In merely a decade, the superyacht sector has gone through several deep transformations, first trying to navigate a new world of financial instability only to reemerge into a new digital era with unforeseen consequences.
From a world of 3 year long waiting lists at shipyard and yacht flipping, the superyacht sector had to rapidly transition to leaner times that demanded more efficiency as of 2008. The change in dynamic in the economics of yachting caught some companies off guard with, for example, Baglietto posting losses of €25 million in 2008.
Efficient players have however emerged stronger from these turbulent waters, consolidating their position through acquisitions and mergers, such as Lurssen's recent takeover of Blom+Voss. Investors have also taken advantage of this dip in the market to bet on the superyacht market's recovery, leading to several conglomerates such as LVMH with equity stakes in yachting companies.
Although financial turmoil may have had the most noticeable effect on the market so far, the weakened superyacht sector is becoming more and more influenced by the digital world. The latest social media gold rush has seen relatively small brands outperform more established players by taking advantage of their lack of attention.
Digital has however started having an effect on the market much earlier. Prior to this becoming a standard, asking prices would not be displayed on the web for any yacht, hence severely limiting access to the space. As it was becoming clearer that the internet was here to stay, brokers however started releasing more information online, including specifications, which were also previously held confidential.
Despite attempts from trade associations to control and regulate this new flow, information became more accessible as it ultimately benefited the end users. Yacht Harbour itself became a part of this wave, pioneering the Timeline platform in May 2017, giving its users detailed reports on any yacht through a combination of tech and human analysis.
Yachting's growing attention to digital can also be noticed in their branding strategy, which has started to drastically evolve since the times of print advertising. In September 2013, YCO, a yacht brokerage firm, acquired the one-letter domain, y.co from the Columbian name registry in a deal valued by experts in the $1 million range.
Yacht marketing as a whole has undergone a complete transformation in the age of platforms, which sees data-driven companies thrive and rapidly overtake the market as can now be seen on the brokerage and charter side. Recent uplifts in video consumption on social networks have led to a rapid shift in attention away from traditional mediums.
Yacht Harbour's Facebook page, for example, sees its videos reach over 1 million views per month with a strong audience base watching them for up to 15 minutes and more. The largest yacht magazines on the other hand have a circulation in the low 5 digits, creating differences in reach per advertising dollar spent of up to 100x.
Digital is however changing not only how yachting businesses are run, but has also made its way to superyachts themselves. Systems onboard are becoming increasingly controllable by iPads spread throughout the vessels that manage AV systems, blinds and lighting. Meanwhile, a need to remain in permanent contact with the outside world coupled with demanding guests and owners has brought stable internet connections to yachts.
These new times of connectivity have however created unrest amongst some industry professionals fearing that yachts may become increasingly targets of cyberattacks due to their lack of IT protection. In 2013, a team of researchers from Texas had in fact already managed to spoof navigational equipment during an experiment ran on 65m White Rose of Drachs.
The digital revolution has also become a way for new startups to test new business models in yachting, such as FLOAT, an application letting its users rent yachts by the seat from as little as €99 across its own fleet. Throughout the summer, FLOAT's routes have been almost fully booked, sailing the startup to profitability.
Whereas it remains to be seen what other transformations will occur in the yachting space in the future, digital will clearly play a large role in the next few years as the sector continues to become more open and optimised.
The 26th hull of the Otam 58, restyled by Giuseppe Bagnardi of BG Design Firm and named Bad Boy, made its World debut at Cannes Yachting Festival 2022. The updated exterior styling offers a semi-open deck house with a sharply raked windscreen and wraparound glazing for the en plein air feel of a true open combined with the protection from the sun and wind of a hardtop. It also provides a more aerodynamic profile and less turbulence for better performance and more onboard comfort at high speed. Integrated into the hardtop are two air intakes (another two are positioned to port and starboard on the foredeck) that funnel air directly into the aft engine compartment underneath the two large sunpads either side of the central walkway. These can be raised hydraulically for easy access to the engines and other equipment. The covered cockpit is equipped with a bar unit, corner sofa and a comfortable dining area.The swim platform and exhaust grilles in the transom have also been redesigned with the latter now integrated and disguised in the nameplate. Below deck, the OTAM 58 GTS features two ensuite double cabins, an open-space galley and third single cabin with bathroom for an extra guest or crew member.The 58 GTS powered by twin MTU 1825hp engines coupled to ASD14 Arneson surface drives, has a top speed of 55 plus knots and cruises comfortably at 48 knots. Bad Boy was built to the specific brief of her owner, who has also requested a bespoke Böning console for the pilot station. The shipyard’s history started in 1954 in Liguria. Its professionalism is what made it stand out, very quickly becoming the first authorized Riva yacht Service Center for the Mediterranean Sea. In the 80’s Otam fit around 25 yachts for an American builder before starting his own production of Otam 45’ and 55’, earning significant attention. Today Otam has produced around 90 yachts, becoming an Italian specialist, and, together with its custom range, offers a limitless choice between 45’ and 130’.Credits: Alberto Cocchi/Otam
