The Queensland ACA Branch hosted Micheal Youell for their February event.
Michael is the Mining Development Manager at Hydraulink Australia. In a previous life, before his wife and he had two “anchors”, as he put it, he sailed superyachts around the world.
Mike outlined the global industry, one worth approximately $40 billion per annum. Superyachts are either powered or sail craft and are larger than 25m in length. Superyachts have luxury features, full time crew and generally cost more than $10million. With maintenance costs before fuel and crew of about 10%, owners have to have deep pockets to keep these beauties afloat. Owners fall into four categories, companies, individuals, charter companies and royalty. Michael gave examples of each of these categories including the superyacht Azzam, bought for $400 million from a Russian oligarch by a Saudi prince.
Michael worked on both motor and sail superyachts and gave many examples of some of the daily and annual maintenance programs.
He took the attendees through a virtual tour of the engine room and the many systems providing essential and comfort services to the passengers The insight into a world only a few live in, included packing up a $750,000 Renoir so as to clean the walls in the main bedroom aboard a yacht he was first mate in.
Michael explained how he and his wife ran a yacht supply and services company in Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays and encountered the many idiosyncrasies high net worth individuals have and the exacting demands they place upon the industry. Chocolates flown up from Sydney, black Mercedes vans and chartered flights to remove rubbish from ships at anchor are some examples.
The industry has many facets and Australia alone commands a Superyacht industry to the tune of $1.9 billion per annum from which many operators and suppliers earn a living. This industry would appear to be a growth opportunity for ACA members by providing engineering and maintenance services to these big spending clients. Michael also took the audience through the best market channels to access this industry.