When people think about yachting, the Caribbean and Mediterranean are usually the first places that come to mind. This is accurate since most of the 20th century's yachting history took place in Mediterranean and Caribbean locations. The world's filthy rich flocked because Europe and the United States were the world's wealthiest regions.
That is also why most of the world's most well-known yacht manufacturers are situated in Europe. Nevertheless, as the economic center of gravity has started to shift, new shipyards have risen to compete with those incumbents in other regions of the world that are developing faster and becoming increasingly wealthy.
Shipyards from Turkey, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia are becoming prominent and have carved out niches for themselves. By 2027 the global yacht industry is expected to reach $84.7 billion. Despite the COVID-19 problem, the industry cost US$64.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to rise to US$84.7 billion by 2027.
A luxury yacht's design and construction is a very personal experience. Superyacht owners will seek to engage with a yacht builder who truly understands their vision and can translate their dream design into an actual vessel, whether they customize a design to be built or seek to create a whole new concept altogether.
The world of luxury yachting may be hard to navigate for novices – and even those with some experience – with each manufacturer claiming to be the finest in the world. However, with boat prices in the tens of millions of dollars, knowing pays off.
Starting with the birthplace of yachting culture, this article will look at the most renowned shipyards across various regions and their niches.
The Mediterranean is where yachting culture began, with Italy sharing the longest coastline in the region. In the summer, the wealthiest have flocked to it since time immemorial.
Individualism and inventiveness are two characteristics of Italians. Perhaps you decide to buy a German automobile because the Germans are more efficient. However, if you want to acquire art, you would most likely travel to Italy.
In addition to becoming a world leader in yacht design and construction, Italy is home to some of the world's oldest and most prestigious shipyards. Azimut-Benetti and Ferretti are the most prominent, with Fincantieri being the oldest with a 230-year history.
Fincantieri Yachts's 230-year history and expertise in military ship design and building are the foundation of its ability to manufacture high-quality superyachts.
Azimut Benetti S.p. A. consisting of two sub-brands Azimut and Benetti, the shipyard has become a global icon of Italian maritime culture, art, and history. It specializes in high-end superyachts exceeding 70 meters in length, with no restrictions on the size or type of boats it may build.
Ferretti Group, majority-owned by Chinese investors, is the heir to Italy's centuries-old yachting history. It has a diverse portfolio of iconic, premium brands, ranging from Ferretti Yachts, Pershing, and Riva to Itama, Custom Line, Wally, and CRN.
Perini Navi home to the renowned Maltese Falcon, a three-masted schooner that is 88 meters (288 feet) tall. Its track record for innovative sailing boats has seen it set the bar for the industry, with more sailing yachts above 50 meters (164 feet) launched than any other builder.
When you think about Germany, the term "Ordnung muss sein" comes to mind. Ordnung muss sein may be seen as a cliche, yet there is likely a purpose for its existence. In the culture of Germany, people value precision and do things correctly, which are two traits required in engineering. The same is true for German boats.
Lürssen Yachts, comprising the renowned Blohm & Voss yard, has grown to the world's most recognized and largest German shipyard, where the wealthy go to commission full-custom Giga-yachts, having built 11 of the 20 world's largest superyachts in the past two decades.
Abeking & Rasmussen, recognized for commercial and military boats, has developed improved running surfaces such as the Swath hull, which skips over rough ocean waves instead of smashing them. The 112-year-old yard is working on a methanol-fueled hybrid fuel cell that produces solely pure steam, a first in yachting to operate without emitting any hydrocarbons.
Beneteau is the world's largest sailboat brand. With over 35,000 vessels to date, they are known for producing family-friendly, safe power and sailboats at a reasonable cost.
The word "yacht" comes from the Dutch word "jacht," which means "to chase." As the world's most powerful maritime and commercial country in the 17th century, this is the birthplace of yachting. When the cargo ships returned from their journeys to the Far East, the wealthy ship owners in Amsterdam met them with a fast following boat (jacht or yacht).