October 5, 2022
Tankoa’s latest superyacht concept was unveiled at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show. The 68m Fenice is the product of a collaboration between the Genoa-based yard and Venetian studio Enrico Gobbi of Team For Design and named after the famous opera house in Venice. “We understood each other immediately with Enrico and it was a pleasure to develop this project together,” says Giuseppe Mazza, Tankoa Sales and Marketing Manager. “With the T680 we continue to expand the range of Tankoa yachts in order to offer the market an ever-increasing choice of unique projects. Like her namesake, the T680 Fenice is a triumph of poise, rhythm and grace.”T680 Fenice exterior aerodynamic lines and curves are inspired by automotive and aeronautical design, the overall effect is beauty in motion. The outdoor and indoor spaces are made to make the transition between the two as seamless and natural as possible. The open-air aft lounge on the main deck is the yacht’s astounding centerpiece. Covering an area of 100 sq. m, this multi-level beach club comprises an infinity pool, gym, spa and lounge. A glass-covered portion of the pool integrated into the center of the deck leads guests directly to a protected terrace, before entering the beach club proper. Folding balconies on both sides of the hull increase the interior area. The main saloon offers full-height glass windows for panoramic views of the sea. The two VIP suites and four ensuite guest cabins located forward of the main saloon. The lower deck is dedicated to the crew accommodation and services, including a pro-spec galley, hospital room and side-loading tender garage. The upper deck features a circular dining area, which thanks to full-height sliding glass doors can be enclosed or semi-open to the sun and sea breeze. This dining room is linked to the sky lounge that has side balconies that can extend outwards over the sea. The master stateroom is an exquisite 90 sq. m space of privacy and comfort with floor-to-ceiling windows offering 270-degree panoramic views. The suite has direct access to a private foredeck with sun loungers and a glass-fronted hot tub. The deck area doubles as a touch-and-go helipad for those grand entrances or dramatic exits.“This new project is the result of our desire to be recognised for who we are: a boutique shipyard able to offer a range of unique yachts designed by the best designers,” comments Eva Orsi, President of Tankoa. “We are proud of this collaboration with Enrico Gobbi that highlights the unmistakable style, quality, beauty and know-how that goes into making our customers' dreams come true.”Tankoa was founded in 2007 and began production in 2008. A true “boutique shipyard”, focused on building semi-custom and custom constructions 45-meter and up.Credits: Tankoa
October 5, 2022
Admiral has announced the keel laying of the new Admiral Galileo 82 meters mega yacht. The sale of this motor yacht, completed in December 2021 through the US broker FGI Yachts, marked The Italian Sea Group’s official entrance in the US market for large yachts, consolidating the Group’s position as a reference global player in the sector.The expansion of The Italian Sea Group’s commercial presence in the States has continued with the opening of the first flagship store in East Hampton – Long Island and with the inauguration, in September, of the first After Sales point in Miami, Florida, at the time of delivery of the first Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63 in the US.The new Admiral Galileo mega yacht, in steel and aluminum, has been designed by The Italian Sea Group’s own Centro Stile in collaboration with Bannenberg Rowell Design, who curated the interior design.Exteriors are characterized by elegant and sinuous lines, big spaces on four decks and large windows. She can accommodate 12 guests and 28 crew members on board. A 130 sq. m upper deck entirely dedicated to the owner’s cabin. She also features the living rooms for over 100 sq. m on each deck, a waterfall linking two of the four pools on board, one of which is 7.5x3.5 meters long, one underwater cinema lounge and a beach area with gym, spa, and massage room.Another unique element of innovation is represented by the long glass corridor which goes through the engine room, making it an integral part of the environment and enhancing its engineering beauty, as well as connecting the spa area with the upper deck foyer.“The keel laying ceremony is always a special moment in the construction of a yacht, especially for a custom-made project of such dimensions and such innovative characteristics, both from an aesthetic and an engineering point of view,” commented Giovanni Costantino, Founder & CEO of The Italian Sea Group.The delivery of the new Admiral Galileo is scheduled for July 2025.Admiral Yachts – flagship brand of The Italian Sea Group, global operator of the international nautical industry, specialized in the construction of yachts and ships up to 100 meters. Present in the yacht market, Admiral has launched 147 yachts over the years. Since 1966 The Italian Sea Group has launched over 583 yachts.Credits: The Italian Sea Group
October 5, 2022
