When you look at the Russian-owned fleet, encompassing yachts of record-breaking size and some of the most influential and iconic designs the industry has seen to date, it’s clear why Russians are held in such high regard as a key client demographic by brokerage firms.
There has been roughly one or two 80m+ Russian-owned deliveries every year since 2007, with the four in 2010 the biggest cluster of deliveries. If you then factor in a four-year build time, which goes back to the beginning of 2006, the rouble was trading at a very competitive 34 to the euro before it crashed in the latter part of 2008. Since then, it has not been remotely close to recovering to this exchange rate.
What is interesting about the Russians up to now is their propensity to purchase ‘big-ticket’ vessels. It is believed that three per cent of the 30m+ fleet is owned by Russians, with this ownership share rising to 18 per cent for the 80m+ fleet. From the Russian owners in the 80m+ segment, 65 per cent chose to build in Germany, 25 per cent built in the Netherlands and 10 per cent built in Italy; three highly respected superyacht-building nations that The Superyacht Intelligence Annual Report 2016 shows delivered the most gross tonnage of superyachts from 2011-2015.
Not wishing to compromise on quality is another very clear trend of Russian ownership, with 35 per cent choosing to build at Lürssen, 15 per cent at both Feadship and Blohm+Voss, and 10 per cent at both Oceanco and Fincantieri – a selection of yards renowned for their large yacht-building capabilities.
The volumetric appetite of Russian clients is also very obvious. As you can see from the chart in the gallery above, the average gross tonnage of their vessels sits considerably above the industry average in every 80m+ size segment shown. The lowest margin of difference is in the 120m-140m category, where the Russian-owned fleet is 311 gross tons above the industry average. The largest difference is among the few vessels in the 140m-160m category, where the difference jumps up to 720 gross tons.
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