Royal Huisman, one of Holland's oldest and most sophisticated shipyards, is known for bespoke sailing superyachts, namely Gliss, Antares, Hyperiod, Hanuman, Elfie, and Arcadia.
Heesen yachts previously Striker Boats till 1978, a highly secretive shipyard is famous for creating the world's most bespoke superyachts.
Damen Group is based in Vlissingen, the spiritual birthplace of Dutch shipbuilding, and dating back centuries to the Dutch East India Company, this shipyard is famous for the world's largest bespoke steel-hulled yachts, military and commercial boats.
Oceanco relatively newcomer, yet it has already created some of the world's most beautiful customized superyachts in collaborations with Terence Disdale, Nuvolari-Lenard, Espen Ino, Sam Sorgiovanni, Igor Lobanov, Tim Heywood, and Andrew Winch.
Feadship is the most well-known name among Dutch builders, is made up of the De Vries and Van Lent family yards and De Voogt Naval Architects.
Kleven Verft is the most unconventional shipyard on this list, known for offshore vessels and icebreakers. Kleven Verft has a long history in shipbuilding and has extensive expertise in producing very seaworthy big yachts that fall into the highest echelons of exclusivity due to their size and specifications. The 107m ULYSSES is an example of a Kleven Verft boat privately utilized as a luxury superyacht. She is ice-classed and built for expedition cruises.
United States of America
American shipyards are clearly in the minority on the worldwide superyacht-building stage, as seen by the brand names on most new constructions at the Monaco Yacht Show or the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. However, underestimating the American spirit would be a mistake. From coast to coast, American builders are producing semi-custom and bespoke boats.
Delta Marine isn't known for bragging about itself, yet the Seattle yard has the same lineage as many of Europe's best shipyards. The shipyard benefits from the trickle-down effect of Boeing headquarters being just down the road and Seattle being a prominent tech hub.
The 216-foot Invictus, 164-foot Arianna, and 240-foot Laurel are among its bespoke yachts.
Westport Yachts Since 1969, it has launched more than 140 superyachts, making it the most prolific superyacht builder in North America.
United Arab Emirates
The yachting industry is still in its infancy, with the Arab Emirates primarily dependent on oil wealth.
From humble beginnings in 1982, Gulf Craft has grown to become one of the world's top seven shipyards.
Touring passenger vessels, Silvercraft family day boats, Oryx Sport Cruisers, Nomad Explorer Yachts, and the flagship Majesty Yachts are among the five brands in the product line, which range in size from 31 to 175 feet and appeal to a wide audience.
Turkey became a competitor to top yacht construction countries such as Italy, Germany, and Holland. This achievement can be linked to low labor costs and high artistry quality when Turkey's location and four-season environment are considered.
NUMARINE is known for its edgy look. Turkey heavily influences Numarine's DNA. It's where Numarine's creator and industrial designer, Can Yalman, calls home.
Tansu Yachts Istanbul-based boutique yard specializes in the building of steel and aluminum boats and cold-molded wood yachts. It is recognized for its design that resembles naval battleships.
China appears well equipped to become a dominant superyacht market, with a 9,000-mile coastline and a class of millionaires expected to surpass 20 million by the mid-2020s. Despite this, sales were disappointing due to a 44 percent import duty on boats and an early inability of manufacturers to conform to Chinese client demands and cultural preferences. Yet, things seem to be changing.
Pride Mega Yachts Illusion, an 88-meter motor yacht completed in 2015, serves as Pride's flagship. The project's naval architecture is handled by Azure Naval Architects, while the interior design is handled by Sander Sinot, who is distinguished for his Asian-inspired elegance.
Dyna yachts is one of Taiwan's leading yacht builders. It all began with two models: a 46-foot Sundeck Motor Yacht and a 53-foot Yacht Fisherman.
Due to high tides near the Antarctic, the land has traditionally preferred catamarans, explaining their appeal.
Incat Crowther, situated in Hobart, Tasmania, is an Australian builder of catamarans up to 112 meters in length. InCat, formerly known as International Catamarans, manufactures watercraft ranging from small river vessels to huge passenger and vehicle-carrying catamarans for civilian and military purposes.