by Jeni Bone
Speaking at this year’s Australian Superyacht and Marine Export Conference (ASMEX), Erwin Bamps, COO of Gulf Craft was also in Australia to formalise the appointment of Australian agent, Richard Morris of Australian Superyachts.
Captain Richard Morris - Gulf Craft
'I will be promoting the superyacht end of the brand – 80ft and above – in Australia,' says Captain Richard Morris, whose yacht management and charter business has taken him around the world many times over.
First on the agenda is the fractional ownership of a 105ft vessel, which Morris says will be ideal for the Melbourne market, which to date has nothing similar in operation.
'We are offering a syndication of three to four in this brand new boat, of around $2m per share. That’s for a fully imported, to survey, world-class superyacht.'
As Morris explains, with costs of superyacht ownership rising, owners are looking for ways to offset their price of their purchase and reduce the impact of ongoing maintenance.
'Placing a yacht under bona fide charter when the vessel is managed expertly, is the ideal way,' says Morris. 'The vessel can be owned as a company asset and up to 50% of maintenance costs can be offset as legitimate company business expenses, whereas a purely recreational vessel offers limited opportunities.'
Gulf Craft, with 30 years' heritage and the past decade of really carving out a global niche as a boutique, semi-custom marque, is ideal for this purpose, continues Morris.
'They are well built, built to class – the highest quality standard – and they stand alone for value for money. Today’s superyacht owners are looking for value for money. They are savvy and want their investment to work for them, hence the appeal of charter. And they are time poor and don’t want the hassle of looking after a boat. It makes sense.'
Melbourne, which Morris describes as 'the quiet achiever', is a prime market for syndication and luxury charter.
'There are no high quality superyachts available for charter based in Melbourne. Recently, the Crown Casino flew its VIPs to Sydney for the luxury yacht experience. There is demand there and we aim to fill that gap.'
Based in the Arab Emirates with 1500 staff over four shipyards, three in the Emirates and one in the Maldives – Gulf Craft has the capability to produce marine crafts ranging from small fishing boats to luxury superyachts of more than 40m in length, under the Majesty Yachts, Oryx and Silvercraft brands.
More at www.australiansuperyachts.com.au