Tim Johnson is the founder of TJB Super Yachts. Hailing from a naval family, Tim developed a passion for boats at a very young age, however, his love for sea-faring vessels wasn’t his first career move. Tim served in the British Army reserve for 14 years, then pursued a career in private aviation, before his transition into the superyacht sector.
In this Q&A Tim shares his own experiences along with trends and insights from the world of superyachts. Read on to learn more.
TJB Super Yachts has chartered over 2,500 superyachts in its 10 years of business – Can you share information about life as a London superyacht broker?
I travel frequently to our offices in Capri, Stockholm, Holland, Australia, Palm Beach and Barcelona as well as for client yacht embarkations and the annual yacht shows around the world. So when back in London HQ, I spend as much time with the team as possible – from reviewing company goals and expansion plans, to assessing the latest superyachts to market, and innovating new and inspiring charter itineraries for our clients. No two days are the same and the week always involves a few social activities such as team lunches and industry events.
How have ultra-high net worth trends evolved in recent years?
With a new billionaire created every 17 hours, we’re seeing more ultra-high net worth individuals venture into the yacht charter space for both leisure and business, and therefore a substantial growth in first-time superyacht charterers, which is creating an exciting new market for us. A first-time client can explore the TJB Super Yachts’ portfolio on our new website, fill in a preference form and speak to a broker who will get to know the client and guide them through the process in a non-intimidating way.
In the remote working age, an increasing number of superyacht owners have been spending time onboard the vessels for work – a confidential, remote space with no distractions! In line with this, there has been a rise in demand for up-to-date technology on yachts – ensuring a business can be run seamlessly from anywhere on the water.
Since the pandemic, there’s been a renewed interest in multigenerational travel amongst the ultra-high net worth set seeking long-lasting and unique memories with the whole family. The superyacht allows the family complete privacy and exclusivity and presents an opportunity to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences that would be impossible on land.
There’s been a rise in interest for adventure travel and trips further afield on explorer yachts from the younger generation. Millennials are seeking real-world experiences and opportunities to learn during their travels. They no longer seek the same opulent and obvious displays of affluence that generations before them craved onboard a yacht.
TJB Super Yachts has explored 27 countries since launch – What are the top 2023 charter destinations?
TJB Super Yachts’ top charter destinations are Greece, Italy, France, Croatia and the Bahamas – with Greece leading for the second year in a row. This is unsurprising given the breathtaking Mediterranean scenery and diversity of coves to explore. However, we’re seeing younger first-time charterers and adventure seekers express interest in more unusual, less-travelled charter destinations such as Antarctica and Raja Ampat, Southeast Asia. These archipelagos offer unrivalled views, world-class diving or sightseeing opportunities, very little tourism and incredible unspoilt natural scenery.
TJB Super Yachts is a boutique brokerage, what is the approach you take to yacht brokering?
Our company philosophy is “Boutique is better” – as an independent brokerage, we have an unbiased and personal approach to everything we do. The brokers are with our clients (virtually) every step of the journey to guarantee a smooth charter and ensure all the requests are met. They also fly out for each yacht embarkation to make sure the client is happy and well-settled onboard. The TJB Super Yachts team has access to over 80% of yachts on the water via a CRM database, which offers us exclusive access to a number of yachts that are not listed elsewhere.
Luxury is highly subjective – What does it mean to you?
To be in possession of a unique item, a ‘one of one’ is the highest form of luxury for me. These items are so special because they’re completely custom-built and no one else will ever have it. A great example of this is superyacht ARTEFACT, a custom-built superyacht with an incredible unprecedented floor-to-ceiling glass central section, innovative power generation technologies and digital power management – it’s also one of the first superyachts to meet IMO Tier III emissions regulations.
Having said this, a clear horizon on a calm day, sailing my boat around Hayling Island will always bring me more joy than any luxury item!
What is your life motto?
“Here for a good time, not a long time.”