Superyacht sales reach highest level since 2008

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Sales of luxury yachts have reached their highest level since the global financial crisis in 2008 amid growing demand from wealthy Americans and Russians.

Superyacht sales have been slower to rebound than other luxury goods, but the Financial Times reports that demand from international billionaires has picked up during the past year and a half as sellers become more realistic about price, yacht builders and brokers say.

The longest vessel to hit the sea so far in 2014 is Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri’s 140-meter Victory, the ninth-biggest in the all-time list of megayachts. The boat has seven decks and is said to have six pools as long as 8 meters and a floodable internal garage for its tender.

“Buyers are more sensible now [and] there’s a general move towards less is more. People are going for best-quality boats rather than just the biggest boat,” Chris Cecil-Wright, a yacht broker for 20 years, told the Financial Times.

A typical superyacht can still command a price in excess of $150 million and boast several gymnasiums and swimming pools.

There were 221 sales of superyachts in the first half of 2014, a rise of almost a third from the same period a year earlier, according to figures from Boat International Media. That represents a 66 percent rise from the 74 yachts that were sold in the first half of 2009, the bottom of the market.

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Overall boat sales in March were slightly lower compared to last year and year-over-year growth was down by just over 1 percent, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., data that was gathered for 30 states.