Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Demand for large sailboats could be on the decline

Though small performance sailboats have seen somewhat strong demand, the desire for large sailing yachts has waned.

Though small performance sailboats have seen somewhat strong demand, the desire for large sailing yachts has waned.

Nigel Ingram, of MCM, told The New York Times that interest in the 100-plus-foot vessels is not as strong as it was a handful of years ago.

“The last three years things have started to slow down,” Ingram told the newspaper. “Most boatbuilders are really hungry for new projects. The industry has to be feeling it because the architects aren’t busy, and that’s where it starts.”

Ingram stopped a career as a yacht captain in 1987 to start managing the construction of the aluminum Sparkman and Stephens 73-foot Encore.

His detailed approach to making sure yacht designs moved from drafting boards to working versions of an owner’s dreams allowed him to capitalize on a niche in the marine industry that has since become yacht management.

By the time his company, MCM, added the yacht operations component to its construction management business in 2001, there were still only three companies specializing in the managing of luxury yachts, Ingram said.

Now, however, nearly three decades after the launch of Encore, there are dozens of companies like MCM.

Ingram, 68, will be visiting one of his 22 charges, the 115-foot superyacht Nikata, next week at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. He was the owner’s representative for the construction of the boat last year at Baltic Yachts in Finland, and MCM manages the yacht’s annual operations.

The superyachts competing for the Rolex Cup are often referred to as small cities. Since owners began racing these 100-footers a decade ago, an industry has sprouted up around them, complete with training schools for every level of staffing and trade, including the highly specialized Superyacht Crew Academy in Australia.

The army of builders it takes to construct yachts such as Ingram’s Nikata is exceeded by the annual ebb and flow of professional sailing crew, engineers, waitstaff and industry professionals employed to sail such a boat through races, transoceanic deliveries and cruising vacations.

It can cost more than $4 million annually to run a superyacht, according to the U.S. Superyacht Association. Expenses range from hundreds of thousands dollars spent on insurance, dockage and fuel to more than $1 million in crew salaries.

“In the build of a boat, 50 percent of the cost goes to labor,” Ingram said. “So that goes to the dining-room tables of the people who work at the shipyard.”

Related

Year-End Tax Planning Guidance

These tips can help employers maximize cash savings, minimize tax exposure and more

Mercury Marine to Open Ind. Distribution Center

The new 512,000-square-foot facility will help the manufacturer meet record consumer demand for parts and accessories. The company is also expanding production at its main campus in Wisconsin.

GM Invests $150 Million in Pure Watercraft

An interview with Pure founder and CEO Andy Rebele.

Sea Tow, Southport Boats Form “Peace of Mind” Partnership

Sea Tow’s Gold Card, which includes two years of coverage, will now come standard with new Southport models.

Yamaha Rightwaters Goes International

The conservation initiative becomes an international effort as Yamaha Motor Australia joins a cleaner-ocean campaign.

Perfect Timing

With all the new boats sold recently, it’s inevitable that a good percentage will wind up on the used market. MRAA has launched a Certified Pre-Owned Boat Program to help dealers strengthen this profit center.

A Boatbuilder in Congress?

Robert Healey Jr., of Viking Yacht Co., is running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in New Jersey.

Monterey and Blackfin to Expand Operations

The company will add 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space to meet increased demand, creating 150 job opportunities.