It’s a Good Time to Be Selling Superyachts

The most luxurious corner of the market is especially hot right now

Yachts at a dock
Luxury yachts at Barangaroo, on May 8, 2024, in Sydney, Australia.
Steve Christo - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

In the early days that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, very large boats became a big part of the global political discourse. Specifically, megayachts owned by Russian oligarchs with ties to the Russian government became the target of economic sanctions — and sometimes sabotage. You might think that the ongoing war would have had an impact on the luxury yacht market — but, surprisingly enough, that isn’t necessarily the case.

Writing at Air Mail, Jonathan Margolis has details on the current state of superyacht sales — and, spoiler alert, the current state of that industry is very good indeed. Margolis writes that “orders have been running at the current record of 125-plus a year since 2021” in the industry, and that the years since the pandemic began have featured a marked increase in sales of the largest and most luxurious of vessels.

Margolis goes on to note that the nation with the largest group of buyers in the market for super-yachts is the United States. That includes buyers willing to wait for a few ship and those in the market for a previously owned one. He goes on to observe that the owners of these boats “typically trade up, almost always for something bigger, after two or three years” — a relative rarity among luxury buyers with this much money to spend.

The appeal of sizable boats hasn’t yet waned — especially for the biggest boats in the market. “The strong demand is continuing, especially in the $50 million–plus market,” Burgess‘s Richard Lambert told Air Mail. At least for some buyers, there’s an appeal to working with the same companies again and again; custom builders Heesen Yachts recently announced the sale of a 180-foot yacht to what an article described as “a repeat client.”

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

As for where the U.S.’s luxury yacht fleet is concentrated, Margolis points to the area around Florida — with easy access to the Caribbean being one of the draws of docking one’s ship there. With new advances in boatmaking rolling out — or, in the case of this all-aluminum vessel, floating out — regularly, it’s a space that’s constantly evolving.

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