The MYBA Charter Show, marking the beginning of the Mediterranean charter season, ran last week from 29 April to 3 May. Hosted by the historical maritime port of Genoa, the 25th edition of the show attracted representatives from around 150 individual yacht charter broker companies and 65 charter related exhibitors, as well as 64 diverse yachts ranging from 22 to 90 metres in length. The first ever chef’s competition was also held this year, encouraging chefs to showcase their culinary skills and creativity, and which apparently had been a seriously hard job to judge.

As usual the organisers treated show visitors and exhibitors to a lavish gala dinner at the Villa Lo Zorbino. Perched on the hills above the city, the villa afforded party-goers an exclusive and magical setting as the prosecco flowed and guests were indulged with extraordinary spreads of delicious food. The night was punctuated by a speech from MYBA’s president Toby Maclaurin, a selection of operatic cabaret and a well-orchestrated firework display celebrating the 25th anniversary. As well as the gala dinner, organisers had laid on an extensive programme featuring seminars, the chef’s competition, two nights of yacht hopping and a crew party and sports tournaments.

Long-time show goer Norma Trease, director of Salamanca Capital, thought the yachts on display this year were up to the usual high standards, “I like the diversity and quality of the yachts here. Because of the commitment due to the timing, cost and duration of the show only serious yachts participate.”

Onboard the 40m sailing yacht Tenaz, Frederica Findlater of Burgess emphasised the importance of the show, “This is the charter show for the beginning of the season. With the massive increase in boats on the market there is so much choice and it is important for the yachts to be actually seen by brokers.”

The captains and crew of exhibiting yachts worked tirelessly to ensure the highest standards were met. Captain Steve Mclaren of 55m replica sailing yacht Elena (Y.CO) told SB that exhibiting at the show was taking up valuable maintenance time but in getting the yacht show-ready, the crew were now prepared for the season ahead of schedule. Mclaren explained that the yacht was already booked for charters for the entire summer, having only a few weeks left available.

The crew of 90m Nero surpassed themselves with comprehensive tours and a tasting session for all visitors down in the galley with the yacht’s virtuoso chef. But it was at Wednesday night’s Marina Molo Vecchio yacht hop that crew were really required to perform, with each crew competing to demonstrate the allure of their yacht. Onboard Camper & Nicholson’s 50m Silencio, a Venetian masked theme was the order of the day with guests serenaded by a violist. Service onboard Hill Robinson’s 72m Titania was exquisite with cheerful stewardesses attentively topping up champagne. A slightly more raucous atmosphere onboard Burgess’ 53m Sunrise ensured that the yacht was the last party-spot as the night wore on.

Overall show feedback was positive with crews and charter managers pleased with the traffic received on their respective yachts, although some negative feedback was given by crews on the less visited Marina Fiera side of the show, who felt slightly neglected and were hopeful that their yacht hop, on the Thursday night, would garner more footfall.

It is clear that the size and diversity of the charter market offers an almost bewildering array of choice for potential clients. But with so much availability, late bookings become a common occurrence, meaning that owners are less able to plan when they can enjoy their own yacht. Flooded with yachts that owners are unable to sell, the market has become hugely competitive and standards have been pushed even higher.

The MYBA show is strictly a luxury charter orientated trade-only event with no public admission, and is intended for the assembled international visitors made up primarily of professional charter yacht brokers to evaluate the yachts, meet with captains and crew and experience ‘in-person’ key features about the yachts allowing them to find out their intended itinerary and availability in readiness for the forthcoming charter season. As such, the MYBA Genoa show remains the premier show for brokerage and charter and is a vital date in the superyacht show calendar.

In the June issue of Superyacht Business Charlotte Bailey will be investigating the world of yacht charter and brokerage in our “Industry Insider” feature.

Image: Yachts moored at the Marina Molo Vecchio