The next generation of yachting is up and coming, fresh, and has a lot to offer. Looking to the future of yachting, YATCO interviews several different faces of the industry to discover what they have to offer and what they predict for the future of yachting. See below on what Michael Tabor, Co-Founder of Kitson Yachts, has to say.
Featuring Michael Tabor, Co-Founder of Kitson Yachts
Tell us about how you got your start in yachting.
In my case, it started with my family, love for the water and the culture surrounding.
“I find that the people that work in yachting is the root of what makes this industry so unique. My family has been building and selling yachts for three generations; starting with my grandfather who founded Grand Banks which passed to my parents’ generation and championed by my uncle Rob Newton. Rob helped kickstart my career by bringing me into the industry and from there I fell in love with advising clients on the purchase and sale of yachts.”
As a professional in yachting, what trends have you seen and what do you predict for the coming years?
Consumer behavior is the most striking recent trend. Clients are planning ahead and despite longer lead times, owners are committing to yachting in a very real and long-term fashion.
“I feel there is a high degree of importance that should be placed on supporting crew training and maritime crew recruitment, a good crew is the single most influential variable to a successful yacht program.”
I see a shortage of top maritime professionals in the near future, which gives me pause considering we have in excess of 850 superyachts currently under construction.
What kinds of challenges have you been up against in yachting and how do you overcome them?
As it pertains to yacht brokerage and charter, the single biggest challenge is inventory. Walking the Miami Yacht Show was reminiscent of going to Publix and looking for water before a named storm (Florida natives can relate). Last year, Covid-related travel restrictions were a bear and this year, inventory has been a serious impediment. The scales of supply and demand are certainly tipped.
“I have found this industry is based on relationships within the professional community and the flow of information is largely regulated by one’s network.”
I have been very successful in identifying off-market opportunities for clients based on relationships and trust built within my network.
Please tell us about some of your most memorable and successful moments, professionally.
Without a doubt, co-founding Kitson Yachts has been the high point in my career. Having the ability to mold a client’s experience and deliver the highest service is deeply rewarding. We are taking an intentional approach to yachting and meeting our client where they want to be.
What do you aspire to for the future?
“Yachting is experiencing supernormal growth and with it our industry is going through some necessary change and growing pains. While growth and change is positive, I do however hope that this industry does not become commercial in nature.”
I will do my part to deliver a bespoke, confidential and client-centric experience for years to come. Yachting holds a special strand in the fabric of society, and I plan to continue to do my part in keeping it that way.