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How the Yachting Industry Can Innovate in a Time of Coronavirus

1 November 2020By Laura Shaughnessy
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Written by

Laura Shaughnessy

Laura Shaughnessy has been the managing editor at Dockwalk since February 2018. Having grown up among the cornfields, she is ecstatic to be among the boats in the yachting capital of the world. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in journalism, 15 years of experience with newspapers, magazines, and the online world, Laura has joined a great crew. When not writing about superyacht crew, she’s hanging out with her husband and their German Shepherd, working on house projects, or binging on Netflix.

It’s hard to believe that the pandemic will ever end. But one day, it will, and the Monaco-based Pastrovich Studio has its eye on the horizon. In fact, the pandemic has helped shaped the company founder’s vision for the future of yachting, and he believes this is a new era in yachting, he says.

In September, the Studio sent a press release that stated: “I think that in this historical moment, our commitment to finding solutions that facilitate and solve the co-existence between virus and the nautical market is more necessary than ever.”

For the naval designer and architect Stefano Pastrovich, the answer is to make boating more accessible, especially for those who want more privacy/isolation from others. His vision is to do this by building boats that cater to being rented.

“We are in this new open era where the simplification and the new way of investing money are at the door. In my opinion, the superyacht industry will make a giant evolution,” Stefano Pastrovich says. 

And this new mission goes beyond COVID-19 since he thinks worldwide fear may outlive the pandemic itself. “People are getting used to not touching [others], not to stay close. So this is a social implication which is very strong and it is regardless to the law,” he says, adding that people are going to want more privacy going forward — not just when in quarantine.

As someone who creates boats, Pastrovich wants to design vessels that are more economically accessible and can offer a quick way to stay away from the crowd. Pastrovich would like to create boats that can be easily rented by the general public.

The inspiration for this took place this summer when people in Europe didn’t have to be in lockdown. According to the naval designer, apartments were completely booked while hotels were only at 50 percent. “This is a signal that people are in fact looking for a safe place to stay,” such as friends and family. “Since we are not all capable to pay millions to buy a yacht in this moment, the only possibility we have is to rent. So, the point is to try to design a particular size of boat which is able to be rented,” he says.

“Since we are not all capable to pay millions to buy a yacht in this moment, the only possibility we have is to rent. So, the point is to try to design a particular size of boat which is able to be rented,” Stefano Pastrovich says.

Pastrovich notes that the older generation tends to have more fear of the virus. He references his own parents who are 84 and 79: “Should they live forever with the fear to get the coronavirus? Should they stay closed in their house forever? For me, it doesn’t make sense. The antivirus, the vaccine: we don’t know when it’s going to come out or if it’s going to work,” he states.

To put it bluntly, he says, the superyacht industry has been always very stagnant, very steady. “The evolution in the yachting industry has always been very slow, because probably … life is too good, because there is too much money? I don’t know,” he says. “We are in this new open era where the simplification and the new way of investing money are at the door. In my opinion, the superyacht industry will make a giant evolution,” he says. “It will grow up a new business, a new market, of simplified yachts where you will be able to ride, where you’ll be able to experience three or four days on a 60-meter superyacht with your salary. This will be the new order at sea.”

This column is taken from the November 2020 issue of Dockwalk.

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