South East Asia is rapidly becoming a premier Super Yacht destination with increasing interest from Asian clients and new infrastructure developing in the region. How will Phuket, long famed as a tourism destination, adapt to promising new opportunities?
We talked with Paul Stamp, Senior Broker & Operations Manager at Asia Marine, one of Phuket oldest Yachting companies, to find out how these trends are developing on the idyllic island.
Our yacht management sector takes care of all our client’s needs, offering support and advice to yacht owners and their captains to ensure that the yacht is being maintained and operated to the highest standards, this includes administrative and legal matters.
We also have a successful sales division looking after both the new build and pre-owned sectors in sailing and motor yachts.
Q1: Who is Asia Marine?
Asia Marine is a multi-faceted marine business in Phuket and is one of the longest established marine tourism companies in South East Asia. We are involved in Yacht Charter, Yacht Brokerage, Yacht Services and Boat Management.
Our yacht management sector takes care of all our client’s needs, offering support and advice to yacht owners and their captains to ensure that the yacht is being maintained and operated to the highest standards, this includes administrative and legal matters. We also have a successful sales division looking after both the new build and pre-owned sectors in sailing and motor yachts. Since its establishment in 1987, Asia Marine has developed into a leading bareboat yacht charter company but has grown sub-stantially and now manages a larger and newer fleet of both sailing and motor yachts. We are the proud dealer of Numarine and Galeon, an award-winning motor yacht builder, and oper-ate a fleet of Fountaine Pajot Bare Boats. Most recently we have become fran-chisee for a world leading yacht brokerage and charter company for super yachts.
Q2: That seems like many new devel-opments, could you elaborate?
Yes! It’s a very exciting time for Asia Marine. 2 years ago, Asia Marine (Phuket) became a joint Venture with Asia Marine Yacht Services (Hong Kong) and since last February we are Thailand’s franchisee for FRASER, a world leader in Yacht Brokerage and Charter, on all yacht sales and charters for vessels over 28 meters in length.I attended the launch of four new Asian Fraser franchise offices at a spectacular dinner party at the Island Shangri-La Hotel, sponsored by Rolls Royce and Audemars Piguet, among others, and hosted by Eric Noyel, CEO of Asia Marine Hong Kong. It was spectacular!
This new partnership has given Asia Marine a huge worldwide network of expertise and global coverage to purchase, sell and char-ter large yachts. I recently sold my first pre-owned yacht under Fraser Yacht’s banner, a 98-foot motor yacht and I am looking forward to selling many more.In addition, we intend to continue modernizing the existing yacht charter fleet with newer yachts whilst also looking to develop relationships within our new build yacht dealer-ships and sourcing new manufacturers.
Q3; What does the partnership with FRASER Yachts bring to Asia Marine?
They offer a global network of knowl-edge and experience from leading Yacht Brokers around the world, with a huge outreach. Fraser Yacht’s Head Office is in Monaco and now have 20 offices worldwide. For the past eight years Fraser have sold more yachts over 28m in length than any other broker worldwide.
Fraser Yachts also has an amazing range of Super Yachts available for charter in all corners of the globe, and we now have the opportunity to not only send Asian clients to the likes of the South of France and Florida/Caribbean, but also to bring charter clients to SE Asia too.
Fraser’s Asian franchises were repre-sented at the 2018 Cannes Yachting Festival and Monaco Yacht Show recently and I will at-tend The Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in Florida.
Q4: What would you say has been your best achievement this year?
We’ve had a number of milestones; firstly, a record number of 11 yachts were sold in 2 years, including 2 two new Fountaine Pajot catamarans and a new Galeon 46 motor yacht. Several motor yachts were also sold by our Hong Kong partners, they are now positioned in Thai-land which expands and modernizes our motor yacht charter fleet significantly.However, my personal highlight would have to be the sale of my first yacht under the Fraser Yacht banner, the PR Marine 98. I look forward to further large yacht sales benefitting from the Fraser worldwide network in finding the right yacht for the right client
Q5: What will the large brokers like Fraser bring to the yachting scene in Phuket?
