The superyacht sphere has seen extraordinary change over the past 25 years; from the rapid progression of technology, to a superyacht fleet buoyed by consistent growth and the advent of ‘new’ thinking that’s shifted our superyacht world beyond.
Yet, while the business of superyachting has manifested into a more captivating, competitive and progressive industry, The Superyacht Report continues unrivalled as the industry’s leading source of market information, only strengthened by its data engine, The Superyacht Intelligence Agency.
It’s only fitting then (especially as I, along with an enthusiastic team from The Superyacht Group HQ, prepare for our temporary home in The Superyacht Pavilion at FLIBS) our latest issue of The Superyacht Report (Issue 182 – available here) focuses on the turbulence in the US market.
We chart the trials and tribulations of the US superyacht market over the past 25 years, the erosion of US superyacht build numbers, look at whether US wealth can stimulate the sector and, of momentous interest, our Brokerage Editor Felix Sowerbutts explores the truth behind the collapse of the industry’s most prolific US shipyard, Broward Marine.
Rewind 25 years and a quick glance into The Superyacht Intelligence Agency’s archives reveals the sheer scale of Broward’s position – an impressive average growth rate of seven per cent through the ’90s. But in the interest of mental digestion, allow me to briefly condense the underlying facts.
Broward was ‘flying high’ in the ’90s, delivering 56 superyachts in ’92 and swelling to 79 by ’95 – a total of 23 deliveries in just 36 months, and what turned out to be 21 per cent of the Broward fleet.
It wasn't until the early ’00s that the Broward dream came crashing down. Family-business relationships soured, the shipyard fell into a downward spiral, growth stagnated and then the writing was on the wall. It was the demise of one of the industry’s key builders.
Leaving a void in the US market, many builders capitalised, including Westport.
Gaining little to no traction in the decade prior to ’99, it was in 2000 during the erosion of Broward Marine that Westport experienced accelerated growth. In ’98, the global Westport fleet stood at five yachts; by the end of 2000 it was 14, just over a decade on and buoyed by a compound average-growth-rate of 23 per cent the figure ballooned to 92.
Looking to the next 25 years many things are uncertain, except one. SuperyachtNews and The Superyacht Intelligence Agency will continue its meticulous reporting and industry analysis the superyacht sphere has come to rely on.
In the meantime, we wonder, who’s audacious enough to take the helm and navigate a new course through this embattled sector?