Insight: Top 10 superyacht builders before the global financial crisis and now

Written by Ralph Dazert

Like many industries, the superyacht building industry reached its zenith just before the Global Financial Crisis hit in late 2008, with deliveries from the peak period stretching into 2009. 10 years on, the industry has mostly recovered from the hardship of the intervening years, although production in terms of numbers of yacht does not even come close to the record numbers seen around 2008.
We compared the period 2007-2009 with the period 2015-2017, the last three years of which we have complete records. What becomes evident immediately is that production in terms of numbers of yachts over 30 metres long is down by 37% from 713 yachts during 2007-2009 to 443 yachts during 2015-2017. The market has also consolidated with the top ten players’ share of total deliveries going up from 32% to 44%.

How has the top ten of superyacht builders been reshaped in the intervening years?

Launch SanLorenzo 500EXP Ocean Dreamwalker 3Photo: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht Times

Top Ten superyacht builders, 2007-2009 versus 2015-2017, in numbers of 30m+ yachts delivered

Top 10 superyacht buildersPhoto: SuperYacht TimesWhich yards gained?

We can see that that the league table has changed significantly, with Sanlorenzo increasing its production almost threefold, while Benetti and Sunseeker remained more or less stable in a smaller market. Meanwhile, Feadship and Custom Line posted increases of 20 to 30% in their production as well (although that is not the whole story with Feadship, as their production in terms of gross tons increased by over 50%!). Gulf Craft went up from 12 yachts during 2007-2009 to 18 yachts during 2015-2017, an increase of 50% putting the yard in fifth place. Taiwanese yard Ocean Alexander had delivered just one 30-metre plus yacht by 2009 but was up to 14 yachts during 2015-2017.

Heesen Irisha on seatrialsPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht TimesHowever, the most impressive new entrants into the top ten are Princess Yachts and Monte Carlo Yachts. British builder Princess only delivered its first 30-metre plus newbuild in 2011, while Monte Carlo Yachts was only founded in December 2008 and did not deliver its first 30-metre plus newbuild until 2015. Steady performer Heesen is in tenth place, even though its production during 2015-2017 at ten yachts was lower than in 2007-2009 when it delivered 14 yachts.

Which yards lost?

Overmarine, known for their Mangusta brand, and Leopard Yachts were hit particularly hard by the economic crisis, with no deliveries from Leopard Yachts recorded lately, while Overmarine only delivered eight yachts during 2015-2017. Overmarine, however, bounced back over the years and now has a much more diversified portfolio of composite, steel and aluminium motor yachts. 

Production of yachts longer than 30 metres at Azimut dropped to only five yachts in 2015-2017. With the recent introduction of several new models around and over 30 metres, the company is becoming stronger again in the 30-metre plus market. 

Mischief anchored in Eze-sur-MerPhoto: Bruno Buisson / SuperYacht TimesFellow Italian yard Baglietto also dropped out of the top ten, delivering only five 30-metre plus yachts during 2015-2017, although these yachts are on average larger than what the yard previously delivered. The yard has also signed some bespoke projects in the past year. Finally, Westport suffered from the decline in demand for US-built yachts. However, the company has recently introduced several new models and has a significant number of yachts in build. 

Monaco Yacht Show 2018Photo: Julien Hubert / SuperYacht Times

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