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2021 strongest year ever for the superyacht market

A new report by VesseslValue showcases the booming numbers in 2021 for superyachts

2021 was the strongest year on record for the superyacht market, in terms of number of transactions and total money spent, according to a new report by VesselsValue, a data firm specialising in commercial shipping, aviation and superyachts.

The report noted that the only comparable year to 2021 was 2007, the year before the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.

Sam Tucker, author of the report and head of superyachts for VesselsValue, cited three main factors for the booming superyacht market. The first was sustained wealth creation by ultra-high net worth individuals. The second was low interest rates providing cheap capital. Finally, there was the desire for privacy and isolation amid the ongoing waves of Covid infections and lockdowns.

Deliveries of superyachts in 2020 and 2021 were at record lows, which Tucker said was due to the impact of Covid restrictions, which had hampered supply chains and caused disruptions among builders. But sales far outstripped anything in previous years, with 887 sales recorded, compared to 500 in 2020 and 429 in 2019. The report also noted that values of superyachts (corrected for depreciation) were “firming” across the entire spectrum of yachts.

So far, the rate of growth of the superyacht charter fleet is reportedly slowing because owners are opting to keep their vessels for private use, which means less time spent at sea. Data from VesselsValue suggests the charter fleet grows approximately 5% per year.

The coming year could bring new challenges, among them economic uncertainty due to ongoing Covid restrictions. Though economic forecasts remain positive, VesselsValue notes that demand for superyachts is linked to the health of the global economy. Inflation and rising interest rates could be issues in 2022, as well as new restrictions due to new variants of Covid-19.

Most newbuild shipyards are working at capacity with long lead times so buyers looking for a custom yacht with prompt delivery may consider a refit or a conversion project with a quicker delivery time. The report also noted that as prices rise, more superyacht owners may wish to put their existing boats on the market.

Tucker said that older superyachts that are less economical and efficient to run may find that they are no longer desirable to own. Tucker proposed that a first superyacht recycling business may become a profitable enterprise, which would help reduce supply when demand falls.

By Ryan Swift | 3 February 2022 | Asia-Pacific Boating


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