As we move headlong into the show season, it’s been a somewhat confusing first half of 2014, as far as superyacht sales are concerned. There have been mixed messages coming from brokers, with gloomy ‘realism’ diluted by a more optimistic outlook from many.

Most are in agreement at least, that the US has bounced back quicker than Europe, as far as the second-hand market is concerned. And, to the end of June, sales had increased 18 per cent YoY, with Camper & Nicholsons International’s Simon Goldsworthy suggesting, “For most of our clients, the financial crisis is starting to be a dot in their rear-view mirror, and because the news they are getting from their businesses is positive, they are feeling confident again.”

While YoY increases of nearly a fifth are undoubtedly encouraging, there is however, still a long way to go to make the necessary dent in the inventory that would spark a hypothetical rush of new build contracts.

During the same period the new build market has fared relatively well, in the context of the industry more realistic expectations. There have been 47 orders to [not quite] replace the 71 launches that took place in the first six months of the year. While this figure, which equates to a 66 per cent replenishment of the order book, is encouraging in theory, Superyacht Intelligence data has indicated that 25 per cent of this figure is comprised of sales of existing on-spec builds.

So there is plenty of work for the yards to do as we edge towards the end of Q3, and into Q4. As Burak Akgul, Perini Navi Group’s managing director of sales, marketing and design explained to earlier this month, “We’re all a little too tainted by what’s been happening these last few years to be more than cautiously optimistic. Right now, with everything that’s going on in the world it’s not the most conducive time for people to be thinking about these investments.”

The distribution of new orders in the first half of 2014.

And with 599 orders placed between 2009 and 2013, equating to almost exactly 120 new orders a year, the yards and brokers have work to do during the next four months to bolster the order book. As a recent Superyacht Intelligence report outline, ‘With around 370 yachts in build, the order book is the smallest it has been in years, and as 2014 progresses it will be crucial to review the updates trends and prognosis for the coming years…”

The industry will have a much clearer idea of 2014’s annus status by the time The Superyacht Group’s chairman, Martin H Redmayne opens the Global Superyacht Forum in Amsterdam on 17 November. In his ‘State of the Industry’ address, Redmayne will utilise data from the group’s forthcoming Annual Report to evaluate the current state of the market and the trajectory for the following 12 months.

In celebration of the Global Superyacht Forum’s 20th anniversary, Superyacht Events is offering unmissable earlybird discounts for delegates: FACE2FACE delegates can attend all three days for EUR 1,080; Influencer delegates for EUR 540; and VIP delegates for EUR 270. Please note, delegates must register from 1 – 31 August, 2014, to be eligible. Simply enter the code #GSForum2014 when prompted on the GSF registration page. For any enquiries, please contact Suzie Hine, on

Profile links

Camper & Nicholsons International

Perini Navi

Superyacht Intelligence Agency

Global Superyacht Forum

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