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.

Latest News

A Closer Look at Sunreef 35M Eco
Sunreef Yachts has shared the news about its latest sailing catamaran, the Sunreef 35M Eco, designed to offer an eco-friendly cruising experience without compromising on luxury. This vessel integrates advanced green technologies, including specially designed batteries, modern electric motors, and solar panels embedded in the hull, superstructure, and bimini.The Sunreef 35M Eco boasts a width of 14.7 meters, providing ample living space on board. The owner's cabin, located at the bow of the main deck, features panoramic views and private access to the bow terrace. Guest cabins, situated within the catamaran's hull, are designed to offer comfort and uniqueness.Outdoor amenities include a spacious flybridge equipped with a swimming pool and a drinks bar, offering ample space for relaxation and socializing. The Ocean Lounge, located on the aft deck, is tailored for leisure and water sports, featuring easy access to diving equipment and water activities. Additionally, a large hidden aft garage provides storage space.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
Videoworks Installs and Tests OneWeb's LEO Technology on Superyacht in Turkey
Videoworks has successfully installed and tested OneWeb's Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology on a 70-meter superyacht in Turkey, confirming its effectiveness for connectivity and after-sales services. The technology, combined with the Kymeta antenna, has been confirmed to operate smoothly, providing high-speed and secure internet connectivity.OneWeb's network of LEO satellites offers a unique service in terms of speed and security, tailored specifically for the yachting world by Videoworks. With 25 years of experience, Videoworks has a history of installing advanced audio/video, entertainment, IT, lighting, and comfort systems on superyachts worldwide, aiming to meet the demanding needs of shipowners and shipping companies.The desire for reliable internet connectivity, comparable to that of home or office, is crucial for shipowners and their guests. This allows for seamless entertainment and professional activities, such as managing conference calls while at sea. LEO satellites have significantly enhanced the on-board experience, and Videoworks has positioned itself as a competent partner from satellite to TV remote control.Videoworks, in collaboration with Speedcast, is the official reseller of OneWeb. Initial tests at their Ancona facility and subsequent tests on the superyacht in Turkey demonstrated the system's efficiency and stability. Turkey, a region not covered by other broadband satellite systems, proved particularly challenging.The installation and commissioning of the OneWeb system, featuring a single Kymeta Peregrin U8 antenna, were managed by Videoworks. During three days of testing, the system consistently delivered 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload speeds, even with 11 streaming platforms active simultaneously.The OneWeb airtime service uses two hardware platforms, Kymeta Peregrin U8 and Intellian OW11FM. Based on the antenna plan and desired bandwidth, configurations can include single or double flat antennas. Videoworks also offers tailored solutions to meet the specific expectations of shipowners.The initial tests and practical application confirmed OneWeb's capability to deliver professional maritime broadband solutions adaptable to superyachts globally. This high-quality connectivity supports cloud-based applications for both business and leisure activities, with latencies similar to terrestrial 5G communications. OneWeb distinguishes itself by offering guaranteed minimum bandwidth and robust security measures, unlike other LEO and 5G services.Videoworks' comprehensive package includes the choice of antenna, on-board systems, and a 365/24/7 assistance service, ensuring simplified technical management for shipowners and charter companies. In addition to the OneWeb LEO system, Videoworks provides other market solutions such as Starlink, 5G, Vsat, and Iridium, aiming to offer the best options based on the owner's needs.Credits: Videoworks
Oasis 40M Cosmico Delivered by Benetti
