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.
Australian yacht manufacturer Maritimo announces the arrival of the S75 Sedan Motor Yacht. From a form that balances authority and grace in every way and from every angle, the S75 is the embodiment of everything that is Maritimo. With its elegant Portofino hips and reverse sheer, the S75's aesthetic is complemented by purposeful black accents on the targa bar, adding a sporty touch to its sleek profile.“We are incredibly proud to be launching this majestic vessel and of what it represents for Maritimo,” said Tom Barry-Cotter, Managing Director of Maritimo. “The S75 is the culmination of over three years of development by the dedicated Maritimo team. The company has invested hundreds of thousands of hours in the planning, development, and pre-production of the S75, collaborating with Maritimo owners intensively throughout the processThe S75 is designed for long-range journeys, and features deep-sided walkaround decks seamlessly integrated into its design, leading to a spacious forward outdoor lounge area with a sun bed and forward-facing lounge.The hull design of the S75 exudes strength and emphasizes its ability to handle long distances comfortably. Large panoramic glass areas in the hull and saloon offer exciting views.Onboard the S75, the expansive adventure deck at the rear impresses with its vastness, providing ample space for various water-based activities and adventures. Sitting just above the waterline, this deck creates a seamless connection with the ocean, offering a perfect space for relaxation, barbecues, and lounging.At the upper-cockpit deck the yacht features an alfresco lounging and dining. Inside the yacht, the saloon welcomes guests with panoramic glazed areas that fill the space with natural light. The lounging and dining options create an inviting atmosphere, enhanced by a 65-inch screen that can be swiveled for viewing from various areas, including the galley and upper cockpit. The yacht accommodates eight guests across four spacious staterooms, including the full beam master suite. The power to weight ratio and cruising capabilities have been perfectly paired with the S75, with the twin Scania 1150 hp DI16 V8 engines. Maritimo is also the first Australian manufacturer to offer an optional Rolls Royce Power Systems MTU, which are available in the twin 1625hp 2000 Series V10 engines. “The global launch of the S75 heralds the start of Maritmo’s 20th Anniversary celebrations,” Barry-Cotter continued. “And what could be more fitting in our 20th year than releasing this grand vessel? The S75 is the epitome of everything that is Maritimo,” concludes Tom Barry-Cotter. Maritimo is Australia’s leading builder of long-range motor yachts, and will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2023. The company was founded by Australia’s most awarded boat builder, Bill Barry-Cotter OM, who has over 60 years of boat building excellence. Maritimo offers motor yachts in three distinctive ranges: the M-Series Flybridge, the S-Series Sedan, and the new Offshore Series. Credits: Maritimo
May 26, 2023
J. David Weiss of Designova has unveiled a superyacht concept named Soar. With a sleek and curvaceous exterior resembling a bird's beak, and an interior that mimics the intricate structure of avian skeletons, this concept pushes the boundaries of superyacht design by taking cues from nature's own creativity.Weiss, known for his innovative approach to design, found inspiration in the elegance of large birds soaring through the sky. The concept's shiny-black steel hull, developed in collaboration with racing and sailing yacht experts, emulates the pointed structure of a bird's skull. Soar showcases additional nods to nature with its concave upper freeboard, flaring at the top to offer panoramic views of the sea. This design choice maximizes the real estate on the upper main decks while maintaining a narrow waterline beam. Soar's interior design offers flexible layouts tailored to future owners' preferences. The twin pool configuration includes a family-friendly pool deck at the aft and a private owner's pool on the foredeck, designed in a figure-eight shape with a contra-flow system. The open-plan interior features a central looping staircase adorned with natural materials and fabrics. Large entertainment-focused living areas, gallery-like spaces for art displays, and elevated platforms for showcasing collectibles contribute to the yacht's unique and playful ambiance.Soar's innovative features extend beyond its avian-inspired design. The concept is envisioned as a fast cruiser powered by hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion and a hybrid electric cruising system for low-speed navigation. With a projected top speed of 30 knots using a large-scale GE marine turbine, the yacht promises thrilling performance.Weiss's attention to sustainability extends to the onboard tenders and toys, which are all electric. From the custom Voltari performance runabout to the T3mp3st jet skis, every aspect has been carefully considered for eco-conscious cruising. The concept also offers two helipads and the option for a personal electric quadcopter, housed in a custom hangar at the bow.Credits: J. David Weiss
May 26, 2023
Sunreef Yachts has made waves with the recent launch of the highly anticipated 80 Sunreef Power Eco. This custom-built catamaran, constructed at the Gdansk shipyard in Poland, showcases state-of-the-art green technologies that prioritize environmental friendliness and energy efficiency.Equipped with two 360kW motors and a substantial 990kWh battery capacity, the 80 Sunreef Power Eco utilizes the groundbreaking Sunreef Yachts High Power Super Catamaran technology, incorporating a Fully Integrated Composite Structural Panel. This innovative design allows the catamaran to navigate autonomously using clean energy.The commissioning of this catamaran was entrusted to a sustainability-minded family of experienced yachtsmen who sought the perfect motor eco-yacht. With energy-efficient air conditioning and intelligent energy management systems, this electric yacht sets new benchmarks for eco-cruising. The interior of the catamaran reflects the owner's personal style, featuring four spacious cabins adorned with elegant contemporary furnishings and a tasteful neutral color palette that beautifully complements the striking bronzish-gold hull. Sunreef Yachts was founded by Francis Lapp in 2002 in Gdansk, Poland. Since then, the shipyard has been designing and manufacturing luxury sailing and power multihulls. Credits: Sunreef Yachts
