BARNES Yachting

INTERVIEW Inigo Nicholson - May 2023


Monday 19 June 2023

Picture INTERVIEW Inigo Nicholson - May 2023

Yachting sets sail for new challenges! Interview with Inigo Nicholson, Director of Barnes Yachting

How does BARNES Yachting differ from the players already operating in the market?

What sets us apart is the bridge that we provide between luxury real estate and yachting, with clients making the natural progression from one to the other, provided that they experience the same level of professionalism. The BARNES network has established itself throughout the world as a major player in art de vivre and luxury real estate, with an offering that extends to vineyards and contemporary art, for example. Yachting was propelled back into the spotlight in 2020 and 2021, with many owners choosing to live on their boats during the various lockdowns we experienced, while chartering, especially with crew, has been more popular than ever since health restrictions were lifted. With yachts becoming an increasingly popular alternative to luxury beachfront villas,

we felt it was important to improve the BARNES Yachting offering in order to provide the widest possible choice of vessels for both sale and charter, whether it be motoryachts or sailing yachts, with the focus always very much on excellence. 

Where does BARNES Yachting fit within the BARNES group?

We have around 20 specialists in our team, some of whom have been working with me for over 20 years. We were initially established in May 2002, with a sales agent and a chartering professional based at the BARNES Cannes office, and we’ll be continuing our expansion with Miami and London, both cities with strong yachting traditions, followed by Paris, Geneva, New York, Madrid, Dubai and probably South-East Asia. Clients  can, however, be put in touch with the BARNES Yachting team by visiting any BARNES office around the world.

What type of boats do you offer for sale or charter?

Only crewed boats of at least around 60 feet, or 20 metres. The smallest we have are 19-metre Rivas, which are captained all year round. We have chosen to focus on superyachts, which are typically over 24 metres in length, in keeping with BARNES’ positioning in the real estate market. 

How much does it cost to charter a 24-metre yacht with crew?

From €30,000/40,000 a week, depending on the location and the season, plus a further 25% or so in additional charges.

What areas do you cover?

We have boats on every sea in the world! From Tahiti to Bali, the Greek islands to the Caribbean, not forgetting, of course, the Mediterranean, we are in a position to select the best boats with the best crews so that our clients can enjoy their time at sea with complete peace of mind and an exceptional level of service and amenities. 

Which countries are experiencing the highest demand? 

Primarily the USA, which is undoubtedly the world’s largest market for both sales and chartering. Then there are Europe and the Middle East, which are traditionally very fond of luxury yachts, but the market is set to develop in South-East Asia over the course of the next decade, given that it has countless coastal areas suitable for yachting and that attract a wealthy, young, active clientele that seems to be very compatible with this domain. 

Does buying a yacht offer a return on investment compared to buying a residential property?

Buying a boat costs money, starting with around 10% of the purchase price in annual  maintenance costs. That said, most owners offer their yachts for charter when not using them themselves, which helps to offset some of these expenses. What’s more, taking a well-considered approach to buying  a yacht means that it shouldn’t really lose its value over time. You might even find, in the new-build market, that you can make money by selling a yacht on as soon as it is delivered, or even before!

Aren’t sustainability requirements proving something of a stumbling block in the motoryacht market?

Like the automotive industry, the yachting sector has invested in developing increasingly clean diesel engines that are often combined with hybrid propulsion systems, meaning that newer vessels generate minimal CO2 emissions, although there is still room for improvement. The future probably lies in a combination of wind power, solar panel installation, diesel/electric hybridisation and above all hydrogen engines, which are expected to be available by 2035.

Yachting Market in a nutshell

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

News & Events