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World News

Superyacht sales soar thanks to pandemic and growing numbers of billionaires


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Sales of superyachts are soaring amid growing numbers of billionaires and the appeal of escaping crowds during the COVID pandemic.

Purchases of luxury vessels longer than 30m (98ft) increased by over 8% in the first nine months of 2021 compared with the same period in 2019, according to industry publication The Superyacht Group.

Brokers Fraser Yachts said 2021 sales are “significantly outperforming” those of the last 12 years.

Superyacht "Motor Yacht A", owned by Russian tycoon Andrey Melnichenko, is seen moored on the River Thames besides HMS Belfast (R) in London, Britain September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Image: Superyacht Motor Yacht A, owned by Russian tycoon Andrey Melnichenko – pictured in London

Superyacht prices start at $10m if bought secondhand and can be as high as $600m when new, industry figures show.

More than 200 new ones have set sail for the first time from January to September this year, an increase from 165 in the same period of 2019, The Superyacht Group said.

Another 330 orders have been placed.

“Some have seen that their ultra-rich friends who own yachts had a nice time during the pandemic, while they had to lock themselves at home,” said Pepe Garcia, chairman of Spanish shipyards MB92, a superyacht refit firm.

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“I think this phenomenon is going to last for a few years.”

Alberto Galassi, chief executive of Italian yacht builder Ferretti, said the pandemic “has taught us how fragile our life is”.

The Eclipse superyacht, owned by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, is seen at the Port of Palm Beach in Riviera Beach, Florida, U.S. November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Image: The Eclipse superyacht, owned by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich – pictured in Florida

“Postponing is no longer an option for those who can afford it,” he said.

Azimut Benetti, another Italian yacht builder, said US clients have been driving the demand, with a “real boom” starting last spring.

The 164-foot (50-meter) "Destination Fox Harb'r Too" is seen in this handout photo taken off the Nova Scotia coast in summer 2008. Recession has shaken nearly every corner of the U.S. economy but Trinity Yachts is still turning out custom-built luxury boats, thanks in part to a sagging U.S. dollar. Trinity, the largest U.S. mega-yacht builder, will deliver eight sumptuously outfitted boats this year from its shipyards in Gulfport, Mississippi and New Orleans. To match feature LUXURY-YACHTS/TRINITY REUTERS/Shaw McCutcheon/Handout (CANADA SPORT YACHTING BUSINESS)
Image: The 50m (164ft) Destination Fox Harb’r Too pictured off the Nova Scotia coast

The number of people who can afford to buy the boats has increased, with Forbes reporting there are now 2,755 billionaires – up by 660 on the previous year.

Tycoons who own superyachts include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and music producer David Geffen.

Capri, Italy - August 20, 2011: The Fincantieri mega yacht SERENE moored in a bay of the isle of Capri, Italy. The motoryacht Serene (134 mt) is the largest yacht ever built in Italy and one of the most largest yachts in the world.
Image: Fincantieri’s Serene is one of the largest yachts in the world

Last May Mr Geffen was ridiculed after posting about being “isolated” on his yacht in a tropical paradise and hoping everyone else was “staying safe” during the pandemic.

“Did David Geffen just give everyone the middle finger?” one Instagram user said.

Mr Bezos’s superyacht is estimated to have cost about $500m (£350m).

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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