Italy remains the world leader in yacht building

Large Yacht Orders Highlight 2013 Global Order Book from Boat International Media
Statistics show a 44% increase in orders for the largest superyachts

A total of 692 private yachts of 80 feet or more are under construction worldwide, and while that total shows an overall 5.2% decline from last year, statistics show  a return to the business of ordering yachts, according to ShowBoats International’s 2013 annual Global Order Book, a guide to yachts 80 feet (24m) and above under construction.

Each year the magazine presents a list of yachts in build at shipyards throughout the world with comprehensive global statistics and economic activity around large yacht orders worldwide.

The market for new yachts over the 120-foot mark has begun moving and will rise further still. The American market is beginning to spend again and Asia, Brazil and Russia continue their interest in spending their liquid assets in the yachting industry.

Italy remains the world leader in yacht building with 272 projects although production is down by 14.2%. The Netherlands follows with significant increase (15.85%) in the total length of vessels under construction (from 10,085 to 11,684 feet YOY) as well as an increase (8.2%) in projects (from 61 to 66). Turkey is right behind with 63 projects although its average length of yachts underway is nearly 40 feet
shorter than Holland (143 vs.180).

The U.S.A. remains in fourth place in terms of the total length of yachts underway 8,547 feet) although this represents 66 projects. The United Arab Emirates climbs onto the leader board this year in 9th place with 11 projects underway for a total of 1,995 feet.

The smallest category of yachts – those of 80 to 89 feet, show only 119 projects recorded this year, compared to 178 last year, a drop of 33.1%. This drop is a particular issue in Italy, whose builders are dealing with a net loss of 45 hulls this year, including 26 from the Ferretti Group alone.

The uptake in orders for the very largest yachts (200+ feet) is a bright spot in the data with an increase of 16 projects to a total of 86, although the overall numbers are down by 36 builds, or 5.2%. One of the surprises is a 30% drop in open-style high-performance yacht orders from 63 in 2012 to 44 in 2013, indicating that yachts consuming a lot of fuel are less in vogue.

“There is a definite trend visible in this 2013 Order Book with the inclusion of some enormous yachts; no less than 14 projects over 100 meters [328 feet] are currently on order,” said Kate Lardy, editor of ShowBoats International magazine. “This is a new record for the industry. Three of the 100+ meter yachts are sailing yachts being built in Germany, Holland and Turkey”.

“Before the economic downturn, orders were very strong in the small to mid-sized market of semi-custom yachts,” said Marilyn Mower, US Editorial Director for Boat International Media. “Where interest has returned this year is for custom yachts of all sizes that showcase innovation and personal style and it’s by the most financially secure who are not concerned about ordering a large yacht that may take three or more years to complete.” The average size of yachts under construction has grown from 131 to 136 feet.