Dockwalk’s 20th Year: Yachting in 20 Years

22 September 2016 By Hillary Hoffower

In the first installment of “Dockwalk’s 20thYear,” captains, crew, and industry veterans weighed in on the most importantchanges they’ve seen in yachting during their 20-plus year tenure in honor ofour 20thyear of publication. In this installment, they flip the perspective andponder the future.

Where do you see theyachting industry in 20 years?

New Yachting Hubs

“Not too differentfrom the yachting industry of today. I think that we may see a biggergeographical spread, with new cruising locations and hubs continuing to developin areas beyond the traditional Med/Caribbean circuit.” — Capt. GregButler-Davis, S/Y Victoria

“The trend forbigger and better will continue, but there will be more owners from emerging economies,which will drive development of yachting facilities and cruising grounds intheir own countries.” — Danny and Lisa Robinson, S/Y Meari

Enhanced Technology

“Technology is movingforward so rapidly I can only imagine the changes we will see. I don’t thinkits impact will reduce crew sizes because yacht owners ultimately enjoy theservices we provide. It will, however, require even more training to keep crew upto speed on changes in onboard systems, particularly the I.T. and engineerpositions.” — Capt. Chas Donahoe, M/Y Tera-Byte

“Larger and largeryachts with fewer crew as the robots take over menial tasks — the Roomba teaksander and varnish applier drone. Air yachts will become the new normal.” —Capt. Tedd Greenwald, M/Y Pilgrim

“If the past is a goodjudge of the future, I see great technological advances in the industry acrossthe board. Hopefully more so in the area of environmental consciousness and notso much in the autonomous self-driving yacht side of things.” — Capt. KarlJoyner, S/Y Columbia

More Environmental Awareness

“I expect we will alsosee an increased response to the pollution of the oceans, with yacht owners andthe industry in general investing more in measures to protect the environmentthey spend their leisure time enjoying.” — Capt. Greg Butler-Davis, S/Y Victoria

“I see and hope thatyachting, as well as life in general, will continue on a green path of love andrespect for our oceans and its dwellers and the atmosphere that all of humanityshares.” — Capt. Chris Harris, M/Y Cachee

Similar to Other Transportation Industries

“The yachtingindustry in 20 years will be just like the cruise ship industry, maybe evenlike the airline industry… I envision impersonal or maybe full-on plug-and-playcrew. In and out just like the flight attendants. Service with a quicksmile, but nothing on a personal basis. Who knows?” — John Olson

“While [the yachting industry] is suffering growing pains now, I trust it shall be as fluid and managed as the airline industry. Then again, I see more and more big boats that have chosen not to go the MCA route, and are looking for sea dogs like me, preferring experience and expertise over certification.” — Mx

Growth Everywhere

“I just see it gettinglarger — more yachts, more crew, and obviously more regulations. Yachts aregoing more commercial and, sadly, more remote places [are] being filled up withlarge yachts. I have been fortunate to see some amazing places that are now so full of yachts and tourism; I was glad I wasable to see them when I did.” — Chef Polly

“Over regulated andtaxed, with fed-up owners who will move their cruising grounds to lessregulated areas. The yachts will be bigger as the world’s top one percent willbe even more wealthy than they are today, and the crews will be more in linewith passenger ships with rotations with lesser pay and officers being ofdifferent nationality to the majority of the rest of the crew.” — Capt. VaughanHill, M/Y 11.11

“We [will] neverstabilize in the world we live in today. Politics [are] impacting people andyou can see stock markets going up and down. The superyacht industry isactually very introverted. Whilst the industry is virtually stagnant on the onehand, the number of so-called ‘Ultra High Net Worth Individuals’ is increasingand their average wealth is also on the rise. There are several big issues;one…is that there is a severe taxation issue on the importation of yachts.There is also an issue that your yacht cannot be more than a year old for youto flag it — these are all things that inhibit a rapid…or quicker growth. Idon’t think we’ll be able to change these, but we have to make everybody feelcomfortable and adapt. It can be workable. The future looks bright, and I’mvery optimistic!” — Capt. Baldo Gjurasic, 80-meter build project

And Everything Else

“As for the industryin twenty years, I hate to call it an industry but I suppose it is. It willprobably get as expensive to get a master’s ticket as it is to become a lawyeror a doctor.” — Capt. Adrian Loughborough

“Seems to me thatlarge and small yachts will still be roaming the seas, but I see a bleak futurefor medium-sized vessels and poorly licensed crew.” — Capt. Jacques Maeder, M/YPaolyre

Photo: Capt. BaldoGjurasic

Where do you think theindustry will be in 20 years? Share your thoughts in the comments below andcheck back next Tuesday for the third installment.