a role in the bad economic decisions of the past decades.  In many ways it is easy to blame the Americans.  The US economy is so huge that every country in the world has very little choice but to follow its leed and obey orders.  How many times have the French proposed a tax on speculative financial transactions ?  How many times have the Germans tried to push for responsible boards of directors ?  Each time they are overridden by powerfull US interests.  At present they are pushing very hard to control offshore tax havens.  Guess which business interests are stonewalling.   Americans started this practice of buying Gigayachts and paying with company stock.  Easy to lay a ton of poop on their doorstep.   
Posted: Sunday, March 15, 2009 7:39 AM
For the past fifteen years everytime I asked a fellow captain what his owner did for living it was always.... Finance.
  All this money was flying around and if you could put your hand in that cash geyser and pull off 10 percent you made billions.  Sometimes I felt as if I was on the only yacht in the world in which her owner actually manufactured something. 
  The yacht I run started off big...and became smaller and smaller each year. I have a feeling its going to magically get bigger and the rest of the fleet will shrink.
Posted: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 4:29 PM
Yes its a good thing, weed out those "plaque of the industry" as one of the other posters had said.

 Average 3 out of 5