“Our market has basically come to a standstill overnight,” said Jonathan Beckett, chief executive officer of yacht broker Burgess. “It’s a matter of sitting it out and being able to afford to sit out.”

The number of yachts in the U.S. in recent weeks has swelled from a month earlier, while those in the Bahamas and Sint Maarten declined. Italy, a Covid-19 hotspot, also saw a steep drop in the number of yachts in its waters.

Many Caribbean islands “have shut down,” said Raphael Sauleau, CEO of yacht broker Fraser. “We had a charter that was supposed to disembark in one place but couldn’t.”

The yacht season in the Mediterranean is struggling before it even starts. The Monaco Grand Prix in May has been canceled, and regular attendees to the principality’s yacht show in September are hesitant about making financial commitments while many of the super-rich are in isolation.

“We would sign a contract, but we’re not going to be paying non-refundable deposits -- that’s for sure,” Beckett said. The pandemic “is going to have a big impact on our industry this year. You’ve got to ride out the storm and do the very best you can.”

Geffen isn’t likely to reveal when he steps ashore. The billionaire made his Instagram account private soon after Saturday’s post.

--With assistance from Tom Metcalf.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

First « 1 2 » Next