May 26, 2023
On May 25, 2023, in Antalya, Turkey, the owner of the first 53-meter Yacht Support (YS 5301) witnessed his brand-new yacht hit the water for the first time. The new yacht was designed entirely by Damen Yachting and constructed at the builder's facility in Turkey.The 53-meter YS 5301 was sold to Anthony Hsieh in May 2022. The new yacht will replace the Owner’s current 46-meter YS 4508 Yacht Support, named Bad Company Support, built by Damen Yachting in 2019 and sold to Anthony Hsieh in 2021.Joining the growing group of innovative Yacht Support owners, the owner will use YS 5301 as a mothership to his well-established fleet, named Bad Company. The Bad Company fleet is well-known for its modern sports fishing missions and can currently be found on a world tour. In supporting sports fishing, the Owner is involved in several marine conservation projects in remote locations across the planet such as those initiated by the Coastal Conservation Association of California.“What we are planning to do with the YS 5301 no one has ever done before, and I think this will set a whole new tier of adventure for future yachts people,” says Anthony Hsieh. YS 5301 features a huge 15-tonne deck crane and is fully IMO Tier III compliant to reduce harmful emissions by 70% for full-range operations. Her two main engines can deliver speeds of up to 19 knots.Once delivered, YS 5301 will tour the Mediterranean for a shakedown trip, and then move into the Atlantic Ocean in her first year, followed by the Indian Ocean and Pacific the following year. The new mothership will be equipped with a 43ft Release Game boat and a 32ft Blackfin – a boat which carries significant sentiment for the owner. Recently repurchased and refurbished for this adventure, the Blackfin was the Owner’s first Game fishing boat purchased more than 30 years ago. The helicopter on board will provide the owner with easy airport transfers to and from the mothership.“This is one of the most exciting projects we have worked on. Not only is this the first of our new YS 53 range but this is also the first Yacht Support we have built that will be used exclusively as part of a sport fishing fleet and programme. Hsieh’s unique vision and mission are very inspiring,” says Jan van Hogerwou, Damen Yachting’s Commercial Executive North America. The yachts will be delivered in Summer 2023 under the name Bad Company Support.Damen Yachting, a division within the Damen Shipyards Group, was created in 2019. The division combines the pedigree and heritage of Amels yachts with a growing portfolio of SeaXplorer yachts and Yacht Support vessels.Credits: Damen Yachting
May 25, 2023
ISA Yachts presents the latest addition to its renowned Gran Turismo line, a collection that has played a significant role in the shipyard's global acclaim. The inaugural model crafted by Team for Design - Enrico Gobbi is a 70-meter yacht exuding sporty allure and captivating sensuality.With its sleek coupé-like profile and graceful lines, the Gran Turismo 70m revolutionizes the concept of seamless exterior and interior integration, creating a truly unique and sophisticated leitmotif. The combination of a refined hull color in steel gray, complemented by charcoal accents, alongside minimalist windows, accentuates the yacht's flowing design and enhances its longitudinal aesthetics. The charcoal-colored sky lounge, housing the wheelhouse, is purposefully set back to preserve the vessel's slender silhouette and allow the iconic ISA arch, which unifies all decks, to take center stage.The exterior layout exemplifies versatility, as demonstrated by the forward area of the owner's cabin, which can be either a private sanctuary or open to guests. This space includes an infinity pool connected to the owner's cabin via an illuminated path. Additionally, a touch-and-go platform can be provided for added convenience. The owner's cabin is a glasshouse, where the slim frames of the expansive floor-to-ceiling windows virtually disappear, amplifying the sense of continuity between the interior and the surrounding natural beauty. At the stern of the upper deck, the round dining room with its 180-degree opening windows seamlessly blends with the external cockpit, uniting them through the use of the same wood finishes.The outdoor furnishings embody organic elegance, characterized by modern curved shapes and warm-colored wood, exuding a glamorous and high-quality appeal. The same philosophy extends to the interior, featuring a captivating blend of teak and wenge wood for the flooring and ceiling cladding. A palette of warm colors, including dove gray, taupe, and contemporary blue, creates a refined atmosphere. The owner's cabin showcases a combination of sandblasted teak-colored walnut wood and light-colored leather, resulting in a truly distinctive ambiance.Both the ceiling and floor lighting play a special role, guiding the gaze towards infinity and transcending the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces. The expansive SPA area, designed to foster conviviality, features large opening platforms on the sides and aft. A centrally placed LED TV behind the bar ensures that films or ambient videos can be enjoyed from every corner of the room.<iframe width=560 height=315 src=https://www.youtube.com/embed/GTJzKXka0GI title=YouTube video player frameborder=0 allow=accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share allowfullscreen></iframe>On the main deck, the ISA GT 70 accommodates five double cabins, including a VIP suite with a lounge area. The owner's cabin is situated forward on the upper deck, boasting two bathrooms (one with a tub and one with a shower), a vanity area, and two wardrobes.A 50-meter model will also be presented soon to make history in this new Gran Turismo line. ISA Yachts is part of Palumbo Superyachts network, which also includes: Columbus Yachts, Mondomarine and Extra Yachts. Currently in build are two 80-meter yachts which will serve as the new flagships models for ISA Yachts.Credits: ISA Yachts
May 25, 2023