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The superyacht market boom

The superyacht market is one that is emerging from the pandemic not entirely scot-free (who did?) but in a pretty strong position and in generally rather robust health.

Like in many industries, superyacht production ground to a halt in 2020 and the pandemic “played havoc” with delivery schedules according to Boat International. Many deliveries have been pushed into 2021, but in a buoyant upturn for the sector, the current global order book stands at 741.

The explorer yacht (those purpose built for long-distance cruising) market is also reported to be “on fire”, accounting for almost 10% of the global order book. There are 64 in this year’s order book compared to 58 in 2020. There has also been significant growth in support vessels, a large increase in 37 – 60m projects being built, and active shipyards are on the up (179 as opposed to 151 in 2019). In short, as Sam Tucker, head of superyacht research at market intelligence firm VesselsValue said when interviewed by the BBC recently, “The market’s been absolutely roaring.”

All of this adds up to a general feeling of long-term confidence in the superyacht industry, particularly in the top builders of superyachts (Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey). All of these areas are building more and bigger yachts, with Turkey seeing the largest surge in growth as it was generally less disrupted by covid than other areas.

Consumer anxiety is predicted to remain in 2021 but with vaccination programmes taking effect, normality is predicted to resume in some form in the second half of the year, adding to the confidence in the sector to continue growing and booming.

Here at Spinnaker, we’re definitely seeing a significant increase in superyacht roles. “While we’ve always had a steady number of superyacht vacancies, the uptick has definitely been notable in the past year or so,” says Teresa Peacock, Managing Director of Spinnaker’s recruitment business. “We speak to a huge number of people in the sector and the general feeling is that things are very positive indeed. The orderbooks are healthy, and market optimism is high.”

We caught up with Toby Allies, Joint Managing Director at Pendennis Shipyard, who has been in the yachting industry for almost 30 years. We asked him how the pandemic had affected business: “The Superyacht industry is a global market place and so has been affected heavily by the pandemic in terms of issues around the movement of people and goods. It has proved challenging at times for us especially around the redelivery of projects, but as a team Pendennis are working through it. I’m proud to say in 2020 we delivered several significant projects including the new build sailing yacht Halekai and the 75m motor yacht Lady E, which we conducted a significant 5 metre stern extension on.”

This durability in what was a really tough time for most businesses globally is a testament to the Pendennis ethos. And it’s growing, too: “We currently have just over 400 people working on site at our main Falmouth base and are currently looking to increase this by 10 % over the next 6 months adding more skilled tradespeople to join our team,” says Allies.

As a company we specialise in the custom build and refit of Superyachts from 30-90m and this will continue to be at the very heart of our business moving forward. We are continually looking at opportunities to grow and invest into our core businesses both at home and abroad (in additional to its main Falmouth base, Pendennis also operates a Technical Service Centre and adjacent marina just outside of Barcelona, Spain).”

The sentiment within superyachts is very much positive. We are sure to see this continue throughout 2021 and beyond. Interested in working within the sector?

Top superyacht vacancies with Spinnaker:

International Sales Executive – exclusive role with Pendennis Shipyard

In-house lawyer (superyachts) – Middle East

Crew and HR Manager – Yachts

Asset Finance Associate – Yachts / Super Yachts

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