[INTERVIEW] OceanLine on being a Yacht and Charter Broker in Malta

MaltaToday talks with OceanLine Managing Director Daniel Ashforth to get some valuable insight. All aboard!

OceanLine Managing Director Daniel Ashforth
OceanLine Managing Director Daniel Ashforth

A leading international yacht brokerage and charter business based on our beautiful Maltese islands, OceanLine specialises in sales of used boats and yacht charter Malta services.

With over 10 years’ experience in the yachting industry, MaltaToday spoke with managing director Daniel Ashforth to get the inside scoop on the used boat and yacht charter market, how it has changed over the years and what we can all expect in the near boating future.

Q1. Hi Daniel, to start with, how was Oceanline set up?

The company was set up in 2016, after I spent more than eight years working in the brokerage industry here in Malta. At the time it was evident that there was room for a more customer-focused service and I wanted to use my experience in the local market not only to grow a business, but also to assist other people in buying and selling boats - so the business just took off!

Q2. In your own words, what does Oceanline specialise in?

Oceanline is a specialist in the yacht brokerage and yacht charter industry here in Malta. We sell and charter boats for many local clients. We also give boat owners the opportunity to sell quickly and easily as well as present buyers with a wide range of boats to choose from. We don’t forget about the leisure hunters either and therefore, have a beautiful selection of boats for charter as well.

Our services are geared towards providing essential sales of used boats. We found that this model is attractive to people by giving our sole attention to their used boat and since we don’t have any brand commitments or preferences, many boat owners refer to us when selling.

We also provide a vast range of yacht charter services, both for short-term (one/two-day charters) and long-term charters (three days and longer). We are proud to say that many local boat owners charter their yachts via our services, helping them minimise the high cost of boat ownership. 

Q3. You are the experts! Tell us, what’s your view on the current used boat and yacht charter market?

Being a yacht broker in Malta means that you are accepting to strive in a very competitive environment and working hard to stand out. Of course, you must be brave and not give up easily. The market is so competitive that many start-ups don’t even manage to finish the first year. Competition doesn’t scare us however, because we are absolutely focused on - and constantly investing in - our own business. These two are key to running a successful yacht charter business in the Maltese market.

The market is constantly growing: more people want to own their own yacht while yacht owners are always on the search for bigger boats to buy on a yearly basis. This is a nice fit for us, since larger boats mean complex selling processes. It includes assisting with the country’s leasing structures and on and off shore registrations, arranging surveys, etc. I know it sounds really complicated, but that’s why we are here - to take the burden off clients knowing that we will deliver a fast and reliable service.

Q4. How do you think the market changed during the years?

I remember when I first started out in the year 2008, the local market used to consider a 50ft yacht to be “a monster”.

At the time, there were very few luxury yachts owned by locals – all the “big” yachts were mainly owned by foreigners visiting the islands.

Well, this is certainly not the case anymore as the local economy has progressed beyond belief over the past few years! Malta is blooming due to the current strong wave of business development, which includes sufficient foreign investments from the iGaming and financial service sectors. The ripple effect saw a huge increase in the rental and sales markets for property and yachts included.

The Malta Yacht Charter evolution was great to watch. It became a strong attraction for people looking for a yacht charter in the Mediterranean region.

Malta is finally competing with legendary places like Ibiza and Mallorca. What’s more, famous faces have started to pick up on it too - Tinie Tempah joined us and chartered our Predator-62 last summer!

English singer and songwriter Tinie Tempah and Daniel Ashforth
English singer and songwriter Tinie Tempah and Daniel Ashforth

Q5. What does the future hold for this industry in Malta?

The future is certainly bright for the Maltese yacht brokerage and charter industry. It is crucial, however, that Malta and the European Union maintain a solid relationship to ensure the current VAT yacht leasing structure continues. This will be beneficial to all business sectors, not just the yachting business.

We also hope that iGaming industry - which helped boost the yachting business - will continue driving the economy forward, providing more people with better opportunities to live a happy life, and, why not, to buy their own boat as well.

Q6. How exactly is iGaming affecting boat sales in Malta?

Well, since a number of iGaming companies are located here in Malta, many foreigners had to relocate here as well. The iGaming industry is renowned for giving good remuneration packages and many people working in this industry can afford to chase their dream and buy a boat. Not to mention all those team-building events we have onboard, that are incredibly popular in the corporate world of Malta.

Q7. And what about the future of Oceanline, any plans for growth?

Oceanline is always open for opportunities and we grow every time we have a chance. We invite boat owners to contact us at any time so that we can discuss the best ways to place their boats onto the market.

We also assist yacht owners who decide to list their boat for chartering. It’s healthy for a boat to stay active, better let her go for a ride, she will pay you back for this gesture.

Q8. And the last question of today, what would you say to a person who is not sure whether or not to buy a boat in Malta?

I would say just go for it, life is so exciting when you can sail away anytime you wish into the serene Mediterranean Sea. The best moment to live is “Right Now” - so just do it. Plus, if you have any queries, Oceanline is always here to help you.

 

For more information about Oceanline please email: daniel@oceanlinemalta.com. For charters please visit: Yacht Charter Malta. For second hand boats please visit Used Boats for Sale Malta.

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