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Industry gears up to adapt to the new norm - Australian newsletter

by Peter Rendle 28 May 15:00 PDT
Sydney International Boat Show 2019 © David Clare /

As boating industry members begin to kick start their business structures and adapt to the 'new norm', Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of and, chats with Domenic Genua, Boating Industry Association (BIA) General Manager, Marketing, Events & Communication about their work promoting the marine industry and boating lifestyle in Australia.

In this interview, Domenic outlines the process the BIA are taking as they guide their members through the maze of restrictions and cancellations of the various regional boat shows.

Meanwhile marine companies locally and overseas are opening their doors and cranking up their production lines as they start to move back to full production. Following close to eight weeks "controlled shutdown" during Covid19 restrictions, Princess Yachts has welcomed back 80 percent of their 3,000 employees who had been furloughed, remaining on the company's payroll under the British government's Coronavirus scheme. The UK's largest luxury yacht maker is operating under stringent safety measures at their Plymouth factories and is looking forward to a fulfilling a strong order book for the rest of 2020 into 2021.

In Australia Princess Yachts is run by local Managing Director Greg Haines, who says, "When Princess approached me, I investigated their boats and their brand values. I visited the factory and went on board all their current models. I was so impressed with the Princess craftsmanship and dedication to innovation - evolution rather than revolution."

And more positive news from a long-established boat building company in Coomera, Queensland. A new purpose-built manufacturing facility for Australia's one and only production catamaran builder, Lightwave Yachts, is nearing completion. Remaining on the Gold Coast, located in the City's leading industrial precincts, at Yatala, Lightwave Yachts will commence moving from their current premises over the coming months.

With demand in new yachts remaining high, and new model releases being announced, the new manufacturing facility will allow for multiple yacht builds and specialized composite industrial projects. This is a significant milestone for the company, which will celebrate 25 years in 2021. Founding Managing Director, Roger Overell comments, "We are very happy to continue to be based on the Gold Coast and securing our future for manufacturing in Australia at the new facilities."

Several surveys are currently in the process of analysing future trends. Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has opened its third and most extensive yet annual Superyacht Connectivity Survey, providing a unique state-of-the-industry assessment of satellite communications usage in the sector. The Inmarsat 2020 research programme will analyse data from skippers, senior crew, chief engineers and technical professionals on vessels ranging from 24m to over 100m to gain targeted insight on respondents' awareness and current use of on-board VSAT technology, and the future requirements for global connectivity solutions in the superyacht market.

Also, according to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global yacht charter market generated $15.2 billion in 2018 and is estimated to reach $25.2 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 6.3% from 2019 to 2026. The report offers an extensive analysis of changing market dynamics, key winning strategies, business performance, major segments, and competitive scenarios. The surge in the number of private islands on cruise itineraries and the rise in the number of high-income individuals drive the growth of the global yacht charter market. However, unpredictable climate behaviour and high cost of yachting may hinder the market growth. On the other hand, the rise in yacht tourism creates new opportunities in the coming years.

From the USA we learn that Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE:BC) and a world leader in marine propulsion systems, has entered into a strategic supply agreement with BRP to be the supplier of choice for BRP owned boat brands Alumacraft, Manitou, Quintrex, Stacer, Savage and Yellowfin Plate Boats. BRP has made the decision to discontinue the production of E-TEC and E-TEC G2 engines effective immediately.

"This agreement brings us an incredible opportunity to further grow our brand in the marketplace and introduce our award-winning portfolio of outboard engines to new customers around the world," said Chris Drees, Mercury Marine president. "We have enjoyed long standing relationships with Alumacraft, Manitou and Telwater and we look forward to continuing to work with them while providing class-leading outboard engines and exceptional service to all of their global customers."

And there's much more industry news on the Marine Business World website:

If your company would like to share experiences as we emerge from the grip of this invidious Covid-19 virus, send us your news and we'll post it to our website.

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle

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