After a record number of new yachts on order or in build in 2023, the new build market seems to have plateaued. According to Boat International’s Global Order Book 2024, which collects data on the new build activity over 24m, there has been a nominal 3.1% decrease in the total number of projects ordered or in build. The total gross tonnage under construction has also seen a negligible drop of 0.5%.
As we look to the year ahead, the data also reveals various trends in terms of superyacht design with a range of different lifestyles and intended uses represented across the deliveries scheduled for 2024. One of the most prominent is the increasing popularity of explorer yachts, which now represent 8.5% of the Global Order Book.
Italian builder Cantiere delle Marche is dominating the explorer yacht segment with 17 projects currently on its order book. The 45m Project T is the shipyard’s largest yacht scheduled for delivery this year – the full-custom explorer yacht features a generous beach club and a totally private owner’s apartment encompassing the entire forward section of the main deck. Lürssen’s 107m Project ICECAP is also scheduled for delivery this year. While the details of this rugged explorer yacht have remained largely under wraps, imagery has revealed a domineering inverted bow and large open aft deck.
Multihulls are also growing in popularity, with 72 catamaran projects in this year’s order book compared to 49 last year. Polish builder Sunreef is responsible for many of these orders and is preparing to deliver the first Sunreef 88 ULTIMA unit this year. With 10 units currently on order, the ULTIMA series has proved popular thanks to its ability to blend monohull dynamics with multihull living space.
The sailing yacht market has remained steady at 71 projects in build and on order and 32 projects scheduled for delivery in 2024, the majority of which fall into the smaller 24-30m size bracket. The largest sailing yacht projects scheduled to be delivered this year is the 65m Royal Huisman AQUARIUS II.
The number of sport fishers under construction in this year’s order book has decreased. An exciting prospect for this niche segment this year, however, is the delivery of the 52m Royal Huisman Project 406 – the largest sportfish yacht to be built. With a long bow and high bulwarks sweeping to a low and uncluttered cockpit aft, its high tower offers outstanding views with a downward angle on the water for specialised fishing.
The larger end of the size spectrum remains robust, with 24 100m-plus projects in the current order book. Eight 100m-plus projects are due to be delivered this year, including the 118.8m Feadship 821, the 142m Lürssen Project ALIBABA and the highly confidential 105m Project NB-729 from Spanish shipyard Freire.