Insight: Global shipyard statistics

Written by Merijn de Waard

Superyacht builders are at the heart of the superyacht business, providing employment to tens of thousands of people both directly and indirectly. It is important - and not only for our business - that these companies are stable and professionally run. There are a lot of good companies, run by good people, but there are also too many companies who don’t deliver a good product and aren’t run with a long-term vision in mind.

Snapshot - Shipyard statistics

While we believe in a free economy, we also believe it is too easy to establish a new superyacht builder. Per year we see on average 18 new companies delivering a superyacht for the first time. While these are not all new companies, a good number are. We cherish good companies and people with good intentions who are in this business for the long run, but there have been too many examples of new builders running into troubles, not delivering a good quality vessel, and selling yachts under the cost price. It is not only bad for the employees but also a bad experience for the client. It is very damaging for the superyacht sector if clients have bad experiences, as they will tell their friends, business partners and other potential clients. 

We have to create a more transparent business. It is not just about making a lot of information public, but also explain what it means. For example, not every superyacht builder has the same setup. Some builders have their own facilities and a lot of direct employees, some builders have their own facility but use a lot of subcontractors, some companies act as developers, who don’t own the facility and subcontract the complete construction of the superyacht to another company.

To shed some light on the issue, here we present a snapshot of the global shipyard statistics, as presented in full in the SuperYacht iQ 2017 Market Report.

Top 10 nations where shipyards are based

From 2007 until today there are 381 shipyards in 40 different countries who have completed a superyacht or who are building superyachts today. If we analyse these 381 shipyards based on the number of yachts they have delivered, then we have the following breakdown based on yachts built:

- 352 shipyards have completed one or more superyachts in the last 10 years

- 176 shipyards have completed only one superyacht in the last 10 years

  • 17 of these shipyards are currently building one or more superyachts

  • 61 of these yards are not currently building a superyacht, but are still active

  • 98 shipyards are no longer active

- 176 shipyards have delivered two or more superyachts in the last 10 years

  • 81 of these yards are building one or more superyachts

  • 48 of these yards are not currently building but are still active

  • 47 shipyards are no longer active

- 29 shipyards are yet to deliver a superyacht

  • 27 of these shipyards are currently building one or more superyachts
  • 2 don’t have an active project in build, but a project that has been put on hold

If we analyse the 381 shipyards by activity today, then we get the following breakdown:

- 236 shipyards are still active

  • Only 120 of these yards have a 30+ metre project in build and another six yards only have a project on-hold

- 145 shipyards are no longer active

Per Country

The 381 shipyards are based in 40 different countries, however, more than 50% of the yards are based in Turkey, Italy and the Netherlands. Turkey has more than 100 shipyards who have built or are building a superyacht in the past 10 years. What is notable though is that the number of yachts built or under construction at Turkish shipyards is very low with 2.6 superyachts per shipyard. Italian shipyards have on average 12.6 superyachts and Dutch shipyards an average of 9.4 superyachts.

For a deeper analysis of shipyard statistics, including a detailed breakdown of the numbers of shipyards by length and volume from 2011 - 2016, as well as currently in build, order your SuperYacht iQ Market Report at

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