FT Special Report Yachts and Marinas 2014
The shift in global economic power is changing the game for the superyacht and pleasureboat industry, writes Victor Mallet
Nearly four years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the luxury yacht industry continues to struggle with a persistent economic crisis in its core European market and the tentative nature of the recovery in the US.
The yacht sector is large and highly diversified, and there are some prominent bright patches in the generally gloomy outlook – including strong demand for the largest motoryachts from very wealthy Middle Eastern and eastern European customers, hopeful signs of growth from emerging markets such as China, and some sailing achievements that cast a glow of good publicity over the whole marine industry.
In general, however, while the fleet of superyachts grows inexorably, profits do not – at least not for brokers struggling with collapsing prices for second hand yachts or marina operators trying to amortise big investments. Banks that overexposed themselves to yacht buyers before the crisis are trying to offload repossessed vessels and further depressing second-hand prices.