There are quite literally thousands of superyachts currently populating the world’s seas and harbours and with more Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals today than ever before, that number looks set to only increase in coming years.
Defined as any yacht over 100 foot long, superyachts are, to put it bluntly, the ultimate status symbol for the mega-rich. They offer everything – glamour, adventure, privacy, and flexibility.
Even chartering such a vessel can set you back multiple thousands of pounds, but that hasn’t stopped the industry from booming.
Notably, as far back as 2016, it was estimated that around $20 billion was spent on building, chartering and enjoying these behemoth boats.
Fast forward three years to 2019 in the UK and the superyacht industry experiences its seventh consecutive growth year, with revenue of £660 million being generated, representing a 7.1% increase on the previous year.
Sailing for victory
Whilst these incredible creations are often seen as little more than an excuse for the very wealthy to show off, their existence has actually contributed a £308 million worth of business to the UK, with over 300 businesses producing superyachts based within the country.
These businesses together provide over 5,000 jobs to the people of the UK and with 109 yachts currently on order or under construction, that number can only go up, if supply ever stands a chance of meeting demand.
Our British yachts are also incredibly popular overseas, with over half of the revenue generated by the industry attributed to exports to both the US and Europe.
There have even been signs of growth in exports further afield to the Middle East and Asia, where larger manufacturers are currently focusing on expanding their operations.
According to Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine: “The UK is the third-largest builder of superyachts in the world and ‘British built’ continues to remain in high demand across the globe.”
How did we get here?
So we can see that the industry is in fine health. But why?
Adventure – There are few holidaying experiences as diverse and exciting as a holiday on a superyacht. You might step aboard in Monaco but by the end of the vacation, you could be halfway across the world in Miami.
Also, remember that for many UHNW individuals, wasting a day is simply not an option as their time is so valuable and the flexibility of a superyacht means not a second will be wasted.
Privacy – For many UHNW individuals, privacy and discretion are as important as location. With your own hotel on the water, you’re not only given the freedom to go wherever you want to go but you can be assured you’ll be doing so without any unwanted attention.
Customisation – Most superyacht designers and builders will be able to meet with prospective buyers first to create a completely customised boat that is truly unique.
They will start by going through your specifications and desires and will then design a scale boat model of your vessel, before going ahead with the final build.
Safety – As well as being completely secure, modern superyachts are also designed to be as safe as possible, with many recent designs even including specialised nets that allow users to swim in the middle of the ocean without fear of getting stung or bitten by nasty ocean creatures.
Glamour – Finally, we can’t ignore the fact that owning a superyacht is indeed the height of fashionable wealth.