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Phuket Boating: Cruising like a missile

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Boating: Cruising like a missile | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Range to target: under 3,500 nautical miles. ‘Aye aye, Sir,’ says your skipper and you’re underway. With a long-range cruising capability of 2,000nm at 11 knots, or 3,500nm at 8 knots, the Princess 88 Motor Yacht defines the luxury nautical version of the “great escape”.

Having a non-stop range of more than 6,400km in a single trip – about the same as many long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) – raises a few eyebrows over what might be required to complete such a trip.

Worry not, even though the flybridge hot tub, hydraulic foldout saloon balcony and aft garage (no joke) are “optional extras”, the 13,000 liters of fuel that can be stored on board will get you there, and the cocktail bar comes standard with an ice maker.

If you’re in a hurry, and your target is closer to home, the deep-V hybrid hull and the twin engines can get the “cruiser” up to speeds of 27 to 30 knots – impressive for a boat that displaces the best part of 70 tonnes. It also means less ice will be needed for the trip.

The latest version of the luxury flybridge yacht literally wowed visitors at the Singapore Boat Show in April.

“The Princess 88 shown at Singapore is the first in Southeast Asia,” explains Rico Stapel, head of Marketing & Charter at Princess Yachts South East Asia, located at Phuket’s Boat Lagoon.

“No doubt, the luxury yacht was long awaited in Asia. Powerful, agile, graceful and elegant – it has no equal in long distance cruising. The boat is now based in Phuket, here at the Boat Lagoon.

“In every sense, the Princess 88 Motor Yacht bridges the gap between flybridge cruiser and superyacht, for a truly world-class, on-water experience.”

Below deck, the yacht offers designs of four or five cabins, with the four-cabin option comprising a VIP-cabin in the bow of the boat, two guest cabins with a double or twin bed and a luxurious master stateroom the entire 20-foot width of the hull.

Up top, the vast flybridge and huge cockpit with dining area, bar and optional jacuzzi provides plenty of space in which to dine and entertain. On the main deck, if desired, you can install a folding balcony, separated from the passenger compartment by glass sliding doors.

“The expansive lounge and dining area is flawlessly decorated and full of light. The main control room and a well equipped galley are separated from the guest area and have a private walkway for the crew,” explains Rico.

“The interior styling and detailing is exceptional with the finest fabrics and finishes adopted throughout. The expansive saloon and formal dining area are exquisitely furnished and bathed in light from large panoramic windows on either side.”

The Princess name has become synonymous with all that is finest in luxury motor yacht design and as part of the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) family, has become a brand of distinction around the world.

“The LVMH luxury portfolio unites many of the world’s most aspirational brands, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Moet & Chandon and Feadship: brands which have achieved iconic status through that rare combination of tradition and innovation, creativity and cutting-edge design,” says Rico.

“Princess Yachts Southeast Asia takes pride in providing luxury new and used yacht sales, dedicated service as well as yacht management in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

“We have been the only authorized dealer for the timeless and prestigious Princess Yachts from the UK since 1995. We also offer premium brokerage yachts from all over Southeast Asia.”

The yacht charter division specializes in luxury cruises not only in Singapore and Thailand, but also all of the best cruising destinations in the Andaman, Mergui, Komodo and the Maldives.

“We pride ourselves on integrity, reliability and passion. Our sole mission is to provide the best possible maritime turnkey experience, from the moment one starts thinking about purchasing or hiring a yacht and every day after that,” says Rico.

“What better way to truly explore Phuket than from the luxury of one of our motor yachts. Our charter fleet ranges from 13 to 40m, including many brand-new and fully equipped Princess Yachts.

“Our yachts go not only to all the famous locations, such as the beautiful islands, crystal clear water and sandy beaches found in and around Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island, Phi Phi Island and Maya Bay, but also to some hidden gems.”

Also on offer are a variety of activities, including snorkelling and cave kayaking.

“Maybe you prefer the simplicity of one of our all-inclusive packages or you would like to custom tailor your cruise by choosing from a variety of gourmet menus, wines and adding spa massage or a diving lesson in your language? In any case, we will work for you to make your cruise uniquely yours,” Rico teases.

To those who take such good advice on board, and especially those with a Princess under them, perhaps Rico’s renowned sign off to all his missives seems most appropriate: “To a day well lived.”

Indeed.

For more information contact Rico Stapel, head of Marketing & Charter at the Princess Yachts South East Asia – Phuket Office. Tel: 076-239739. Fax: 076-239739. Mobile: 086-690 0444. Skype: ricostapel. Website: www.princessyachtssea.com

— Chris Husted

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Property

Guaranteed rental returns – Are they real?

The Thaiger

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Guaranteed rental returns – Are they real? | The Thaiger

If you’re looking to invest in overseas property, search the market and it’s not unusual to find condos for sale with guaranteed rental returns of 40%, and some even higher. Yes, it DOES seems too good to be true, but the offers are out there and the packages often come with free legal fees and other such benefits. Clearly, before diving in, you need to seek some expert and professional advice.

So, what is the debate about? And what questions should you ask prior to investing?

Guaranteed rental returns are obviously enticing for investors and purchasers alike, with standard net returns usually being advertised below the 10% mark.

In the opinion of many, this is not a cheap marketing trick. Yes, it does have ‘marketing power’ and it might just be the additional financial package that helps developers and agents clinch the deal. But for the investors, they genuinely are guaranteed a minimum return on their investment. Surely that’s positive. It eases the concerns of investors and keeps the market buoyant. And why wouldn’t buyers prefer to go with the property that guarantees this return, over the property that does not?

