How do the truly rich men spend their money when buying megayachts? What do they look for? What does a fleet of over 30 metre yachts spread all over the world look like? A survey shows that there is no need to own a megayacht. The figures show that the charter business is very lively
by Luca Sordelli
Let’s start with a few definitions. In the league of the rich people the first places are those of the “billionaires” whose net worth is of at least $1billion: they are 2,600 and own 4% of the world’s global wealth. To know something about their spending habits (and not only that) is very very difficult.
Then there is the so called UHNWI: Ultra High Net Worth Individuals category who have a fortune of at least $30million: they are 211.955, that is 0,003% of the world population, 1 in 33,000 inhabitants. Their number is slowly increasing compared with 2015 (211.275). Their total net worth is $29.9 trillion (in the Anglo-Saxon world 1 trillion amounts to 1,000 billions).
Most of these people live in North America (75.195), followed by Old Europe (61.005), Asia (47.550), Latin America and the Caribbean (15.330), the Middle East (5.960), Oceania (3.610) and Africa (2.215). Analysing each single country we notice that over 33% reside in the US, 9% in Germany, 7% in Japan and 5% in the UK and China respectively.
How many of them own a megayacht? One third are US UHNW, 11% English, 5% Italian, 4% Australian and 3 % Russian. The average value each vessel amounts to $10million. A very important aspect to consider is that the total yearly expenses in the luxury UHNW world is $234billion, which means 18.9% of the sector.
In some specific areas such as yachting the percentage is much higher, representing 88% (82% in aviation, 8.9% in cars, jewellery and watch-es 35.2).
Let’s now analyse the megayacht fleet sailing all over the oceans. If they were put in a single line they would cover a distance of 183 km: 4,476 motor yachts, 736 sailing yachts of an average length of 41 metres each.
In 2016 140 new units were delivered (a slight decrease compared with the 146 of 2015, average length 44 metres).
They were built by 76 boatyards in 22 countries but from this point of view the real hub of this business is Italy. 43% of the megayacht fleet was built in our country against 17% in the US, 13% in Holland, 7% in Turkey, 6% in the UK and 2% in Germany.
An interesting and encouraging figure is given by the number of new orders for 2017: 145 for a total length of 74,04 metres (a small increase compared with the 7.335 metres of the previous year).
How many yachts over 30 metre, new and second hand were sold in 2016? 249 motor yachts, 19 sailing yachts for a total value of $2.68 billion. Over one third of these boats were built between 2006 and 2010, 25% between 1995 and 2005, 20% between 2010 and 2013 and 17% before 1995. The remainder was built between 2014 and 2016.
During the last two years the most important transactions in the motor megayachts sector were the one regarding Serene in 2015, a 134metre yacht built by Fincantieri (no price available), while in 2014 the record went to Nero, a 90 metres built in 2008 by Cantieri Corsair priced at 39.950.000 euro. Among the sailing yachts Red Dragon (57 metres by Alloy Yachts) was sold for 17.950.000 euro, while in 2014 the Felicita West by Perini cost its owner $25million. During the past five years the brokerage fees both for motor yachts and sailing yachts as a whole have kept a steady level.
What happens in the charter megayachts world where great yachts are hired rather than bought? What emerged from our survey is certainly more interesting.
At present the number of crafts in the charter fleet is 1,099 vessels, 84.25% motorcrafts of which 644 are between 30 and 40 metres long, 299 between 40 and 50 metres, 116 between 50 and 65 metres and 40 over 65 metres. Although in the past this sector did not show very brilliant results the signals are now decidedly positive: the year 2016 has seen an increase in orders of 21% and of 22% in value compared with 2015.
The area much sought after is as always the west Mediterranean but if in 2010 this choice was made in 60% of the cases now it has decreased to just 40%. The preference for the Caribbean Sea is stable at about 25% especially for those people who want to get away from the winter climate.
Extreme destinations such as the polar areas are definitely on the way up since global warming and ice melting have made these routes more accessible. During the last ten year the complicate political situation in the east Mediterranean has instead produced very wide fluctuations in this business.
As regards nationalities, the megayachts business is constantly increasing in the Us from 27% to 40% of the total in the last five years. A contained decrease has been registered in the UK market whereas the Russian market shows a faster decrease rate due mainly to the bad rate of exchange.
How about the size of the yachts? The values have been rather stable during the years, 33% of 40 metres, 37% between 30 and 40 metres and 28% under 30 metres.
What do customers expect from their hired megayachts? Mainly four things:
firstly adventure. These boats must fight against the competition from great resorts and luxury hotels but on the other hand they can reach exotic and remote lands. Secondly, they must have an innovative layout to nullify the distance between “inside” and “outside”, they must surprise (non in terms of what can be seen but to offer the possibility of a full immersion in the environment).
Thirdly, they must be a sort of toyland with all types of info-entertainment.
Lastly, a lot of attention must be given to health and wellness with dedicated areas both in open air and indoors.