Mega-yachts: luxury knows no crisis

Cannes - Alongside the waterfront, they are moored in rows, one after another, yachts so large that they’re almost like cruise ships. The sector knows no crisis, and one needs only to count the mega-yachts floating at the Yachting Cannes Festival this year to have proof

di Our correspondent Matteo Dell’Antico

Cannes - Alongside the waterfront, they are moored in rows, one after another, yachts so large that they’re almost like cruise ships. The sector knows no crisis, and one needs only to count the mega-yachts floating at the Yachting Cannes Festival this year to have proof. In 2015, new orders grew by 6.6% compared to 2014, while the estimate for the 2016 order book, globally, for large pleasure boats - those over 30 metres long - is 295 vessels, worth a total of €8.7 billion (or 44% of the entire marine industry order book).

The data on pleasure boat sector growth were presented in France yesterday, by Deloitte, in collaboration with Nautica Italiana, an association affiliated with the Altagamma Foundation that is composed, among others, of brands such as Azimut/Benetti and Ferretti. Last year, Italy captured 42% of the market share in mega-yacht deliveries, 62 boats out of 147, or, in percentage terms, 35% of large vessels delivered to owners. But it’s the entire pleasure boat sector’s spectrum, worldwide, that’s displaying encouraging numbers. According to Deloitte and Nautica Italiana’s estimates for 2015, the world market for new boats was worth €19 billion, an increase of 12% compared to 2014 (€17 billion). In terms of new boats sold, these numbered 800,000, compared to 700,000 in the previous year, a growth of 14%, North America is the largest market, with a share of 48%, while Europe accounts for 20%.

As the top global manufacturer of boats Europe-wide, Italy confirms its leadership position in the field of new constructions, with manufacturing worth 1.7 billion, in 2014, accounting for 10% of the total value, surpassing the United Kingdom (6.9%), the Netherlands (6.5%), Germany (6.4%) and France (5.7%). Worldwide, Italy is second only to the US (43%). The estimated value of the second-hand yacht market is €14 billion a year, while yacht repairs and charters are worth one billion in total. “This is the inaugural report of an analysis that we’d like to enrich annually,” explained Luca Petroni, chairman of the finance division at Deloitte Italy, ”because the marine boat industry is a great source not just of individual pleasures, but also of collective well-being.” “The opportunity to be seized,” said Armando Branchini, vice-president of Altagamma Foundation, “is to win over the most sophisticated and wealthy clientele, which continues to grow by 7.5% per year, throughout the world. And, that is just what the luxury industry as a whole is doing.” Lamberto Tacoli, president of Nautica Italiana, stressed the role of “Italian manufacturing excellence as an ambassador for the Made-in-Italy brand around the world.”

The world population’s wealthiest tier (High Net Worth Individuals) was estimated to number 15.4 million in 2015: 5.1 million in the Asia-Pacific region; 4.8 million in North America; 4.2 million in Europe; 0.6 million in the Middle East and 0.5 million in South America. But, at present, market penetration of the superyacht sector is barely reaching 2.5% of individuals with available funds of $5 million or more: plenty of room to grow yet for the luxury sailing industry.

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