Superyacht sales have experienced a downward trend in 2023, with a notable 17% decrease in sales of new yachts over 100 feet long. The main reasons behind this decline are attributed to long waiting lists, increasing costs, and sanctions affecting oligarchs. Buyers looking to purchase a new yacht over 200 feet are facing wait times of three to four years due to backlogs resulting from the pandemic. Additionally, prices are skyrocketing due to higher labor and material expenses, making it more challenging for potential buyers to invest in luxury yachts.

The largest superyachts, particularly those over 200 meters, have experienced a significant decline in sales, with a staggering 40% decrease. This drop is primarily linked to rich buyers from Russia withdrawing from the market following the country’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Russian buyers, known for ordering extravagant and oversized yachts, have reduced their presence in the market. On the other hand, American buyers are stepping in to fill the gap, accounting for nearly a quarter of all superyacht sales in 2023. While Americans typically opt for smaller yachts compared to Middle Eastern and Russian buyers, the size of American-owned superyachts is on the rise.

Despite the decline in new superyacht sales, there has been an increase in yacht completions. Yachts that were ordered during the peak of the pandemic are now being launched, leading to a 31% rise in completions in 2023. This surge in completed yachts indicates a growing demand for the entire superyacht ecosystem, including builders, brokers, marina slips, and crew. The number of superyachts has nearly tripled since 2002, with close to 6,000 yachts currently in operation. The influx of new wealthy buyers entering the market during the pandemic continues to drive the yachting economy, with many of them opting to upgrade their vessels.

According to industry experts, the pool of customers in the superyacht market has expanded permanently. Despite the challenges faced in 2023, including reduced sales and increased costs, the high-water mark for the yachting economy is expected to keep rising. Wealthy individuals who acquired yachts during the Covid-19 pandemic are actively utilizing their vessels, driving the demand for yacht-related services and amenities. As the landscape of the superyacht industry continues to evolve, it is crucial for stakeholders to adapt to changing consumer preferences and market dynamics to stay competitive in this luxury sector.


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