Royal Perth Yacht Club - What Crisis?

Royal Perth Yacht Club GM Stuart Walton -photo by Bill Hatto
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While the world liquidity crisis has resulted in reports of slowdowns and mass sackings in many parts of the luxury yacht industry worldwide, there's one corner of the sailing world which hasn't seemed to notice.

The West Australian reports that down in the south west corner of that state, the upper echelons of Perth’s rich are pouring money into luxury boats and top-notch Christmas celebrations at record pace, seemingly unfazed by the economic turmoil.

Royal Perth Yacht Club general manager Stuart Walton said the 50 berths in the club’s newly finished $8 million marina expansion were already taken and there was a long waiting list for spaces. Half of the berths fetch A$23,000 a year in rent each.

Mr Walton said the club was home to boats valued from A$5000 to A$10 million. While there was some uncertainty in the mid to lower end of the market, the top-end remained strong.

Club membership was also up 4 per cent on last year.

'In terms of the top end, unless people are involved in specific industries that have been adversely affected, they are loath to give up their recreational activities,' Mr Walton said.

Maurits Hayim, president of the Boating Industry Association and dealer principal at Avante Marine, said sales of luxury boats remained high.