Russell Crump is yacht sales director for YPI Group. Photo courtesy YPI Group.
Which Boats are Selling in Asia
Yacht sales happening right now in Asia, Crump says, are mostly occurring in China. Dealerships are doing better than brokerage hawks because the primary demand is for what he calls “the plastic fantastics” —high-quality fiberglass boats from builders like Azimut and Sunseeker, mostly in the 100-foot range.
“People dip their toe into the water with that kind of boat,” Crump says, but the owners are like owners everywhere else in the world who dream of moving up. “The Chinese have a cultural issue where they have to have what they call face. They’ll live in a shoebox of an apartment, but they’ll drive a Ferrari because that’s what people can see them in. So they’ll move up to bigger boats soon.”
That is, Crump says, as long as China’s luxury tax goes away. Right now, he says, it’s in the vicinity of 46 percent — which is prohibitive when it comes to buying what are already multimillion-dollar yachts.
Crump’s opinion is that during the next few years, there will be a domino effect that starts in charter and continues to sales. If he can help to make current megayacht owners aware of the beautiful cruising grounds in Southeast Asia, and if YPI can support those owners with three or four weeks’ worth of charter bookings to cover the costs of moving the boats there from the Mediterranean or Caribbean, then the wealthiest people in China and the rest of Asia will have more opportunities to charter along with Americans and Europeans. And of course, from a sales broker’s perspective, those Asians will also have a chance to enjoy the yachting lifestyle that they’ve been missing.
From that, Crump predicts, “One guy will then buy a yacht. A prominent guy will get the go-ahead from the Chinese government to do it. Then there will be a whole line of people wanting to do it, and the government will address that tax. This is why we have our whole YPI Asia operation over there. We’re just waiting for the momentum to start.”
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