Italian shipyard Benetti has successfully delivered Cosmico, the latest addition to its Oasis 40M series. The delivery took place at Benetti’s shipyard in Livorno, Italy. According to BOATPro, Cosmico is currently moored near Ditella, a hamlet in the Aeolian Islands, after making stopovers in Rome and Pompeii.Cosmico measures 40.8 meters in length and benefits from the innovative design by British studio RWD. One of the standout features of this superyacht is Benetti's trademarked Oasis Deck, which includes a flat platform with two unfolding gunwales that transform into overwater balconies, offering expansive views and a closer connection to the sea.The superyacht provides accommodation across five cabins. The interior, styled by Bonetti/Kozerski Architecture, has been heavily customized to suit the owner's preferences. Notable modifications include the repositioning of the master berth to the center of the cabin, enhancing space and comfort. The outdoor dining area, located on the upper deck aft, is equipped with a quartzite-topped table, adding a touch of elegance to alfresco dining.Although interior images have not yet been released, it is known that the materials chosen for Cosmico include walnut wood and leather-clad paneling, which replace the lacquering seen in the original design. Additionally, oak boards have been used instead of the typical teak interior flooring, providing a fresh and contemporary look.Founded in 1873, Benetti is the oldest Italian shipyard specializing in luxury yachts. They design, build and sell composite vessels from 29 to 44m and steel and aluminum boats from 37 to over 100m. Their fleet consists of five categories: Class, Oasis, B.Yond, B.Now and Custom, to meet all the needs of the market, and they belong to the Azimut|Benetti Group, the largest privately owned luxury yachting group in the world.Credits: Benetti
BDJ Now Available for Sale
Camper & Nicholsons has announced the exclusive sale of BDJ, represented by Senior Sales Broker Marc Haendle.BDJ is the last project by renowned designer Pieter Beeldsnijder, specifically designed for luxurious round-the-world cruising. Built by Flevo Ship in Holland, this 29.26-meter motor yacht, launched in 2013, reflects high standards of custom yacht construction. It is offered for sale by the original owner and is in excellent condition, featuring a trans-Atlantic range and low engine hours, having been used only privately.BDJ boasts a modern interior with ample natural light and comfort, featuring premium materials throughout. The layout includes a spacious saloon, a galley, and a formal dining area aft of the wheelhouse. Accommodation is provided for six guests in three cabins: a full-beam master suite with a walk-in wardrobe, a guest double, and a twin that can convert into a large VIP suite.One of the standout features of BDJ is its flybridge. The sun deck includes a grill, a galley counter, casual seating, and stowage space for a tender and a small car, which can be deployed by the yacht’s crane.BDJ has undergone annual maintenance at its build yard and benefits from low fuel consumption. At-anchor stabilizers enhance comfort, and additional batteries allow for extended silent operation.BDJ is available for viewings by appointment in the Netherlands.Credit: Camper & Nicholsons
Special One Ready to Set Sail
Royal Huisman has announced the successful delivery of Project 406, known as Special One. This custom motor yacht, measuring 52 meters (171 feet), is set to depart from the shipyard in the Netherlands on her maiden voyage, marking a significant achievement in superyacht construction.Special One is an Alustar aluminum motor yacht designed for both luxury and performance. She features six decks and can achieve speeds over 30 knots, as demonstrated during extensive testing in the North Sea. The yacht is tailored to meet the specific requirements of her experienced owner, who has a strong interest in sportfishing, making her the world’s largest true sportfish yacht.Designed by Vripack Yacht Design Studio, Special One has a distinctive appearance with a long bow, high bulwarks, and a clear sheer line leading to an uncluttered cockpit aft. The high tower provides excellent views and a downward angle on the water, ideal for sportfishing. Additionally, the tower serves as a viewing platform for guests to watch the fishing activities below.This project highlights Royal Huisman's expertise in the superyacht sector, demonstrating their ability to push the boundaries of custom yacht construction. Jan Timmerman, CEO of Royal Huisman, stated: "The delivery of Project 406 underscores our commitment to creating unique and bespoke superyachts. This motor yacht project showcases our ability to deliver custom solutions that align perfectly with our client's vision. We are excited to see 'Special One' embark on her journey and provide unforgettable experiences to her owner."Special One is now ready to set sail, promising to deliver exceptional performance and luxury on the open seas.Royal Huisman is a Dutch shipyard established in 1884 in Ronduite, building and refitting custom luxury sailing and motor yachts at its shipyard in Vollenhove, the Netherlands.Credit: Royal Huisman