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Wealthy start buying super yachts again and fractional ownership options becomes more popular PDF Print E-mail
News - Alternative Investments
Friday, 12 March 2010 09:19
Wealthy investors are buying super yachts again and even those who can’t afford to buy them are indulging in the increasingly popular option of fractional ownership.
 
Global sales of superyachts increased nearly five fold in the first two months of 2010, compared with the same period a year ago, as demand returns for one of the most conspicuous consumption items of the very rich.
 
Figures from Boat International’s latest market intelligence report shows that 28 superyachts worth more than €300 million were sold in the first two months of year, compared with just seven worth just over €60 million in the same period in 2009.
 
The report said recent sales have also seen bigger and more expensive yachts being bought with two plus 70 metre yachts among those purchased so far in 2010. Superyachts are those measuring over 24 metres, while boats longer than 70 meters are classed as mega-yachts.
 
‘The early part of 2009 saw the brokerage industry at its nadir as governments worldwide struggled to rescue failing financial institutions. Certainly no bank was prepared to lend money against a superyacht purchase,’ the report says.
   
The enthusiasm is set to continue with superyacht The Sunseeker selling on the first day of this week’s Dubai International Boat Show and manufacturers reporting good sales. ‘The sale of this beautiful superyacht is a great example of how confidence is returning to the leisure marine market, especially here in Dubai,’ said Helal Saeed Almarri, chief executive of Dubai World Trade Centre.
 
Sunseeker is one of the leading companies at this year’s show and have eight boats on display including the Sunseeker 82 Yacht, Manhattan 70, Manhattan 60, Manhattan 52, Predator 62, Portofino 47 and the Superhawk 43. ‘This is the best possible start to this year’s Dubai International Boat Show,’ said Francesco Pitea, General Manager, Sunseeker Middle East.
 
‘We have always maintained that the leisure marine industry in the Middle East will remain buoyant, especially for the strongest brands which people have come to trust,’ Pitea added.
 
But few expect investors to go overboard. ‘We do not expect a return to anything like the consumer spending from 24 months ago. It will take hard work, diligence and sound expertise to continue to sell yachts,’ said Toby Walker, sales director of Camper & Nicholsons International.
 
But one section of the market that is proving popular is fractional ownership of superyachts. This weekend sees the launch of a superyacht designed by the renowned architect Norman Foster in Italy. Ocean Pearl, the second in a fleet of four identical yachts, will be offered by fractional ownership company YachtPlus to its members.
 

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