1st Asia Superyacht Conference 2009
AsianYachting Update 2

1st Asia Superyacht Conference

Enlightening day of discussions...
13 Oct 09:
After a welcome address by Arthur Tay and keynote address by Mr S Iswaran, Singaporean Minister of State for Trade, Industry & Education the conference got down to the serious business of discussing how to further the Superyacht industry in Asian waters. YP Loke Managing Director of Spinnaker International gave an overview of the present trends of the boating industry in Asia and a preview on how to attract Superyachts to Asian waters. Presently it is estimated that 4,000 to 5,000 yachts enjoy passaging through the region. Citing previous attempts like the Indo Malay Sing Growth Triangle and the 2005 Yangoon to Manila Bay Symposium that have tried to bring the industry together by forming National Boating Industry Associations have been successful in some countries and failed in others but the main importance is to continue the dialog long after the conference is over.

Dr Aji Sularso, Director General of Marine & Fisheries Surveillance in Indonesia outlined how they intend to overcome the governments unworkable customs duty and highlighted the beauty and cultural attractions that Indonesia has on offer to superyachts throughout the region. Next year the premier event will be Sail Banda 2010 and hopefully a change in attitude will open up the 17,000 island archipelago for all to enjoy in relative comfort.

The effects of piracy on the high seas especially in the Arabian Sea as well as the Malacca Straits in the past were discussed at length and the repercussions on attracting Superyacht owners to the Asian region. Out of the blue Warren Blake accused the inhabitants of Jemaja Island nearby the Annabas group in the middle of the South China Sea to be the center of piracy and why has the Indonesian government not done anything about it.

Andras Weber, Senior Manager of MTU and main sponsor of the conference went through how engine development and especially future emission controls are already in the pipeline. Balancing the desire for high speed versus comfort and performance are paramount to the industry success.

Colin Squire Managing Director of YachtFile expanded on the needs of Western based cruising superyachts and how to promote Asia to their owners and boat captains. Keep it exclusive is an important suggestion and the need for secure suitable moorings at national parks and other interesting areas can be achieved quickly, instead of lengthy marina building projects. Decent docking areas for tenders are more important onshore than marinas as the preference normally is to anchor the vessel offshore in private. Important requirements for big boats is to have knowledgeable agents with extensive cruising info and friendly local guides that speak the language to help the boat through the region.

Marinas catering for Superyachts should have ample dock space for fuel tankers to come alongside and a priority on garbage storage and disposal of wastes. As the captains rule the roost onboard, the gateway or key element is providing a home for the family onshore with good schooling for the kids. Entertainment for the crew onshore is important and has proved popular in Palma and Monaco in the Mediterranean and Antigua in the Caribbean.

Marinas should have sufficient shore power and good wi-fi communications. Available storage space for excess equipment, quality water supply, sufficient car parking, delivery space and support services like chandlery and service facilities are paramount in sustaining a viable industry.

It is estimated that one person in a million can afford a Superyacht. Therefore suggestions to attract overseas owners to the Asian region is to publish a decent coffee table book highlighting the Asian region that can be distributed to yachts and skippers at major boat shows in Europe and the USA. Nothing works better than word of mouth and as there is plenty of time on a cruise to sit back and flick through the pages, and dream of the next exciting cruising destination could just become a reality.

More info and further details at: http://www.superyacht.sg/

ASC 09 - AY Update 1: http://asianyachting.com/news/SSC09/1.htm
ASC 09 - AY Update 3 & Summary: http://asianyachting.com/news/SSC09/3.htm

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1st Asian Superyacht Conference 2009
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