Imagine your yacht, slicing through the azure waters of an exotic location in the Mediterranean or bobbing gently in a secluded cove in the Caribbean.
With her finger firmly on the pulse of evolving trends in yacht migration, Laura has a unique inside view of the future of yachting and the destinations that are shaping the industry.
In this second article with the team at DYT Yacht Transport, we chat with Laura to find out where the world’s yachts are going and how DYT is taking them there.
DYT’s engine room in Florida
Laura Tempest and her team are based in America’s superyacht capital of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As General Manager, Laura is responsible for overseeing all aspects of DYT’s daily operations, including ship schedules and load/capacity management, human resources, and financial administration. In general, she ensures that the company’s vessels are in good shape, fully loaded, and always where they need to be. “We ensure that the ships run smoothly and that we’re meeting our client’s expectations,” she commented.
Laura has been with DYT since 2007 and has spent the last 16 years climbing her way up the company’s ladder. “That allowed me to gain a complete appreciation for every aspect of what we do and the product and service that we’re selling, so I’m very grateful for that path,” she said.
And her long service at the company isn’t unusual at DYT. “We have all been here quite some time, and in fact, I’m not the longest-tenured employee. A colleague is going on almost 20 years; we don’t have staff turnover here! Once people arrive, they stay, and that’s because it’s all about who our customers are. We are relationship-driven; we’re in the business of relationships rather than sales and our passion is ensuring that we provide the service that our customers are looking for.”
Sailing the world’s superyachts
As the world’s leading yacht transport service, DYT has a unique window into the migratory habits of superyachts as they traverse the globe’s hottest yachting destinations. And while superyacht design, engineering and technology continues to evolve, their destinations largely stay the same, as Laura explained. “The south of France and Balearics continue to be hugely popular destinations for our clients. The Mediterranean is still a place where yacht owners want to be seen and heard; it’s top of the list. In winter, the Caribbean is still very popular. Simultaneously, some yachts return to the States for maintenance during that time.
“We continue to see increased interest in the far east, with Singapore, Australia and Asia, in general, being on trend. It’s difficult for us to stray away from our seasonal schedule, but certainly, the far east still piques people’s interest.”
DYT continues to offer an annual sailing to Australia, Tahiti and New Zealand which remains popular with yacht owners who are prepared to commit to a year-long stay in the region. But thanks to the company’s massive, sophisticated new vessel, Yacht Servant, DYT has more vessel-carrying capacity than ever before so Laura was keen not to rule anything out for the future in terms of adding new destinations. “We’re always keeping an eye on the market to see what’s trending!” she said.
Having been in the business of transporting yachts for almost four decades, DYT has become the go-to specialist for yacht owners who want a yacht delivered to a particular destination.
According to Laura, the company’s success comes down to its consistent, reliable scheduling. “We figured out what works years ago and it’s a very simple formula. Our commitment to the world’s most popular yachting destinations is what makes us special. Our clients are now so familiar with our schedule that they routinely plan their own transport calendars before they even start talking to us, and the reason that they can do that is that we’ve delivered on this same schedule for nearly 30 years.”
“We ship our clients out in the spring and we must bring them back in the fall,” she continued. “So if we were to add a unique event and destination - as enticing as that is - we would risk cutting off a certain number of clients for that year, and we don’t want to let our clients down like that. So we are inflexible with regards to adding new destinations because of clients depend on this."
New owners, new yachts
The superyacht industry continues to enjoy a boom period that shows no sign of stopping. Yacht builders’ order books are full to bursting, substantially pushing out wait times for new construction.
In the midst of this boom period, there has been an injection of younger yacht owners with new priorities, as Laura pointed out. “It seems like every time we see a client decide to hang up their ‘yachting hat’, there are two more stepping in to replace them. The mentality and priorities of these often younger owners are definitely different. Many of the younger owners are gravitating towards very stylish, fashionable Italian yachts from brands like Benetti, San Lorenzo, and other similar Italian builders renowned for their sleek aesthetics,” she continued. “The younger generation holds unique perspectives and anticipations; a fresh and unconventional approach. That compels us to consistently reassess our own viewpoints as well."
Concluding, Laura shared her excitement for the work that she and her team do. “It’s a testament to our consistency and reliability that our clients know our schedule and our routes as well as they do; it’s a wonderful thing. But even though we have so much repeat business, every shipment we do is still different, with a different combination of vessels and a different space plan every time. The job is always different, always unique and expectations are there to perform at the highest level!”
In our third article for DYT Yacht Transport we’ll be interviewing some of their customers following a crossing on board Yacht Servant, bringing you the inside scoop on what it’s like for crew who ride a yacht in transit.