Palma Superyacht Show review (7 May 2014)

Running from 30th April to 4th May 2014, the Palma Superyacht Show made serious improvements for its second edition, achieving glowing reviews from virtually every exhibitor SB spoke to.
Set against the backdrop of developments easing up the Spanish matriculation tax on charter yachts (giving more possibilities for the owner to use the yacht in Spain and abroad), brokers were hopeful that the Spanish market would continue to improve.
Marta Inglesias, a broker with Fraser Yachts Spain explained, “The matriculation tax changing is a positive sign but the Spanish are never fast at implementing a new law. The authorities have been overwhelmed by petitions and there have been a lot of questions they have not been able to answer. Although the new law is an exemption to the tax, the yachts have to go through a much more vigorous admin process than we expected.”
Palma de Mallorca being a natural stop for yachts coming to and from the Caribbean has contributed to its status as a legendary sailing mecca. Indeed the show exploited this theme with a good selection of large sailing yachts on display. If future emphasis on sailing yachts is heightened, the event could easily soon achieve the status of best large sailing yacht show anywhere in the world.
Speaking to SB after the show James Drysdale from Y.CO commented “The show was very positive in general. I was pleased to see so many sailing yachts. We had a heavy amount of broker traffic – some flying in from London, some bringing their clients. The show seemed to attract a lot of genuine sailing enthusiasts but many were in the market for a 50 to 60 foot yacht.”
Having exhibited only one yacht, 35.7m (117ft) CNB built Hamilton II, Drysdale mentioned that Y.CO would have future discussions as to whether to bring more yachts to the show next year.
Many exhibitors were delighted with the amount of improvements since last year with the quality and amount of exhibitors increasing dramatically (somewhere in the region of 40%).
Kety Sierra, marketing manager at STP, commented, “It’s amazing because two years ago the show was cancelled with no boats and no sponsor. Things have changed a lot in two years. We are in a good way. There are definitely more international visitors than in other years. There’s more quality in the stands and more brands are investing.”
Echoing these words, Lisa Peck, global marketing manager at Fraser Yachts told SB, “The show is much more professional than last year. Last year we had just a coffee table and two chairs!
Last year’s show was run on a no budget basis. This year the exhibitor tents have been standardised so there is no big contest. There is a better island mentality here and brokers get on really well. In general the broker market is looking up.” Peck also observed that in comparision “Genoa was wet and there were fewer boats this year.”
Lukas Stratmann, managing director of Dahm International explained, “The pioneering work has been done. There’s a better variety of yachts and more interesting clients. We made quite a few appointments before the show. There’s been some serious interest.”
Better organisation and autonomy
Six large brokerage houses (Fraser, Camper & Nicholsons, Northrop & Johnson, Dahm International, Ocean Independence and Burgess) worked as a team to organise the show meaning that they weren’t at the mercy of a show management team and were able to make decisions more autonomously. With the addition of a partnership from MYBA, the exhibitors were provided with more tools to make the show a success while keeping costs down for all.
The event coinciding with the May bank holiday in most of Europe meant potential clients were able to combine their visit with a short break in touristic Palma.
Additionally the show’s visit from Queen Sofia of Spain gave the event added press exposure on an international level. As it raises its profile for another year it seems the Palma Superyacht Show has a very bright future ahead and will undoubtedly become a serious contender as the most important spring show to visit.


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