AYS has traditionally been a brokers early season shop window and a place for crews to gather before heading off on summer cruises.
This year signalled a change of management for the eight year old event and heralded a decision to allow yacht builders to participate for the first time. It has to be said that builders were thin on the ground and only Azimut really showed up, with Pendennis and Royal Huisman putting in an appearance, but heavily promoting their refit capabilities.
Overall the show did seem a bit quieter than usual with less exhibitors from the main stream yacht services, and more local 'trade fair' types occupying the few tents on the dock. What also has to be taken into consideration is the proximity in timing of AYS to Italy's Genoa Charter Show and also the relatively used, but most definitely burgeoning Palma Superyacht Show in Mallorca, which starts just four days after Antibes closes its doors on 26th April. This means three large yacht shows all in the same two week period, so logically something has to suffer.
The opening day of the 2014 Antibes Yacht Show was greeted, with clear blue skies overhead, a pleasant breeze and temperatures nudging the low 20's C when a small crowd gathered to see the mayor of Juan-les-Pins cut the tape and declare the show officially open. It was a great day for dock walking and taking in the sights of well prepared shiny yachts, all waiting for used owners or charterers to fall in love with them.
One thing that AYS demonstrates is that a lot of good value, solidly built and well maintained boats are available in the market at fair value prices without potential buyers having to delve into used builds. One example at the show and being very actively being promoted in the luxury charter market was the Azimut110 - MY Avella. The locally based charterers 'Mover & Shaker' have worked with the owner to get this 1991 built yacht in pristine condition with the benefit of complete refit last year. The original Azimut build quality and ongoing professional care shines through and presents a very luxuriously appointed year round, Western Med charter yacht for up to 8 guests, with master and VIP double cabins, and deep warm interior wood finishes that really appeal.
As another example, but this time a 'seriously for sale' super sailing yacht is the 147ft Mari Cha III exhibited in a prime position on her own individual quay by Bernard Gallay Yacht Brokers. This one really justifies her 'superyacht of distinction' tag! Designed by Philippe Briand and John Munford and built by Sensation Yachts in 1997. This is an award-winning and record-breaking yacht which was originally conceived as a hybrid high performance cruiser, with a lavish interior so that her owner could enjoy fast, comfortable and safe cruising whilst entertaining his guests in style and luxury. To this day she is regarded as one of the fastest ´super sailors´ afloat and still turns heads at any anchorage with her sleek hull and huge ketch rig. For those with deep enough pockets, at just under $13 million USD Mari Cha III is a fine example of superbly maintained quality and distinction which can be purchased at well below used build prices in today's market.
The Antibes Yacht Show continues until Saturday 26th April, and is also running its usual daily program of Captains Lounge technical/commercial seminars alongside the show. Altogether around 100 yachts and exhibitors are participating at AYS so there is more than enough of interest to occupy a full day.