The superyacht industry may seem small in comparison to other industries, but there are a surprising number of shipyards around the world building the global fleet. In this feature, we take a closer look at these yards, and whether they are building to order or on speculation.
Tracking yards all over the world
In our SuperYacht Times IQ Report 2018, we identified 914 different shipyards which built the 4,802 active superyachts accounted for at the start of 2018. Zooming in on yachts delivered from 2008 on or currently in build, the number goes down to 362 yards. Upon further inspection we can divide this number even further to see that:
● 330 yards delivered one or more superyachts in the past ten years
● 174 of those yards delivered two or more superyachts in this time period
● 156 yards delivered just one superyacht
● 32 are yet to deliver their first superyacht
It is important to note that from the aforementioned 362 yards, 152 yards are no longer active, which is perhaps an indication of the slowdown of the newbuild market after 2008. Of the remaining 210 yards, only 143 are currently building one or more superyachts, while the others are engaged in refit work or other shipbuilding activities.
Another interesting aspect concerning shipyards we would like to take into account is their location. Although the 330 yards that delivered one or more superyachts in the past ten years are located in 21 different countries, 55% of these yards are located in Turkey, Italy and the Netherlands. Turkey alone accounts for 90 out of the 330 yards. However, Turkish yards have built very few yachts on average, just 2.3 per yard during the past decade. The yards with the biggest output are found in the United Kingdom, with an average of 22.3 yachts per yard. This is thanks to the presence of a very small number of high-volume yards in that country, namely Sunseeker and Princess Yachts.
Building to order or on speculation?
As we mentioned last month, slightly less than half of the new superyachts sold in 2017 were started on speculation, which means that the yard starts construction on its own account and then aims to sell the in-build yacht to a buyer. In some cases, the yacht is even completed before it is sold to a buyer. We call the latter a stock sale at SuperYacht Times.
But where are the most "on spec" yachts built and in which categories are we most likely to see them?
Built on speculation projects tend to be concentrated in the slightly smaller size ranges. 69 out of 81 speculation or stock sales in 2017 concerned yachts shorter than 50m, with a total of 48 yachts being shorter than 40m. The largest yacht sold from speculation or stock in 2017 was a 69m motor yacht, although in 2018 we have already seen the sale of two even larger speculation projects.
40% of the new yachts sold over the past three years (2015-2017) were started on speculation or sold from stock. This percentage is also fairly stable in each of the three examined years. If we drill down further to the 30-60m size range where most of the on spec action happens, the share of speculation and stock sales has actually been creeping up from 40% in 2015 to 48% in 2017. Perhaps this can be seen as a sign of an improving market for new yacht sales?
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