A buyer’s guide to the 50m-plus sailing yacht segment
This most niche of sectors continues to be a challenging landscape for both buyers and builders…
In recent years, the custom sailing yacht market has experienced a decline in fortunes and, as a result, has created challenging market conditions for many of the world’s most prolific large sailing yacht builders. When buying in this sector, therefore, it is imperative to do a thorough evaluation of shipyard activity and financial stability in order to ensure that any project is likely to reach fruition on time and on budget, while ensuring that the shipyard will still be operational by the end of the project. While it is a challenging landscape, this uniquely passionate and desirable segment of the market is served by an equally unique and passionate pocket of specialist sailing yacht builders.
By way of example, over the last 20 years, the most prolific 50m-plus sailing yacht builder is Perini Navi, which has delivered an impressive 22 projects during this period. Nevertheless, in recent years it has become clear that Perini Navi has been in financial difficulty as its majority owner, the Tabacchi family, became increasingly discontented with the business’ diminished returns. (In September 2020, it was announced that Perini Navi had secured new investment from Blue Skye Investment group.)
It is hard to provide concrete buying advice in this sector, given that Perini Navi has been the most prolific 50m-plus sailing yacht builder over the past 10 years, yet has still faced challenges. There is, however, an elite tier of builders within this most niche of sectors that continues to represent both quality and consistency, including Baltic Yachts and Royal Huisman.
Oceanco features as one of the top 50m-plus sailing yacht manufacturers in terms of cumulative tonnage and meterage, having delivered two projects over the past 10 years. These projects stand apart from the other ‘top’ yards in so far as they are 85.9m and 106.8m respectively. And the world’s largest ever sailing yacht, S/Y A, (142.81m) was built by Nobiskrug. Indeed, in the past five years, three of the five sailing yacht projects over 70m have been constructed by shipyards that are better known for motoryacht builds. It is worth noting that, while outside the parameters of our data, Royal Huisman also delivered 81m Sea Eagle II this year (pictured above).
What is perhaps encouraging for the 50m-plus sailing yacht market is that the scarcity of builds has created a healthy demand ‘new and nearly new’ 50m-plus sailing yachts on the secondhand brokerage market. While the demand for new build sailing yachts has fallen, and demand for motoryachts now dwarfs it, sailing remains an in-demand pastime for a passionate group of the world’s ultra-wealthy.
To explore the performance of the 50m-plus sailing yacht sector, including deliveries, secondhand sales, depreciation rates and more, click here to download your complimentary version of ‘A Buyer’s Guide to the 50m-plus Sailing Yacht Segment’.
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