Q&A with Crispin Baynes
Senior Sales Broker of Burgess
Family Office Insights sits down with Crispin Baynes, a Senior Sales Broker with Burgess to discuss the ins and outs of owning, chartering and designing your very own superyacht.
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Tell us about what the charter process is like for your industry – how do I charter a superyacht?
If you are looking to rent or charter a yacht, you would contact a retail charter broker who will work with you to help identify a shortlist of yachts that best suit your needs, taking into consideration your travel dates, budget, style, number of guests, and preferred cruising destinations.
Once the yacht is selected, the charter broker will make an offer on your behalf and try to negotiate a deal with the desired yacht’s listing agent. This deal might include a slight discount depending on several factors including price and availability. Once the charter rate has been agreed upon, you would then sign a standard industry charter agreement and pay an initial deposit to secure the vessel.
The agreed charter rate covers the yacht and crew but there is an additional advance provisioning allowance (APA) which is used to cover the running expenses of the yacht such as food, alcohol, marina fees and the like. Any leftover APA will be returned to the charterer or can be used as crew gratuity. The charter broker will work together with you and the Captain to finalize all details such as embarkation, itinerary planning, activities, special requests, and more.
If you are interested in chartering, my recommendation is to find an experienced charter broker within a reputable company and set-up an initial call or meeting. They’d be more than happy to discuss the full process and answer any questions you may have.
What else does Burgess offer?
Most people come into yachting as a novice. They might have a friend or family member who has a yacht and they’ve gotten a taste for the superyacht lifestyle. They might charter eight to ten times before wanting to purchase or build their own superyacht. In a nutshell, we can help the client with every touch point of the superyacht experience. Whether you just want to charter for a week or two, open the diary on your own yacht, buy or sell a yacht or custom build your own vessel from scratch, we have the skills in house to be your consultant throughout the process. On top of that we help with insurance, finance, crew and operational management of these assets.
What does the superyacht market look like today? Who is buying and selling?
On the charter side of the business, in 2016 the industry experienced a record year in the number of days booked across the fleet, both in the Mediterranean during the summer and in the Caribbean during the winter. Despite turbulent world events, the charter market continues to prove healthy as people still value family time and unique experiences. Those who are chartering superyachts tend to be of various nationalities with Americans, Europeans, and those from the Middle East comprising the largest demographic.
In terms of who’s buying and who’s selling, the majority of buyers over the last two to four years have been Americans. This is due in part to an existing boating culture where there is less of a social stigma attached to displaying wealth in this manner. There are also great marina facilities throughout South Florida and the Northeast. New York down to Florida, and California to Texas is where the majority of Americans who own and sell yachts live and owners tend to be the Forbes list billionaires and existing family offices that are now growing their wealth.
What is the design and new construction process like for a superyacht?
Most superyachts above 120 feet are completely customizable. Designing and constructing your own is similar to building a house. If you’re a new build client, you start off with an idea in mind as to the size yacht you wish to build, both in terms of accommodation and general layout, and where you want to go with the vessel. Working from there you would carefully research and select the right team of designers and naval architects to carry out your vision. It’s important to get to know them and familiarize yourself with their work during the interview process to ensure your ideas and personalities fit well together.
Once your team is assembled, the next step would be to tender the project out to various shipyards and appoint an agency as project manager to help you with specification details and to oversee the build all the way through to delivery of the yacht. The new construction process is usually an enjoyable one and takes roughly three years from when you first cut metal.
What makes Burgess unique in your space?
Whether you’re considering chartering or purchasing a yacht, it’s important to realize you can either get it really right or really wrong. You want to make sure you are playing with a full deck of cards and partnering with a reputable broker.
Burgess has been around over 40 years with 13 offices worldwide and as the biggest superyacht specialist brand out there, our market intelligence is vast and our staff turnover is very low. Integrity underpins the whole ethos of Burgess, which has an exceptional CEO and leadership structure. Competing brokerage houses hire sub-contractors to work beneath their corporate banner and employ a 100% commission-only model; it’s an eat what you kill structure, one that breeds a competing culture within the same company. In contrast, Burgess operates on a salary-based system and a shared commission pool which creates an environment of teamwork and encourages collaboration between our brokers across the globe.
The results are there, with Burgess selling more superyachts than any of our competitors.
If you are interested in any aspect of the yachting lifestyle, I encourage you to get in touch with a superyacht specialist to guide you through any of your yachting needs.
Crispin Baynes is a Senior Sales Broker with Burgess based in their New York office. He specializes in the purchase, sale and new construction of superyachts of 120’ and upwards. Crispin’s client base of UHNW individuals spans the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Prior to joining Burgess in 2007 Crispin worked with Credit Suisse and KPMG Consulting in currency trading and business development roles. Originally from the UK, Crispin is a lifelong sailor and Member of FYBA and YPY (alumni). He lives in Manhattan with his wife who is an architect. For more information, please visit www.burgessyachts.com or contact Crispin directly at email@example.com or on + 1 646 241 8446.