Tuesday, October 14, 2008

2008 Global Superyacht Forum (Amsterdam)

Every year there is the preeminent gathering of the superyacht industry in Amsterdam:  The Global Superyacht Forum.  (http://www.superyachtevents.com/gsf )This event, with over 650 of the top members of the industry, is held in conjunction with METS, the world's largest exhibition of equipment, materials and systems for the international marine leisure industry. (http://www.metstrade.com/home.asp).

I have the honor of just being confirmed as the legal expert on a panel discussing and debating the various ways in which interpretations and consistency of the rules for constructing superyachts would help improve the process of building and designing of these floating palaces. 

For those with an interest in the highly technical world of superyacht construction (it isn't about the glamour you read about!), this is a rather hot topic, as this has been a very confused area of the industry.  There has been great inconsistency between the various classification societies (such as Lloyd's, RINA and American Bureau of Shipping) and the ship's registries (the entities where you document/register your yacht), the governmental interests (such as MCA and the U.S. Coast Guard) and those who are trying to get the yachts built according to the ever evolving specification and regulatory schemes...and on time and on budget (the shipyards and owners).

With the drastic change in the economy I think this will be an extraordinary session as what, at least to me, has been a "who cares what it costs, they all have money" will necessarily have to take into account both the concept of economic costs for the regulations and the "not killing the goose that laid the golden egg".

Joining me on the panel will be ship surveyors from Lloyd's Register of Shipping, RINA, The Cayman Island Shipping Register, the MCA (UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency -the European regulatory gurus) and a shipyard.