Number of superyachts being built reaches record high

More than 1,200 superyachts are currently on order – a rise of 25 per cent on last year – according to the latest edition of the Global Order Book.  

The figures for 2021 have beaten the previous all-time record of 1,008 commissions set in 2009, as the superyacht industry continues to boom.

According to Stewart Campbell, Boat International, the trend towards buying superyachts, which started last summer, is the ‘hottest sales streak on record’.

Of the 1,200 superyachts currently on order or under construction, 27 will be more than 100 metres long, according to the latest edition of Boat International’s Global Order Book. The largest is 182.9m REV Ocean, set to become the world’s largest superyacht when it is completed in 2024.   

The upcoming 182.9-metre superyacht REV Ocean

The pandemic has partly fuelled the surge of superyacht orders, with many ultra-high-net-worth individuals drawn to the safety and solitude a yacht can provide.

As reported by Marine Industry News, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s upcoming superyacht is estimated to have cost about $500m (£350m).

“The market’s never been busier,” superyacht broker Will Christie tells the Guardian. “And I’ve been in the industry 20 years. A lot of people say they appreciate the safety of being on a yacht during the pandemic. But it’s also because whereas in previous eras the people with enough money were too busy in the office to justify the purchase, these days they can work from anywhere.

“I had one client who sent his trading terminals by plane so he could use them onboard – he’d be kitesurfing in the afternoon and then go back to his desk.”

Christie says that shipyard order books are predominantly full until 2025 – meaning clients are often prepared to pay a premium to take over someone else’s slot if it means their vessel will be delivered earlier. 

But it is not only commissions of the largest boats that are increasing. Orders of superyachts between 24-30m have seen a rise of 30.5 per cent year on year, with over 400 commissions. 

The UK ranked fifth for the most orders by country at 81, while Italy tops the table with 523 orders.  

Critics of the trend highlight the disproportionate environmental toll that superyachts take on the planet. 

“Whether it’s this or private jets or trips to space, they’re just sticking two fingers up at the rest of society,” Peter Newell, a professor of international relations at Sussex University, told the Guardian. “It’s decadent. They’re not comfortable with the constraints that come with accepting collective responsibility for the fate of the planet.”

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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