Other experts are not so sure. While acknowledging that a rental guarantee clearly offers agents and developers an advantage in marketing and selling, there are voices within the industry that urge caution. There’s a suspicion that developments that come with a guarantee may be overpriced and that the developers may have factored the cost of the guarantee into the actual price of the property that is being offered.

Those that hold this negative opinion about guarantees suggest that a better strategy for any investor might be to really understand the market in which the property is being offered, aim to get the lowest price possible, do the deal and then organise the letting independently.

Other cautious voices wonder if investors aren’t being tantalised with a vision of unrealistic long-term returns. The question that is asked is what happens when the guaranteed period ends? It’s not unknown for the guaranteed period to expire, and for the investor to suddenly realise that the true rental value of the property is much lower than they believed. Rental incomes suddenly drop, and they suddenly realise that they have overpaid into the wrong investment.

But still, many deny that developers overprice properties when offering guarantees. And no matter what, it’s clear that a rental guarantee is important for certain investors who need the security that it offers. And genuinely, it appears that there are some good guarantees out there on the market. So what to do?

The trick is to apply common sense and due diligence to the situation and examine the legal, commercial and financial strength of the guarantee and the market in which it is being offered. Here are some questions worth considering:

Legally, how is the guarantee structured?

Is it underwritten with a contract in which legal recourse is an option, should you not receive the income that is guaranteed? This is clearly important.

Commercially, is the guaranteed rental figure in-line with the rental market in which the property is situated? Basically, are the developers offering you more rental income than is actually achievable in the current market? If they are offering you more, then once the guaranteed period expires, you’ll probably see your returns on investment drop.

Financially, how does the guarantee work?

Is the guaranteed return dependent upon the commercial success of the project?

Some guarantees are based on projected annual revenues and are subject to these revenues being achieved. In other words, if the expected revenues aren’t achieved, the full guaranteed amounts might not be paid to the purchaser.

In addition to this, some guarantees may also come with the proviso that the amount being ‘guaranteed’ is ‘subject to the competency of’ the management of the complex. This may seem vague, but it’s possible that if the expected revenues aren’t achieved, then the blame for this failure is going to be put solely on the management company.

The vagueness of such a ‘competency’ proviso might also be used to cover all manner of issues. For example, is it possible that forecasted rental revenues might fail to materialise, not because of the bad management of a complex, but because the original forecasts were set too high? It might be easy to blame all manner of poor results on the incompetence of how an apartment complex is managed and to do this with no liability.

With this in mind, once again, it’s very important to look at the rental market in which the property is located, and then ask: are the projected annual revenues realistic in the current market? And of course, you will have to do some research on the developers.

Do the developers have a track record of successfully managing properties, renting them out and ensuring that incomes are generated?

If the answer to this is ‘no’, how then will they be able to generate the income that they are guaranteeing? This may be a sign that the property price has been ‘artificially’ increased to cover any foreseen shortfall in future income.

All-in-all, there’s a lot to consider. Guaranteed rental returns do offer investors a level of security, and it is natural for people to feel compelled to buy into them, and yes, there are some good offers on the market. But it’s worth remembering that in the right location, you’ll always be able to rent out a property.

As we always recommend at The Thaiger, do your homework!

To find thousands of available rental properties in Thailand, click HERE.

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News

30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands

Greeley Pulitzer

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30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands | The Thaiger

Tourists were treated to the sight of a school of dolphins in the Similan Islands off the Phang Nga coast on Sunday.

Tour organisers said that around 30 dolphins swam close to the boat six or seven miles offshore, creating excitement for passengers. It was the first time dolphins had been seen in the vicinity since October 15.

The Similan Islands National Park director said they were bottlenose dolphins and were among several species now returning to the area following a five-year closure of the park for environmental rehabilitation. Food is again plentiful there for them, he said.

Tourists are forbidden to feed wildlife lest the free handouts alter the animals’ natural behaviour, and the park’s waters are also very sensitive to contamination from human disease and marine debris, according to the director.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Business

500 people own 36% of equity in Thai companies

Greeley Pulitzer

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500 people own 36% of equity in Thai companies | The Thaiger

Roughly 36% of Thailand’s corporate equity is held by just 500 people, highlighting wealth inequality in the Kingdom, according to a study released by the Bank of Thailand’s research institute.

Each of these 500 amass some 3.1 billion baht (102 million USD) per year in company profits, according to the report from the Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research. In contrast, average yearly household income in Thailand is around 10,000 USD.

A report out this week from the Economic and Business Research Centre for Reform at Thailand’s Rangsit University also pointed to divisive and polarised politics being another root cause of the economic divide.

Thailand’s private sector is dominated by tycoons running sprawling conglomerates. According to the World Bank, the gap between the mega-wealthy and the rest of the Thai population of 69 million is among the many economic challenges for Thailand. According to Bloomberg, the perception of a divide, exacerbated by an economic slowdown, is a major political fault line.

“Magnates arise in Thailand from institutional factors that privilege certain businesses,” said the executive director of PIER, author of the study.

The institute said Thailand needs to promote competitiveness to reduce profits from monopoly power and bolster entrepreneurship to create a more equitable distribution of corporate wealth.

The research is based on analysis of 2017 Commerce Ministry data on the 2.1 million shareholders in Thai firms, and was funded by the University of California San Diego.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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