Almost half of the world’s superyachts belong to the moneyed inhabitants of the UK and US, a new survey suggests, as the global rich spent $2.68bn (£1.88bn) on their floating status symbols last year.
Owners based in the US own one in three of the world’s luxury superyachts – defined as a vessel of 30 metres or more – and the yachts have an average value of $10m (£7m). About 11% are registered to British-based millionaires. Italy comes third with 5% of owners.
The figures are in a report by Wealth-X, which studies the world’s wealthiest individuals. It has counted 4,476 superyachts in service, despite deliveries edging down slightly in 2015 to 146 from 156 in 2014.
But ownership is not in decline: during the same period, orders increased to 166, from 152 in 2014, taking the total order book of uncompleted superyachts to 455.
The survey also suggests the wealthy are growing bored with simply cruising around glamorous locations, sipping cocktails on deck and playing with “standard toys such as jet skis, water skis and canoes”. Instead, some are commissioning their playthings in order to seek out more unorthodox activities.
The report says: “Increasingly, [millionaires] want to combine five-star luxury with adventure, something superyachts are ideally suited to facilitate. Exploring the lesser known cruising grounds of the Galápagos Islands, and the polar regions on board ice-breaking hulls, long-range vessels, and various ancillary craft feature among emerging itineraries.”
Among the largest yachts ordered last year were a 133.9-metre Serene made by Italy’s Fincantieri, and a 51.7-metre Red Dragon from Alloy Yachts in New Zealand, which cost its new owner €17.95m (£14.23m).
The Topshop billionaire, Sir Philip Green, will this year take delivery of a 90-metre four-storey yacht, estimated to be worth about $150m.
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