Paul Archer - CEO / Founder Arrow Services Monaco
MONACO, 26 NOVEMBER 2013
“Arrow Services Monaco is involved in a number of important projects from big sailing yachts to every kind of
Superyachts: can you give us your point of view about the main differences in the owner’s needs before and after the GFC?”
“GFC has altered the relationship between builder and buyer. Pre GFC the demand for new constructions led to a
scramble for build slots and pricing was less sensitive. Today the key changes are:
• The demands for additional security- this is a two way street as both builder and buyer are sensitive to the financial capacity of the parties to complete the transaction and in the case of the builder the buyer needs confidence that the builder will be there to support the product post delivery so that the brand value is protected.
• Owners have “kicked back” when confronted with specifications and contracts that are strongly in favour of the builder. We have seen that in a competitive environment the builder who places more emphasis on openness and equitable treatment of the buyer has an initial advantage of get to contract signing.
• Strong capitalisation of the builder is certainly being looked at closely by buyers. Heavy gearing with high bank and shareholder loans and minimal capital paid up has also been an issue with buyers looking favourable at well structured and capitalised yards that present current and detailed financial information.
• Payments of the builders sub contactors is another big issue for buyers and we have seen specific reference in the contacts to the buyers representative having access to sub contactors to ensure that payment terms are being met by the builder.
• There is much greater emphasis on both parties to provide rolling guarantees and while the buyer is looking for a full financial guarantee on delivery this is in reality just not possible for the yards to provide particularly if the buyer will not meet the builders request for a similar guarantee.
We hear more and more about the trend to buy/build explorer yachts. What is an explorer vessel in your opinion and what is the right declination of it in today’s world. Yes of the projects we have been involved with in the last two years the majority have been for explorer style yachts. These yachts are proving attractive for several reasons but mainly the purchaser is a seasoned owner looking for a retirement vessel that will have the volume for comfortable world cruising, great reliability and stability and extremely fuel efficient. Strangely there are not the yards that are producing such vessels that have the reputation and financial capacity to build such yachts and the available stock of existing “good” yachts is limited.
Is this just a trend people like to talk about or yacht owners are really going that way, buying or building explorer yachts for themselves? No as mentioned earlier here there is in our experience a move to explorer yachts. Environmental issues play a large part with many owners looking to add Green Coding to the specification and many yards supporting this with sensible build package to meet the very high level of environmental standards required for place such as The Great Barrier Reef and Galapagos.
What would you suggest to a client who wants to build an Explorer vessel and how ASM can help him approaching the process correctly? With our experience with explorer yachts particularly in the preparation of specifications, GA’s and equipment Arrow Services is well place to quickly respond to the questions raised by owners interested in building such a yacht. We have incorporated much of our “must have or wish list” by working with and listening to the Buyer and the Builder such that we know what is required by the Buyer and possible for the Builder. Arrow realise that an explorer vessel will rarely be tied up in a major yachting centre and that its role is that of a comfortable ocean going workhorse that will transport the owners to the far corners of the world and be easily maintained for maximum availability.
What would be the first suggestion you would give a client approaching the Italian shipbuilding scene, and why. Within Italy lies one if not the greatest concentration of yacht building experience in the world. All relevant skills are available and while the world is in recovery mode after GFC the Italian yards are offering well priced products in a competitive market place and are keen to get the order.
You have had the chance to work for a client interested in building at CdM:
can you tell us something about Cantiere delle Marche and your experience there?
What impressed us at CdM was a combination of the following:
• Great yard facilities.
• Good design and technical team open to respond positively to input from the buyer and Arrow Services.
• Direct involvement in the shareholding of the yard by several of the main sub contractors.
• Good product and excellent engineering and quality.