Monaco Yacht Show Report

  • Posted October 9, 2023

Monaco… The jewel in the crown of the yacht show calendar. Four days of excess, very big boats, sun and partying. A chance for global yachting to meet in one of the world’s most elite settings to buy, sell and charter yachts, as well as discuss a whole raft of services and products. We love it yet it leaves us broken and sunburnt and in most cases with a very busy end to our calendar year.

SYR Shoreside Superyacht Recruitment visited the show for the third time. Having grown as a business year on year, our brand name and logo are known by many now and thanks to some savvy social media work, we continue to build our brand awareness during shows as well.

Off the back of a busy and positive show in Cannes a few weeks prior, we arrived in Monaco positive and excited about the coming days. Getting the week off to a start this year as sponsors of the now very popular Arrow Monaco/Oceanco Cocktail Party on the incredible pool deck of Monaco Yacht Club, we had a chance to meet and network with industry leaders, gather their thoughts on the coming days and also their opinions on the market’s current performance.

General opinion at the event and indeed during the week was that yachting remains stable and buoyant. The heady heights of 2021 and 2022 have cooled but we’re still ahead of pre-covid times and across design, build and refit everyone is enjoying a busy time with a host of challenging and exciting projects. Clients are keen to build something individual but still there is no real appetite to really push design concepts too far outside of the envelope and likewise, is the appetite to build greener yachts really there within the yacht owning fraternity?

Here are a few things we learnt at this year’s show:

Yachting startups are on the rise
We’ve seen and heard of a huge number of new startups in yachting this year and the wider investor market has an appetite for new business, new tech and new products. From charter software to low-emissions transport. it was great to see a whole host of new companies and products coming in. Likewise, speaking with other entrepreneurs, our CEO Ed discussed a lot of new ideas. Innovation is thriving within the SME market. There’s a lot to come in the next 12 months.

A shift in industry power
As with many industries, a lot of the time the power is held by the few and dictated by those with the biggest pockets. Yet in certain areas, it’s being noticed that the small and medium sized organisations are using their ability to be more flexible to their advantage, introducing new projects, products and services that take the fight to their larger competitors. Will we see a different playing field this time next year? Yes, absolutely no doubt.

The late night party might be on the decline
In years gone by, Monaco has been fuelled by all night partying in the many venues in and around the show. It’s rare you see a whole show hungover but we’re fairly sure we’ve seen it in the past. Yet this year, this seemed to take a turn. Earlier nights mean earlier starts, better business decisions and ultimately more business. Could it be that we need to work harder to generate our incomes? Is the appetite for long and indeed expensive nights out wavering in the face of rising livings costs?

Across the event there were some incredible debuts too, including the obscure ‘This Is It’ from The Italian Sea Group, ‘Bolide’ by Victory Design, Project ‘KD’ from Falcon Tenders and ‘O’Rea’ from Golden Yachts. Yachts were fully booked for viewings and the water awash with sea trials throughout the four day event.

Team SYR came home from the show with a busy pipeline of work. Blue collar work dominates with clients in Europe and the UK baying for new staff to keep up with a growing problem of resource availability. Closely on its heels however is design and engineering. Expansion plans at a couple of major studios mean a strong push for new design talent and a consideration to cherry pick engineering from other sectors. Brokerage and Management is of course not left out either, with existing working relationships swelling further and new paths being formed with new clients.

As we enter the final quarter of 2023, we’re hugely positive of both the industry’s performance and our own. There’s a lot to be achieved before the Christmas break and we’re confident that market appetite will continue to grow along with a shifting jobseekers marketplace in our favour.

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