Last week Monaco Yacht Club was the venue for the Life Under Sail Summit, organized by Boat International. One of the topics discussed by shipyard management and yacht brokers was how to attract the attention of new owners to sailing yachts.
According to Boat International statistics less than 7% of the yachts planned to be handed over to owners in 2020 are sailing boats. There are only 59 sailing yachts out of a total of 748 motor yachts.
According to Burgess CEOJonathan Beckett , the difference between those customers who are looking for a motor yacht and those who opt for a sailboat is huge. In his opinion, the only way to reduce the gap is to make sailing more affordable.
Ferretti chief operating officer and Wally managing directorStefano de Vivo urged designers to make sailing boats more practical.
«You have to keep an eye on the competition. And when it comes to large sailing boats, their competitors are motor boats. When comparing vessels for the same price the amount of space on a powerboat will be higher»," he explained.
Yachts founder and co-CEOMichael Schmidt agrees.
«As a sailboat owner I want to be able to understand that boat, to use it and not have to think about maintenance. I think we should make boats as easy as possible.»," said Schmidt.
Jonathan Beckett believes that the solution, which could help lure customers who are initially more inclined to motor yachts to sail, lies in the sailing catamaran segment.
«» It's time to think about building more stable sailing boats that have more amenities onboard, something in between a motor yacht and a sailing boat," he suggested.
Andrea Micheli , the commercial director of South Africa's Southern Wind shipyard, also supported this idea.
However, Stefano de Vivo was sceptical, arguing that in terms of comfort and deck space a sailing boat would always be inferior to a motor yacht.