We have now been living in a world of information overload for many years, opinions are rarely sought face to face, and the all-seeing, all-knowing Google is the oracle. In the year 20 BG (Before Google) Generation X had to ask grownups for information. Now it is all available at the click of a button, or swipe of the screen.
How tall is Mount Everest? Click here.
New shoes? Click here.
New boyfriend? Swipe right.
Great isn’t it? Or is it…
Like the Roman general, standing in front of the slaves (apologies to those who haven’t seen the film SPARTACUS) a cacophony of opinions are opened. But unlike the general, consistency is unfortunately rare. How to cut through the minefield is now an art in itself. There are many, many forums handing out very good advice on an infinite amount of problems, with never-ending recommendations and solutions. But, and this is the most important part, the advice is rarely given holistically in relation to the OP’s (the original poster in forum speak is the person who started a discussion thread) true needs. This is relevant in a huge proportion of forums, but of course I am writing in relation to our core business, selling yachts.
I read a post on social media this morning from a sailor in the USA in the market for a Cruiser/Racer. He asked a simple question. What should I buy? A pretty simple question. 156 comments later, he must have been feeling like the Roman general. 156 different opinions on what he should buy.
No-one, not one single one of these commentators asked about him and his family.
Where does he sail?
What rating system does he use?
How much time cruising versus racing?
Does he sleep on the yacht?
Flat water or ocean sailing?
And the list goes on…
The internet is a vast and incredible source of information. Most of it is valid, some of it is questionable and as Mr Trump says, there is a lot of ’fake news’. A good broker before anything else, will spend time discussing the client’s needs and likes before even discussing specific yachts. The right yacht may come as a surprise to the client and, more times than not, a client who approaches us will leave us very happy with a different yacht than first envisaged.
We are quite unique as brokers in that we all have our specialist sector of the market, and will fully immerse ourselves in our particular world, be it blue water, motor, long range motor or performance sailing.
I am fortunate or crafty enough to stand at the helm of the performance desk, which does see me competing at the highest level I can, gaining valuable experience, contacts and knowledge of the performance market. Neither I nor Berthon can see how the desk could work any other way. This of course all leads back to the all-important conversations of what the right yacht is, for the right purpose and for the right person.
I have been asked to comment on my favourite yacht sold this year. It really is a hard push, but it comes down to either SCA, the Volvo 65’, or the new build Advanced 80’ JIKAN. Perhaps we can call them equal first?
SCA was an amazing team, management and message for women in sport and the 65’s are quite iconic yachts. Absolutely bombproof, they hold the 24 hour record and are absolutely ready to go for the next edition of the race. Please do call for the full griff, as we will be involved with the sale of the fleet.
JIKAN, first launched in 2018, is an absolutely beautiful and extremely well designed yacht. From the same DNA as Southern Wind, with Reichel Pugh as naval architects, Nauta interior design and built by Adriasail, itself famous for a long list of superyachts. She exudes all that you want from with a friendly and passionate team of managers and builders. As a result, I am very pleased to be working with Advanced and look forward to putting many more on the water in the next few years from the full range of 44’, 62’, 66’, 72’, 80’ and 100’.
Looking back, this desk has had the best year ever over the past 15 years, with the brokerage market for bigger yachts growing and becoming steadier, from performance cruising to racing yachts alike as business owners feel the financial crisis has passed and finally give themselves time off. Performance cruising has attracted more and more manufacturers now building yachts over 60 feet – so much so that it is pretty hard to find a new yacht over 60 feet these days that has a traditional heavy displacement. Righting moments have increased, which lessens displacement, less fuel consumption, wear and tear and more time sailing than motoring and with Italy proving to be the foremost fertile breeding ground; no longer are Scandinavian yachts the automatic go to norm. At Advanced, build quality is excellent, and interior design was invented in Italy. Out with the dark interiors and in with the large windows, and contemporary textures and colours.
In the racing world, although fleets continue to ebb and flow we are in a pretty steady market. Top of the tree are still the TP52’ / Fast 40+ fleets in one design, where fleet sizes have stabilised and remain the go to place for the top level competition. Small boat one design continues to flourish especially with the J70 becoming the big competitive fleet success story and so I am looking forward to campaigning this year at our home world J70 championship in the UK; I will also dial back into the Etchells fleet in
Texas in the early summer and will be pulling on my boots for an offshore season too where the Fastnet is oversubscribed in minutes, the Caribbean 600 set a fleet size record and the Rolex offshore series is always well supported.
So whatever you are in the market for please, before consulting Google, come and speak to us and discuss your requirements and use our wide ranging knowledge. WE ARE SPARTACUS!
A word about Advanced Yachts – by Sue Grant and Ben Cooper
When the first Advanced 66 was shown at the Cannes Boat Show, the whole yachting industry (including Berthon) was open mouthed at this new idea of what a fast cruising yacht could be. On deck she had sleek Reichel Pugh lines, clear decks and was of exotic construction. Below, Advanced worked with Nauta to provide a game changing light and airy interior. We were sold! We were therefore delighted to start a partnership with Advanced to represent them in the UK and East Coast of the USA a couple of years ago. We have recently extended this to Palma de Mallorca, and are also delighted to offer service for the Advanced Fleet in Rhode Island, The Solent and Palma.
2018 was stellar for Berthon and Advanced Yachts with the launch of the Advanced 80’ JIKAN. A proper cruising yacht using the best of modern technology, together with a proper understanding of what works for the cruising family and their crew. At Advanced there is also total respect for the wishes of Advanced owners which ensures that their yacht is the yacht they dreamt of and not the yacht that the builder and designer thought that they should have.
The philosophy of the Advanced Yachts comes a surprise to many. Advanced do not own their own yard. They do not have a team of boat builders, engineers, electricians etc. etc. A strange USP you may well ask.
This unique brand has the ability to focus on what is most important. The Client. We work with Advanced on their range of yachts from 44 to 100 feet. They are a great bunch of people and bring an understanding that the possibilities of what can be achieved are boundless when the client’s requirements drive each project.
The range is already designed, but with a huge flexibility around the brilliantly executed Nauta interior and the hull lines by Reichel Pugh or the award winning Roberto Biscontini.
The build yacht chosen by Advanced Yachts is the amazing Adria Sail in Fano, Italy. A super yard with great technical ability, and a great team, it is the most well known yard that no one has heard of…! Building yachts of great quality for a number of the big Italian and other brands, where their capability in composite and 21st century yacht building enable them to deliver where a production yard is just not geared up to build to the same technical level.
Advanced Yachts are all about enjoyment on the water and they are not about regattas although they will do well in this environment. They are about fast, safe sailing and enjoyment for families. They do not attempt to corral their owners together to sail against one another. They regard their clients as part of the family and working with Adria Sail give the allimportant holy grail of a custom product without the price tag and, and this is key, brand security.
As a part of that family the client is able to develop the right yacht for themselves, and most importantly be welcomed into the build and progress of the yacht. It is collaboration at the highest level and this is why working with Advanced Yachts is so much fun.
With a small production run, few Advanced Yachts ever come to the market. When they do, they are sold quickly at very good prices, with the new owners appreciating their custom qualities and certain design details marking them apart from other brands.
We believe that building yachts for yachtsmen that are totally in tune with their and their family’s needs is the future. Working with Advanced is also refreshing as new technology and ideas are embraced and developed rather than being discounted. At Advanced, the driver is to look for a way to incorporate new ideas and technology rather than to decide that it is too difficult. By working with talented designers, a great shipyard and excellent project management, what is impossible for production yacht builders, becomes reality. Just look at JIKAN!