Report: Decline in superyacht orders slows

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ShowBoats International magazine recently released a report showing there are 749 yachts over 80 feet under construction worldwide.

Global Order Book 2011 provides a snapshot of the superyacht industry and shows projects with completion dates as far out as 2014. To qualify for inclusion, yachts had to be under way or on order with a firm deposit in the hand of the builder as of Sept. 1, 2010.

Although the 749 projects are slightly less than the 763 that were in the 2010 Order Book (763) the decline is a small 2.09 percent, less than the 23.08 percent decline between 2009 and 2010.

However, there are more very large (above 250 feet) yachts on order now than there were before the recession.

"Since we began collecting Global Order Book information, the high-water mark occurred with the 2009 list, where 1,016 projects reflected the uptick in yacht buying that began in 2006 and lasted until exuberant excesses flung the economy off the cliff," the magazine's acting editor Marilyn Mower said in a statement.

"This year's order book is similar in quantity to that of 2006, although the average length of today's orders is larger and yacht building as an industry is more global. In 1991, the top builder nations were the U.S., Italy and the Netherlands," she said. "Today, the top builder nation - as measured by the number of linear feet of yachts in build - is Italy, followed by the Netherlands, Turkey and the U.S., Taiwan and China, home to several highly regarded exporters of large fiberglass yachts, are ranked seven and eight, respectively."

U.S. and German yards have handled the brunt of the contraction since 2008. The United States has slipped from second to fourth on the leaderboard, both in terms of the number of projects - 64 - and the total length of feet of yachts under construction - 8,424.

ShowBoats International, now part of Boat International Media, has been tracking new yacht orders since 1991.

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