By Yusra Sarkar

Describe what the yachting industry means to you, in 3 words

Beautiful, fun, complex.

Can you elaborate?

Yachts are stunning. Especially in recent years, design has evolved rapidly. Yachts are bolder than they used to be, but just as beautiful. Shipbuilders and designers are really pushing the limits of what owners believed was possible.

Owning a boat is undeniably exciting but they are difficult things to own. It’s no understatement to say that yachts can be a headache – the ownership structuring, crew emloyment, local and international laws, flag registration and multiple tax exposure – a trusted partner really has to handle every aspect of that. As we all know, if you get any one of those elements wrong, it can be very expensive, time-consuming and potentially embarrassing as an owner.

What’s next for the yachting industry?

In the short-term, there’s a lot of interest in charters despite the Coronavirus. We’re keen to see uptake as there’s a lot of infrastructure around yachting that needs yacht tourism to survive – that even extends to small businesses, restaurants and bars in some of the more popular destinations.

I think we can expect owners to use their yachts this summer, even if it’s just to stay in one place and depending on how easily they can reach the yacht. Charters might be more difficult, but there is undeniable appetite.

Sustainability is a long-term consideration for the industry. Owners, builders and designers are thinking about the impact of their yachts. Younger generations of yacht owning families are also increasingly holding the family accountable for shifting to greener solutions:sustainable fuel, electric propulsion, efficient build techniques, new materials and processes and so on.

Tell us about what you do

Yachts are compelling, and outside the industry, people think it’s all glitz and glamour. The reality is that it’s a lot of hard work and we approach what we do with complete professionalism.

The work we do at ZEDRA is very complex and technical and perfection is expected from owners and the parties we work with like lawyers and bankers. We can’t put a foot wrong. Day-to-day, I look at setting up ownership structures, sometimes in multiple countries, flag registration, VAT considerations and crew employment. We also have an extensive network of contacts who support us deliver assistance to owners and clients. My personal network in international ports has been particularly helpful in understanding this summer’s restrictions for yacht owners, for example.

For more information, please contact Andrew Wilson, ZEDRA Head of Marina and Aviation