During the Monaco Yacht Show Benetti presented an 85 meter concept Project Oro with the exterior and interior made by Giorgio M Cassetta and hybrid propulsion. The fully custom concept was developed to meet a range of design requests made by Benetti's clients. Project OroThe yacht spreads across five decks and offers an abundance of alfresco entertaining areas, a 400 sq. m sundeck and a large beach club with unfolding sea terraces on both sides and terraces. The main deck and the beach club are connected by two staircases. The transverse swimming pool is located in the aft. Project OroWith 85m LOA and an interior volume of around 2,500 GT Project Oro would be Benetti’s sixth largest custom vessel ever built by Benetti. During the 31st edition of the Monaco Yacht Show, Benetti also unveiled the new B.Now 50M M/Y Iryna and Custom 65M M/Y Triumph.IrynaM/Y Iryna FB602, the first unit of the B.Now 50M, combines modernity, innovation and functionality, inaugurating a range that includes, in addition to the 50-meter, three models of 60, 67 and 72 meters. The yacht was made by Benetti with the RWD design studio, responsible for the exteriors. The external lines, in a visual harmony of the decks from stern to bow, develop in constant contact with the sea.TriumphCustom 65M M/Y Triumph FB270 is one of the most recent megayachts launched by Benetti. Developed over 65 meters in length, it features 5 enclosed decks plus a sundeck extending in an extremely balanced ratio between volumes and length. The exterior lines are the work of Cassetta Yacht Designers, Benetti’s style office took care of the interiors and the Green & Mingarelli Design studio handled the decoration. Triumph offers high hull efficiency and ensures quiet sailing for long-range travel. Founded in 1873, Benetti is the oldest Italian shipyard specializing in luxury yachts. Benetti designs, builds and sells composite vessels from 29m to 44m and steel and aluminum boats from 37 to over 100m. The fleet consists of five categories: Class, Oasis, B.Yond, B.Now and Custom to meet all the needs of the market. Benetti belongs to the Azimut|Benetti Group, the largest privately owned luxury yachting group in the world.Credits: Benetti
October 4, 2022
During Monaco Yacht Show Wally revealed renders of two models – wallywind130 and wallywind150. The models were developed by in-house design team headed by Luca Bassani with renowned naval architect firm judel+vrolijk & co and design studio Santa Maria Magnolfi.wallywind130Both models feature the values held dear by Wally – both have a huge speed potential, being entirely built in carbon fiber composite. Running aft from the plumb bow towards the open “Terrace-on-the-sea” transom, the sheerline only dips at the last moment. The foredeck is totally free of obstacles or features that could challenge the eye (or the toes) and the glass-set coachroof is so low profile that it barely troubles the lines of the yachts. wallywind150“The wallywind150 is the natural evolution of the Wally144 Kauris IV launched in 2020. It includes some Wally iconic features, such as the cockpit protected by the high bulwarks, the Terrace-on-the-sea and the raised saloon. On the other hand, it also introduces a few more revolutionary features such as the forward guest area which doubles as a tender garage when not in use, a truly private owner’s terrace aft as well as a new interior layout to enhance flexibility for the owner,” says Luca Bassani, Wally Founder and Chief Designer.wallywind130By contrast, the design of the bulwarks is such that the coachroof hides a huge and convivial raised salon that flows smoothly into the cockpit without a single change in levels. No fewer than three social zones occupy more than a third of the boat’s length to create an entertaining space that is unparalleled on yachts of this size. Among them is the famous ‘Terrace-on the sea” that Wally pioneered in 1998 with Tiketitan.wallywind150Twin helm stations are discreetly positioned just inside the raised bulwarks, allowing guests to be as involved in the sailing as they wish. Sail controls and navigation displays are set amidships, but there is barely a rope to be seen. Beneath the foredeck is hidden a tender well for storing a generously sized tender (4.50m – 14’ 9’’ – on the wallywind130; 5.00+m – 16’ 4’’ – in the wallywind150) completely out of sight. On the larger superyacht, this well doubles as a forward guest cockpit that can be converted into a cushion-lined dining area or lounge. In the transom, the hydraulic passerelle stows flush and can be angled up to the quayside or down for elegant access to the water.wallywind130The full carbon lay-up guarantees exceptional hull stiffness, rapid acceleration and great response on the helm. Full pre-preg vacuum lamination with careful post curing at 85°C ensures that lamination is flawless and weight is kept to an absolute minimum.A retractable keel system allows both yachts to switch from performance to shallow-waters cruising mode. The twin rudder setup similarly balances fingertip control under way with easy access. A variable pitch propeller provides optimum thrust under power while folding under sail to offer almost no drag. wallywind150Central to both boats’ design is Wally’s smart “double deck” layout, which puts the key social areas up under the spectacular coachroof. It features an almost dreamlike structure combining carbon ribs with vast curved panes of glass and delicately lit panels. The result is a panorama that takes in the whole horizon, plus the sails overhead. wallywind130Below decks, both the wallywind130 and the wallywind150 offer comfortable accommodation for guests – up to eight in the smaller yacht and 10 in the bigger one. The 130-footer gives the owner the choice of a cabin forward or right aft, where the broader beam allows facilities including a private TV lounge and a vast his ‘n hers bathroom. wallywind150On the wallywind150, the cabin is always aft to provide access to the owner’s private cockpit. With room for walk-in wardrobes, a private office and multiple seating areas, the breath-taking owner’s cabin is more akin to those found on larger 60m (200’) yachts. The TV or playroom forward can also be easily converted for kids or a nanny to create a fifth cabin.Wally is part of Ferretti Group. It was founded in 1994 in Monaco by Luca Bassani and is the only yachting brand to be a two-time winner of the ADI Compasso d’Oro, the world’s most important award for quality and design. Credits: Wally
October 4, 2022