The eagerly anticipated Showboats International 2014 Global Order Book hit the streets recently, and three of 26 North Yachts’ Top 10 Manufacturers made the prestigious Top 20 Builders list—Azimut / Benetti, Horizon and Westport.
The publication notes, “For the first time since the financial turmoil and the record year of 2009 (when 1,008 new orders were recorded), the number of new build projects is higher than that of the previous year. This year’s Global Order Book reveals that 735 new yachts are under construction or on order, a 6.2 percent increase over the 692 projects in the 2013 Order Book, and also up from the 2012 figure of 728.”
Other key data reveals a record LOA with 19 projects over 100 meters (328’)—last year there were 14 projects. Almost 550 of these builds fall into the 70’ – 140’ range that 26 North Yachts specializes in. For yachts under 100 feet which suffered serious setbacks during the recent recession, there was an increase of 15.5%–from 213 projects to 246. In fact, there is a new trend toward custom builds in this range from boutique builders like Conrad, JFA and Rybovich. In addition, Showboats notes that these smaller yacht producers are now entering the megayacht market.
Flagships are growing in length and numbers. Lurrsen’s handing over the 591-foot Nauta-designed AZZAM. Feadship is building a 335’ motor yacht. Smaller yards signed flagships this year, too, including Sanlorenzo (194’), Mondo Marine (197’) and Tecnomar (181’ hybrid).
The number of builders worldwide has increased for the first time since 2009. 216 yards are building yachts over 80’! Global production continues to climb with Taiwan yard production (Ocean Alexander, Horizon, Johnson, Outer Reef, Monte Fino) up by 32.4% and U.S. yard production (Christensen, Westport/Pacific Mariner, Delta, Hatteras, Lazzara, Trinity, Merritt, Trinity, Palmer Johnson, Nordlund, Northern Marine) down by 6.5%. Italy (SanLorenzo, Ferretti Group, Azimut / Benetti, Riva, Pershing, Overmarine, Maiora, Baglietto, Admiral Tecnomar) still tops production by far. Enjoying growth over the last two years, U.K. builders (Fairline, Sunseeker, Princess) are up 51 percent based on length in build and have eight more builds than U.S. builders. While the China market has been heating up, local builders such as HeySea have picked up steam and popularity as import taxes are prohibitive for the popular name brands like Sanlorenzo, Sunseeker and Ferretti.
As far as types of builds on the list, 538 were characterized as motor yachts, 37 expedition yachts and 51 open/express cruisers. Interestingly, the hard-hit express market still only has half of what it enjoyed in production in 2009. Sportfishers are still experiencing erratic fluctuations.
So, how did 26 North Yachts’ Top 10 do? Italy-based Azimut / Benetti came in as number one. They have 9,600 total feet under build, translating into 79 projects averaging 122 feet in length (ranging 84’ to 106’). At number 11, Taiwan-based Horizon Yachts continues to make a big splash into 2014 with 1,686 feet under build in 16 projects averaging 105 feet (ranging 81’ feet to 140’). Finally, US-based Westport came in at number 18 with 1,138 feet under build in nine projects with an average length of 126 (ranging 112’ to 164’, also an 85’ Pacific Mariner).