A sudden surge in orders reflects a flurry of activity in the supersailing yacht industry. It should be reflected in Superyacht UK's activities too

One of the more enlightening conversations I had at the Superyacht UK meeting at the London Boat Show was with Lewmar’s Phil Atfield who was looking marginally shell shocked at the amount of business his winches to hatches company had secured in the last two months. Orders have soared six fold since the Monaco Yacht Show for projects underway in countries from Holland to Brazil. Nautor, V1 in Dubai, Wally, Holland Jachtbau and ‘secret projects’ as Phil put it, have been among those knocking on his door.

Among other things they’re ordering big winch packages some of them captive winches which Lewmar have been busy re-designing. Reducing the weight of these notoriously heavy bits of kit by 25 per cent and increasing line speed have attracted new customers.

Atfield and other observers see the growing interest in competitive events for superyachts as one reason for the demand for more efficient equipment.
As for the rest of the Superyacht UK meeting I’m afraid it did little for the UK cause. Chairman Martin Redmayne did his best to work up a meaningful debate, but having given the floor to the New Zealanders, who gave an understandably superficial presentation on how Alloy Yachts do business, the meeting fizzled out.
There’s plenty to shout about in Britain and much to learn from within – from Lewmar for instance. How about a hard-hitting film presentation to kick things off and get the meeting in the mood? A more structured and better researched presentation should then follow.
In the discussion that did take place the consensus was that it was designers who held the knowledge of what was going on in this complex and somewhat mercurial business. They are often the element of any project closest to owners and other decision makers.
I think I counted two designers at the meeting one of whom left early. Come on Superyacht UK, you can do better than this.