Matthew Ruane, who heads up Cecil Wright’s Jersey office, reports that Jersey’s superyacht industry is growing, driven by an increasing number of younger settlers making the island their home.

Jersey’s population is growing younger as a new wave of wealthy residents moves to the island after making their fortunes in industries such as the tech sector as well as hedge funds, private equity and property.

In the past, the population consisted of mostly over 60s who would move to the island to retire. However, over the past decade, the tide has begun to turn; 70% of wealthy residents moving to Jersey are under 60 years old and are lured to live and work in the self-governing state known for its favourable tax regime. Those successful newcomers have brought with them a sense of vibrancy to the local community and economy.

Once they come, they stay, which is no surprise given Jersey’s fabulous beaches, clean, abundant seas, fresh air, low rates of crime, lack of congestion and good schools. Indeed, to many that holidayed on the Mediterranean coast last summer, which combined recurring heatwaves with a post-pandemic travel boom, Jersey presented itself as an island sanctuary with an ideal climate.

Younger Jersey incomers are also travelling frequently and often privately, pursuing experiences off-island such as yacht ownership and charter. Hence my focus as a broker has broadened from London and Monaco to include an increasing number of Jersey resident clients. There have always been yacht owners in Jersey, but the post-pandemic dynamic has seen a greater number of meaningful meetings with residents and in particular, a healthy charter market developing.

The market surge in Jersey seems to reflect our global performance: in 2019 we enjoyed a good year and sold 60% of all pedigree yachts over 60 metres – spirits were high at the Monaco Yacht Show that year. At the beginning of 2020, there was disappointment as we missed out on a couple of key deals due to the pandemic. By the summer of 2020, we started to take off again and by 2022 we’d completed 14 deals, four of which were signed following 3D tours of the vessels, with the new owners not stepping onboard until much later. Strong sales have continued through into 2023 and, at the time of writing in late January, we are busier than ever representing buyers, sellers, charter clients and charter yacht owners.

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Matthew Ruane

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