BUSINESS DAY ONLINE-South African luxury yacht importer fuels growing demand for multi-million dollar luxury vessels in expanding African market

04 Jul 2014

In this time of global economic crisis, emerging countries are driving growth in the luxury sector, and Africa is suddenly being noticed as a strong contender, which makes us as Africans feel like we’re finally becoming part of the global luxury industry.

 The number of high net worth individuals in Africa is set to double in the next ten years, according to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report.  So too will the demand for luxury goods rise exponentially. Recent sales and enquiries for multi-million rand yachts by millionaires, especially by dollar millionaires playing in the energy fields, reflect this trend.

 Africa also leads the way in Knight Frank’s Luxury Hotspot research, which identifies the areas of growth for luxury brands over the next ten years.  Ghana, SA, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe all appear in the top 10.

 The number of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) – those with more than US$30m or more in net assets – across the world has grown by 59% since 2003, but in Africa the increase has been 130% against the world average of 8.3%. This compares to 89% in Asia, 116% in the Middle East and just 44% in Europe. 

 “This can only mean we will see more and more luxury brands flooding our shores,” says Derrick Levy, MD of Boating World, leading boating brokers, exporters and importers specializing in luxury motor-yacht market in Sub-Shahara Africa.

 A recent sale of the prestigious, R25million 65 Fairline squadron yacht, the first of its kind to be sold through South Africa into Angola, is testimony to this.  After weeks of meticulous fine tuning by Boating World, the exclusive agents for the prestigious British based Fairline luxury yacht brand, this glimpse of grandeur was cleared for her West Coast journey to her new home in Angola.

Data from the report suggests that by 2023 that number will further increase by 53% taking the number of UHNWIs in Africa to 2,858. The forecast 10-year growth in Africa’s wealthy billionaires is 52%.  The report shows that Nairobi will lead the way with a 78% increase, followed by Marrakesh (60%), Johannesburg (41%) and Cape Town (37%).

Another interesting trend is the return of skilled young Africans to their African roots, leaving behind their highflying Fortune 500 positions in Europe to start giving back to Africa.  Boating World has had a number of this type of clientele purchase luxury yachts, the 65squadron being the most recent.

 The yacht offers opulent comfort and timeless grace is fitted with twin Caterpillar C18’s ensuring it performs extremely well in choppy seas, reaching up to 35-knots.

Generous living spaces flow freely from one area to the next to create an exquisite ambience in which to relax, explore and entertain. It boasts a variety of social areas from the chaise longue, sun pad or aft-facing sunbeds to an extensive seating/dining area. There’s really no need to move as one is comfortably secluded up there!

Squadron flybridge yachts offer customers the security of well-proven design features and sophisticated advances in marine engineering. Every part of the yacht has been carefully considered, every luxury accounted for.

“The views are spectacular and every care in the world just melts away as you glide along the waves with the wind on your face,” shares Levy.

Fine craftsmanship and furnishings as well as hand-worked cabinetry are hallmarks of the newly launched Fairline Squadron S65.Nowhere are these details more elegantly expressed than in the long, wide single-level interior – a testament to the 65’s ingenious flat floor design – that is usually reserved for much larger yachts.

 The bar area meets every gastronomic need from drinks to eats, thanks to the refrigerator, icemaker, sink and BBQ griddle!  The sexy, al fresco-style area sums up the personality of this yacht: spacious, easy to move around in and an experienced entertainer’s dream.

 Ideal for weekends away, far from the bustle of life , this Fairline 65 is capable of extremely long distance travelling particularly with its ample fuel capacity of 3 542 litres and water capacity of 1 154 litres.