The Market for Superyachts Has Grown Substantially Since 2020

There's an interesting reason why

Massive yacht docking
160-meter-long yacht 'Blue', the world's fifth-largest yacht with the Cayman Islands flag, anchors in the Bodrum district of Mugla, Turkiye.
Osman Uras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Since 2020, the global economy has had to reckon with the pandemic, inflation and supply chain issues. It’s been a challenging time for many industries, and an even more challenging time for countless people working in those industries. That said, there does seem to be one industry that’s done remarkably well since 2020: superyachts.

It’s probably worth asking the question here, before we get much further: just what is it that differentiates a superyacht from a mere yacht? Writing at Forbes in 2019, Bill Springer sought the answer to this question. “All superyachts are opulent enough to be equipped with an object that represents the epitome of luxury — a limousine tender,” he wrote — which seems as good a definition as any.

For a new article at Insider, Tom Porter spoke at length with an anonymous source, described as someone “who has long worked on the vessels” and was willing to share what they’d learned over the years of working for ships owned by some of the globe’s richest people. Porter also cited industry sales data indicating that superyacht sales in 2021 and 2022 substantially eclipsed previous years’ sales.

How to Build a Superyacht in the 21st Century
Heesen CEO Arthur Brouwer talks about changing desires (and demographics), and how the Dutch leader is keeping up with the times

The source who spoke with Insider offered an interesting insight into why so many billionaires have opted to purchase massive boats — apparently, it’s a fantastic dealmaking tool. “It’s very hard to say ‘no’ when you’ve been on board for a week and your family’s been looked after so incredibly well,” he told Porter.

“Have a massive, opulent boat” might not be the easiest recipe for business success, but it’s not hard to see the logic behind it — or the appeal of good hospitality.

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