Tom George Visits Superyacht Yards in Europe
The yacht manufacturing market has shifted in recent years. While European shipyards have been a mainstay in the yacht industry, the yacht builders of Europe have come into increased focus with the decline of US-based yacht manufacturing.
According to data from BoatInternational.com, 24 of the 509 (4.7%) yachts larger than 100 feet (30.48m) in length were launched by US-based manufacturers during 2015 - 2018. This average of six 100+ foot yachts launched per year by American yacht builders during this time span is down from an average of 12 per year during the previous four years (2011 - 2014). Essentially, the number of 100+ foot yachts being built by American companies in recent years has been cut in half.
One doesn’t need to look further than the example of Trinity Yachts to see the decline of American superyacht manufacturing. The gulf coast company launched 11 superyachts during the years of 2010-2012 and just two since, including the 58.83m Imagine… delivered in 2016.
The European yards have and continue to be major players in the construction and delivery of superyachts. While German and Dutch yacht builders continue to shine with respect to quality craftsmanship, the Italian shipyards are producing impressive volumes of yachts.
Italian yacht production continues to boast extraordinary numbers. With respect to the 509 100+ foot yachts launched during the years of 2015 - 2018, a whopping 204 (40%) of such yachts were built by Italian yards. And the trend’s not slowing down. Of the four year span, 2018 was the biggest year for Italian production with 58 such yachts launched. All data from BoatInternational.com.
To properly advise clients graduating from smaller yachts or looking to build a custom yacht, an intimate knowledge of the best yacht builders around the world is crucial. While yacht brokers of ranging experience will claim familiarity with European yacht builders, a commitment to regular hands-on experience and in-person familiarity with these yards separates Tom George in the industry.
For years, Tom George allocates regular time touring the European shipyards, meeting with world’s best designers and discussing the latest technology and production processes with engineers. There’s no replacement for walking the docks, seeing the facilities first-hand, examining the latest designs and having face-to-face conversations with the top executives, designers and engineers in the industry.
This commitment fuels an intimate knowledge that serves Tom George Yacht Group clients well. For clients looking for custom yacht construction, Tom George Yacht Group has the experience and the knowledge to answer the right questions and guide clients toward the best outcome. What are the latest designs? What are the pros and cons when comparing steel, aluminum and fiberglass? Which shipyards are financially stable? How are certain manufacturers trending in terms of resale? What trade-offs between budget and build quality are worth consideration and which ones might end in regret?
During this recent trip, Tom George took the opportunity to visit Sanlorenzo’s historic superyacht shipyard located in La Spezia, Italy and Benetti’s shipyard in Livorno, Italy. Tom George remarked that while many in the industry understand the prowess of Italian yacht manufacturing, seeing once again in-person the volume of production and the size of yachts being manufactured by these yards is indeed something to behold.
Of special interest during this trip was Tom George’s continued due diligence on the expanding explorer yachts line - specifically, Sanlorenzo’s new 500 EXP. The 500 EXP maintains the style of the successful 460 EXP while lengthening the vessel by 4+ meters. The popularity of explorer (or expedition) yachts remains an important trend in yacht manufacturing, and a number of Tom George Yacht Group clients have expressed interest.
While overseas, Tom George also participated in the Southampton International Boat Show in the UK, the Genoa International Boat Show in Italy and the Monaco Yacht Show.
Tom George, CPYB, is the president of Tom George Yacht Group and is widely recognized as a mega yacht expert. Should you have any questions about custom yacht construction or any other yacht brokerage services, feel free to contact Tom George directly.