On the sidelines of the Monaco Yacht Show – the international superyacht show which will be held from 22 to 25 September and in which PSPI participates every year – we wanted to take a look at a new phenomenon which, for the past few months, has been redesigning the way people think about yachts.
But before talking about it, a little background is in order. As we explained last summer (article to be found here), in the midst of the Covid wave, the Yachting sector managed to pull itself out of the ambient paralysis, even going so far as to record growth. As Charles Croce-Spinelli, PSPI’s expert on yacht insurance, explained: “A yacht offers a level of seclusion that no other accommodation can provide, with absolutely everything on site, including swimming and lounging! “. A godsend at this time of year. But what could have been an epiphenomenon, ephemeral as were other changes that appeared during Covid (we remember the craze for farm sales, whose post-containment figures returned to normal), seems instead to have endured. And even more, it seems to have strengthened. But how? That’s what we explain here. Follow us, 20,000 places on the seas, to meet new inhabitants who have decided to live on the water all year round.
Considered as real “houses on the water”, this label often attached to yachts is in fact a label of form, and not of substance. For if all the amenities are indeed offered on these luxury boats, reproducing the codes of the habitat as known by the UHNWI, the very functionality of the Yachts was, until now, not that of a house. The Yacht was a leisure habitat, a luxury transport on which, of course, it was good to live, but with a view to moving from point A to point B, sometimes with more or less prolonged stops in certain places.
But in recent months, things have changed. With the pandemic, yachts are, for the first time, considered as real living spaces, as a specialist architect testifies in a recent article (Elle Décoration, n°289, Juin 2021, “20’000 lieux sur les mers) :
“Previously considered as a holiday home, the yacht today is a new home. It is built to spend more time on it, to be more self-sufficient, with storage capacity for food and a larger fuel tank.”
In addition to this, the space has been restructured to suit the needs of a ‘real’ life on the water, all year round. An office area, a classroom, but also new spaces for the crew – now fully employed on these boats – as well as for newcomers such as year-round teachers, nurses, sports teachers etc. The idea is to transpose what used to be the daily life in a house on land, onto a yacht. In addition to the new employability, it is therefore the whole layout and scenarisation of the interiors that are envisaged differently. “What about constraints? “The article asks. “Almost none: from the XXL dressing room to the bowling alley, at sea as well as on land, all dreams are permitted.”
The same goes for those who used to live in a building or a residence: announced for a launch in the summer of 2024, “Somnio“, which will then be the largest Yacht in the world with its 222 m. in length, will also be the only residential super-yacht in the world, offering 39 flats for sale spread over its six floors. Condominium living on the water. This is yet another sign of the new way of looking at this building, which is now seen by some as just another piece of real estate, just like a house, a flat, a duplex, etc.
So, while it is still too early to say whether this will become even more commonplace, with another phenomenon that is expected to be long-lasting, namely teleworking, it is a safe bet that life on a yacht coupled with the status of a nomadic worker will quickly be emulated by the UHNWI!