Dec 18, 2021 - Economy & Business

Boat boom won't let up

Source: Boat International; Chart: Axios Visuals
Source: Boat International; Chart: Axios Visuals

Superyacht builders are entering the new year with more boats on order than ever before.

Driving the news: The mega-rich (whose wealth ballooned during the pandemic) sought out giant yachts at record rates for a private refuge from the virus — and there are fresh signs it isn't letting up, per Boat International's annual report out this week.

  • "The lack of travel and the desire to isolate has been universally good for the boat industry," Princess Yachts' Will Green says in the report.

The intrigue: Companies have all but stopped building yachts on "spec" because of the wild demand. The number of boats built without owners hit the lowest level on record.

  • Those with the means will be hard-pressed to find a semi-custom yacht available for purchase before 2024 — a historic wait time as demand soars and component shortages bite.

Between the lines: The "Octopus" — one of the world's biggest yachts, first commissioned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen — was the priciest yacht sale of the year: about $260 million.

The new yacht hurdle: dwindling places to park them.

What they're saying: "We have lost sales because people could not find anywhere to keep the boat," Issy Pereira, a Florida-based yacht dealer, told Miami Today this week.

Go deeper