I think a feel-good factor has returned to boating in South East Asia, and Phuket in particular. All brokers, associated contractors and agents are commenting on an upturn in business; sales have definitely shown an increase in the last year. The South East Asia region is now rec-ognized as the cruising ground with the largest potential worldwide. Traditional charterers request to spend their holidays in new and ex-otic destinations, the Asian “nouveaux riches” are also turning to yachting. We are confident that yachting business in Asia will have the same growth that the established destination experienced in the 70s.
However, yachting is still a new activ-ity and many local rules & regulations might have to be amended to adapt to “marine leisure tourism”. The European brokers like Fraser have been through the same process in other destina-tions. They bring with them the professionalism and request for quality; their rigorous standards for safety will oblige the Asian Yacht builders, brokers and owners to conduct their due dili-gence and improve their operating standard.
Q6: What is the significance of your role as a yacht Broker in this changing cli-mate?
As ‘Senior Broker’ I help owners willing to sell their yachts to present the vessel in the best way possible, this involves conducting inventory and due diligence to ensure the yacht is at its highest standard. Conversely, I help potential buyers to find a yacht that is right for them. Getting to know the client and identifying their ‘wish list’ is critical to finding the best fit for them.
A reputable and reliable broker is crucial for a buyer as they are the buyer’s advisor; their professional technical knowledge in a sense is a guarantee of quality for the buyer. That requires experience and integrity. The support of repu-table brokers such as Fraser is a must to consider buying a large yacht
I also oversee the management of the yachts in the charter fleet. As many clients are looking for a return on their investment, it takes a skilled yacht broker to identify a yacht more likely to hold its value at resale or one that would work well as a commercially viable charter vessel. This applies to both new and pre-owned boats.
Q7: How can a yacht become an investment?
I believe that the emphasis on yacht ownership has moved away from private yacht owners purchasing a boat solely for their own pleasure; they now also see a boat as a means to reduce the operating expenses by generating revenue or receive a return on their investment. The ownership of a vessel should be the source of leisure, recreation and pleasure but is too often associated with headaches and frustration. That is because boats require proper management and need to be maintained, like planes, with preventative programs. I believe the Broker must identify the intended use of the yacht a client is looking to buy and that the yacht fully suits that purpose. We take pride in looking after our clients who seek to invest in a yacht from the very start of the sales process to assistance with after sales. The professional management of cruise vessels and charter yachts has been our exper-tise for the past 20 years. Be it for private owners who want to enjoy their free time or investors in marine tourism, we understand their needs and expectations because we are ourselves boat owners and operators. Our mission is to provide owners with reliable services and accountability so that they can enjoy their free time onboard and keep control of their budgets at all times.We also provide management services and with Fraser we have access to the most experienced Charter Managers worldwide.
Q8: Once the yacht has joined the fleet, what is the role of the Charter Manager.
The yacht will be assigned a dedicated Charter Manager who is committed to working on just a few yachts in our fleet and has exten-sive experience in the Andaman Sea cruising area. They will act as the Owner’s representa-tive and promote the yacht to the international brokerage community in order to maximize bookings during the yacht’s availability. The Charter Manager performs the following operational and administrative activities: • Devise and implement the marketing plan in consultation with the Owner • Liaise with the Captain and Chief Steward or Stewardess on a regular basis • Respond to and process charter enquiries • Perform due diligence and research references on potential clients prior to proceeding to contract • Negotiate rates on your behalf • Estimate delivery fees, supply sample itineraries, menus etc. • Prepare charter contracts and manage escrow accounts, Fraser will act as stakeholder• Send signed contracts to the Owner for signature • Provide regular calendar updates (client bookings, Owner’s schedule, transit and shipyard periods) • Assist the Owner with charter and fiscal regulation
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