Genova - The world fleet of mega yachts continues to grow: in 2017 it reached 5,186 vessels compared to 5,051 in the previous year. The building of this type of boats - leisure boats measuring over 30 meters in length - is increasingly in the hands of Italian shipyards which have turned out 31% of the mega yachts currently in use: “The sector,” explained Giovanni Gasparini, president of the Yacht section of Federagenti, “continues to grow at a rapid pace. The number of boats constructed is climbing, and also that of boats which, and not just during the summer season, call at Italian ports and remain for long periods in Italian waters.” According to the association of maritime agents this year, the presence of large pleasure crafts in Italy’s marinas will grow by 10%. “Significant numbers,” added Gasparini, “which provide extremely positive returns for the entire national economy.” The value of new boat manufacturing in 2016 was two billion euros, while last year it grew to 2.3 billion, an increase of 13%. “Italian shipyards,” he added, “have always been leaders in the construction of large pleasure crafts, and as a federation of maritime agents we are trying to increase interest in this sector, which has the potential of being a real driving force for our economy. The goal is to convince shipowners, especially foreign ones, to stay at our ports, make use of the services offered by the marinas, and rely on Italian brokers and agents.” “Only by following this policy,” he added, “can our country, already a leader in shipbuilding, be able to expand the business around the management of large pleasure crafts.” Globally, the 2018 order backlog is for 773 new mega yachts, with an average length of over 40 meters.
Italy is an international leader with 353 projected constructions, for a total of 12,942 meters; in second place are the Dutch manufacturers with 65 orders equal to 3,974 meters. Amongst the top twenty global manufacturers there are seven Italian shipyards, and the largest three in the world are all Italian.
In terms of total length of yachts under construction and by number of projects these three are ranked thus: Azimut/Benetti (2,840 meters, 77 projects), the Ferretti group (2,762 meters, 87 projects), and Sanlorenzo (2,457 meters, 71 projects): “The Ligurian, Tuscan and Sardinian coasts,” Gasparini concluded, “are the areas with the greatest concentration of large pleasure crafts. But there’s good figures coming out of the Adriatic, where the number of port calls, especially in the last two years, have increased and are still destined to rise.”