Global Yacht Market (by Propulsion, Category, Type, Length, & Region): Insights and Forecast with Potential Impact of COVID-19 (2022-2026)
A yacht is a maritime vessel that is only utilised for leisure or pleasure reasons, such as cruising, entertainment, water sports, fishing, or year-round lodgings. Yachts are normally large enough to accommodate sleeping rooms, a kitchen and a restroom on board for overnight voyages. They are also huge enough to require more than human effort (such as rowing) to move them forward.
Many experts in the luxury yacht building industry are concentrated in a few nations, notably Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands, the US, and Germany. The Italian producers enjoy a global reputation for quality and flair. Customers in this sector are highly rich individuals who can afford the high purchase price of a big yacht as well as the ongoing maintenance requirements. Some of the variables driving market growth include a rise in income inequality, increased disposable income, and a favourable macroeconomic outlook. The global yacht market is expected to reach US$12.36 billion in 2023, growing at a CAGR of 7.02% during the forecast period.
- By Propulsion: The market report has segmented the global yacht market into three segments in terms of propulsion: Outboard & Inflatables, Inboard, and Sailing. The outboard & inflatables segment accounted for the maximum share in the global yacht market owing to benefits such as high speed, power, and large distance coverage, among others. The Inboard segment is further segmented into three categories: Composite, Made-to-measure, and Super. The global made-to-measure inboard yacht market is expected to experience significant growth during the forecasted period driven by the increasing awareness and acceptance of yachting culture in the Asia Pacific and a series of favorable policies supporting the yacht industry promulgated in major countries.
- By Type: According to report, the market has been segmented into five segments on the basis of type: Super Yacht, Sport Yacht, Flybridge Yacht, Long Range Yacht, and Others. The super yacht segment is holding the dominating share in the market. The growth of the market is driven by the increase in the number of potential end customers i.e., VHNWIs and UHNWIs.
- By Length: The report further provided the segmentation according to the length of the yacht: Below 20 meters, 20-50 meters, and Above 50 meters. The global above 50-meter yacht segment would grow at the highest CAGR during the forecasted year, owing to the increasing leisure trips and voyages taken by generation Z along with the growing preference to live a luxury life.
According to this report, the global yacht market is divided into five regions: Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The countries covered in Europe region include Italy, Netherlands, Germany, UK, France, and Rest of Europe, while North America includes the US, Canada, and Mexico. Moreover, China, Japan, and the Rest of the Asia Pacific are included in the Asia Pacific region.
Europe dominated the market with largest share of the global market as it is one of the main destinations for marine culture, especially Northern Europe, which has a very rich ecosystem for yacht charter. Countries like Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Russia offer a variety of options to choose from including crewed yachts, luxury yachts and motor yachts. Moreover, Asia Pacific is expected to provide lucrative opportunities to the overall market during the forecast period, due to the rising popularity of recreational activities and increased marine tourism in nations such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan, and Australia.
Top Impacting Factors:
- Increase in the UHNWI (Ultra-high-net-worth individuals) Population
- Growing Demand for Luxury Tourism
- Rising Construction of Super Yachts
- Growing Number of Boat Shows
- High Investments and Upkeep Costs Associated with Yachts
- Cyclicality of the Yachting Industry
- Customization and Personalization
- Acute Focus on Eco-friendly and Sustainable Products
- The Internet Of Things
- Yachts Run Quieter due to Tech Advances
- Driver: Increase in the UHNWI (Ultra-high-net-worth individuals) Population
The UHNWI populations, the main target customers of the yacht market, have increased in the past years and are expected to continue to increase in upcoming years. As the HNWI increases, the addressable customer base of the yacht industry also increases. This provides a strong tailwind for the manufacturers of yachts. In addition to a growing customer base of UHNWIs, the size of their wealth is also expected to grow in the coming years. This would translate into an increasing average size of yachts or customers shifting towards models with a higher degree of customization and premium features. In both cases, this should support growth in the average selling price of yachts. Therefore, the market would experience tremendous growth.
- Challenge: Cyclicality of the Yachting Industry
One of the major hurdles the yachting industry is facing is that the yachting industry is cyclical. Buying a yacht is a discretionary expense that a household can easily decide to delay if the economic environment deteriorates. As such, yacht manufacturing is sensitive to changes in economic growth, employment levels, purchasing power, and consumer confidence. This was highlighted during the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis, which had a significant toll on the recreational boating industry. Indeed, the deterioration of the economic environment at that time led to a 40-60% decline in the volume of boats sold. Therefore, the cyclical nature of the industry comes forward as a huge factor that can affect the sale of yachts in times of economic downturn.
- Trend: Yachts Run Quieter due to Tech Advances
When boats and yachts run at cruising speed, the noise can be quite intense. The utilization of high-tech materials is changing this and making it possible for boaters to enjoy a much quieter experience. The Quiet Ride from Sea Ray is an excellent example of this type of technology in action. Innovations in electrical motors are also having a big impact on the ability of boats and yachts to run quietly. Battery power has also improved dramatically as well. This means that an increased number of boating enthusiasts can take advantage of a quieter experience by getting rid of combustion engines completely. This is expected to support the market growth in the coming years.
The COVID-19 Analysis:
The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the yacht market in the first half of 2020. However, COVID-19 has changed the way target customers live. People tend to start spending more on leisure activities. This has increased the sale of both motor yachts and sailing yachts in the year 2021. Moreover, as the number of billionaires grows and COVID-19 has added to incentives for avoiding crowds, the multi-billion-dollar global yacht industry is rebounding fast after near-paralysis at the onset of the pandemic. On the other hand, the pandemic has prompted digitalization initiatives in the market.
Analysis of Key Players:
The global yacht market is moving toward consolidation. Following the 2008 financial crisis, some yacht companies went bankrupt (e.g. Aicon, Rodriguez, Royal Denship, etc.), others were rescued (e.g. Ferretti itself, Baglietto, Bavaria, Dalla Pietà, Perini) or decided to join forces together with other smaller shipyards and form a larger conglomerate (e.g., Tecnomar, Admiral, Cantieri Apuania combined as Italian Sea Group). As a matter of fact, it has been witnessed increasing concentration in the industry, with a declining number of shipyards and increasing number of orders, leading to a higher number of deliveries per shipyard. The key players of the global yacht market are:
- LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (Princess Yachts Ltd.)
- Sunseeker International Ltd.
- Ferretti Group
- Lurssen Yachts
- Sanlorenzo S.p.a
- Azimut Yachts
- HanseYachts AG
- Westport LLC
- Bilgin Yachts
- Alexander Marine Co., Ltd. & Subsidiaries
- The Italian Sea Group
- Feadship Yachts
The key strategy of the market players to expand their market share is merger and acquisition. For instance, in 2019, Ferretti Group acquired Wally Yachts, with the objective of strengthening the company’s position in the inboard market and creating an incubator for innovative product development. In 2021, Perini (in bankruptcy proceedings) was bought by The Italian Sea Group.