Feargus Bryan has spent 38 years in the marine industry working on large sailing ships as Captain. In 2000 he then moved ashore to concentrate on yacht design and refit/build management and has technically managed multiple design, refit, and construction projects all over the world ranging from 30-99 metres. Watermark Yachts is a bespoke superyacht management service, set up 2 years ago which has managed several giga yachts.
Feargus’ roles both aboard and onshore give him great experience in the mega yacht market. He has a bird’s eye view in his consultancy role, watching how technology is developing inside the industry, an industry full of innovation but which he claims is very fragmented.
Because of this Feargus has set up the Superyacht Technology Council, alongside Jack Robinson, CEO of Superyacht Technology. The Superyacht Technology Council which was announced at the Superyacht Technology Conference in Barcelona in October 2021, will offer guidance, direction, and cohesion to the technologies out there.
Feargus stated; “There are a lot of aspects of yacht design, but you need to consider the yacht as one organism. Every single technology stakeholder in the design of the yacht ETO’s, designers, technology companies etc has one job, to work together to be really ready for the next generation of owner. The Millennials, modern owners, younger owners now hold a very different view of the virtual and physical world, the yachts need to be ready for this”.
By this, he means, smart yachting. Items like connectivity, security, yacht functionality, environmentally better travel as well as impeccable user experience by the owners and guests are completely expected. Feargus stresses that everyone needs to think hard about the interaction between builders, owners, guests, integrators, consultants, and technology companies – to ensure that we are all working towards the same goals of excellent technology, environmentally savvy industry, and better user experiences. We need to start having those joint up conversations now.
In every other industry, they look to the outside to find inspiration, traditionally super yachting has always been insular. We can learn so much about how mainstream and non-marine businesses work and raise our game. Our UHNWI clients are used to mainstream technology in their homes and workplaces and expect that as normal on their yachts.
We are delighted that Feargus will be attending the Superyacht Technology Summit as our Keynote Speaker during the ISE in Barcelona in February 2022.
ISE can bring to us a whole number of innovations and conversations that we as an industry can learn massively from. However, the superyacht industry as a boutique industry should be of great interest to all technology developers. We [the superyacht industry] have adventurous tech-savvy owners who have unlimited funds to invest at technological risks, to be the first to have whatever the product is.
We asked Feargus to discuss what he thinks are the main industry or technology trends that are affecting the superyacht industry. He named the following:
Safety and Sanctuary
The pandemic has changed owners’ perceptions, instead of a party location, a holiday space they are now viewed as a safe sanctuary. The consequence of that is it has pushed a real spike in yacht ownership, order books are very full that means as an industry it is important, we raise our game, quickly. Supply chains have slid, and shipyards, designers, support companies and all the other stakeholders are going to have to rethink fundamental aspects of their business models to accommodate this trend. The yachts themselves need to look at how their operations can accommodate extended periods on board for owners and operate in restrictive environments.
5 years ago, the environment was a bonus conversation, now it is a topic of all conversations, and the emergence of hybrid technology and non-fossil fuel technologies are essential. These conversations force necessary change and make people think of the extravagant superyacht industry in a different fashion.
Cyber security is now regulated at management level and yacht level. Obviously, a reliance on faultless connectivity is essential. Again, this is a hot topic at all superyacht events and the environment of data security changes quickly. This is a topic that needs to be at the forefront of owners, owners’ representatives, shipyards, and technology companies’ minds.
Currently, there are 5 major shipyard groups all developing hydrogen technology separately. Consider the impact of having 5 separate systems in the industry, the requirement for technicians for each type of technology. Situations like this are the reason for the creation of the Superyacht Technology Council – to encourage the sharing of best practice.
Feargus, the Superyacht Technology Summit and the Superyacht Technology Council want to encourage conversations with all stakeholders and answer the question ‘How do we make sure we are ready for the next 5 years or 10 years?’.
Feargus stated; “The Superyacht Technology Summit should as well as focusing on new technologies, focus on the themes of working together, of collaboration. We all know the problems but having the opportunity to get people in one place who all have an interest in refreshing the future of the superyacht industry. We need to see people from across the industry coming to this, so we have representation across all the industry. Not just technology businesses, but ETO’s, management companies, owners and captains need to see this and need to be heard too. See you there.”
To book tickets to this event or find out more information contact the editor Joanna Palmer on firstname.lastname@example.org