Gigayacht construction hits 10-year high

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Oceanco Yasmin

Oceanco Yasmin

The number of 328-plus-foot (100 meters) superyachts currently under construction is the highest it has been in more than a decade. According to Boat International’s 2020 Global Order Book, there are 21 100-plus-meter projects, seven of them at the Lurssen shipyard in Germany.

“The amazing performance in the very large yacht sector shows there are still plenty of owners willing to commission massive superyacht projects,” said Stewart Campbell, editor-in-chief of Boat International magazine in a statement. “The number of yachts over 250 feet in build now is double the number recorded in 2009, the peak of the previous superyacht boom.”

While the industry remains “confident,” Campbell added, it is looking at 2020 with “caution.”

While the higher end of the market remains strong, the Order Book reported 807 projects of 79 feet and longer, compared to 830 last year. The Order Book hit a low of 629 projects in 2013.

“How to interpret this year’s figures depends on your outlook,” wrote the study’s authors. It might be a “welcome stabilization of a potentially overheating industry or an indication that buyers and shipyards are bracing against macroeconomic headwinds. We suspect there’s truth to both positions.”

Despite the lower order numbers, different categories saw growth. The 90- to 99-foot category saw growth, as did the 120- to 150-foot segment. The expedition yacht category was up 5.45 percent in new orders and builds, and the sailboat segment was up 15.7 percent compared to last year. The study notes, however, that the number of projects in 2020 is down to 59 from its 10-year high of 95 in 2014.

Even with lower numbers, the report indicates that the number of yards participating in the superyacht sector is increasing. It was up 12 percent to 170 shipyards in this year’s report. Four of the 19 new yards have projects that were started on speculation, and the other 15 have firm orders. Nearly half of the yards are new to the superyacht segment, while others have returned to the segment.

The world’s largest yacht under construction is the 600-foot Project Rev, which is being built in Norway.

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