The cruising area around Phuket, Thailand, is filled with beautiful beaches and local boats. Photo by Kim Kavin.
As most of the world’s top yacht brokers converge on the French Riviera later this week for the annual Antibes Yacht Show, Russell Crump, yacht sales director for Yachting Partners International, will be touching down in Southeast Asia. He’s heading instead to the Singapore Yacht Show, which is being held on identical dates — and he’s betting that while his competitors are doing the same old, same old, he’ll be walking the docks into the future of yacht charter and brokerage.
“What I want to achieve is to see the foot traffic, the quality of the foot traffic, what other exhibitors are there, and what they’re showing,” the British native told me by telephone from Europe late last week. “This show in Singapore seems to be gathering momentum to become the big annual boat show in Asia.”
It’s a market that YPI Group is trying to tap through its YPI Asia division, which opened two years ago and has already evolved into three separate offices in China. Crump has been a key part of the effort to get those offices in place thanks to his local knowledge of Asia, having lived for a number of years in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila.
He sailed a lot around the Philippines and Malaysia, and he always wondered why more big yachts weren’t there, especially for charter. He finds Southeast Asia just as stunning a cruising destination as the Indian Ocean or the South Pacific, both of which are now seeing more and more megayachts visit from the Seychelles to the Maldives to Fiji to the Society Islands.
“I’m quite convinced that if we make Southeast Asia, say from Phuket, Thailand, around to the Philippine Islands, if we make them readily accessible and offer a charter solution, then people will visit these absolutely beautiful spots,” Crump says. “I think it could happen within the next three or four years. And from the charter business, that’s where the brokerage sales will come.”
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