Superyacht sales enjoy hot sales streak

More than £1bn has been spent on superyachts in 2021 as wealthy people seek to escape covid lockdowns and travel restrictions. The surge will make this year the biggest yet in terms of second-hand sales.

According to Stewart Campbell, Boat International, the trend towards buying superyachts, which started last summer, is the ‘hottest sales streak on record’.

The sales surge is being driven by ‘a cohort of very wealthy people’ who want to get away from travel restrictions and covid-related lockdowns by buying a yacht, Campbell told the BBC.

While the pandemic had made it more difficult for rich people to jet to the Mediterranean and cruise around, Campbell says, “it’s a minor inconvenience in the scheme of things”.

More than 50% of superyacht sales are in the US, he says, so people there can cruise in US waters, avoiding travel restrictions, and many yacht owners ‘did not want to go near land’ due to the pandemic.

According to the BBC, Campbell says it was a misconception that all superyachts were owned by oligarchs, and that the majority of people who own them have earned their money ethically, and that many gave to charity.

The three biggest yachts sold second-hand this year were Solo, at just over £54m, Elixir, with an asking price of £33.5m, and Lady Sheridan, with an asking price of £24.7m.

As reported by Marine Industry News, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s superyacht is estimated to have cost about $500m (£350m).

Smaller superyachts usually cost between €1m and €5m (£860,000 to £4.3m) second-hand, and have running costs of about €200,000 per year for crew, mooring fees and fuel, says Campbell.

But, Max Lawson, head of inequality policy at Oxfam International, told the BBC: “The £1bn spent in the last year by billionaires on superyachts is more than the cost of fully vaccinating a country like Nepal, where Covid is inflicting a terrible toll.

“It is obscene – a sign of a world that has its priorities badly wrong – that with so much wealth around poor countries cannot get the vaccines they need to protect their people.”

Main image courtesy of Y.Co.