The start of 2023 marks a new record for the number of yachts over 24m LOA on order or in build. According to data published in Boat International’s 2023 Global Order Book, there are currently 1,203 projects scheduled for delivery between now and 2027, up 17.5% from the 1,024 projects recorded last year.
While this year-on-year growth seems impressive at first glance, it is worth noting that the figure has been amplified by supply chain disruption and sanctions impacting delivery schedules. In fact, the Global Order Book estimates that around 95 projects have slipped from their anticipated 2022 delivery. Had these schedules been maintained, the current order book would reflect a modest 6.4% increase from the previous year, indicating that the steady growth since the 2007-2008 financial crisis may be about to plateau as shipyards near capacity.
The data also highlighted the increasing variety of superyacht designs, with a unique range of different lifestyles and missions represented across the launches and deliveries scheduled for 2023. The expedition yacht market, for example, has grown again, with deliveries this year including the custom Damen SeaXplorer 58. The smallest model in the series so far, the SeaXplorer 58 will feature an ice-class hull and carry a 11.4m performance sailboat, two large tenders, road and off-road vehicles and a helicopter. The first SeaXplorer 60 is also in build at the yard, with delivery scheduled for 2024.
British shipyard Pendennis is set to be launching 35m Project FOX this year – the first project in the shipyard’s history to be offered for sale during construction. Designed as a compact explorer to take adventurous owners off the beaten path, key features of the 295gt motoryacht include an expansive open aft deck capable of storing a pair of 7.5m tenders, plus the option of submersibles, Jet Skis and any other gadgets and toys.
The large sportfish market continues to expand, with 34 units currently in build including the 52m Project 406 at Royal Huisman. Commissioned by a passionate fisherman and experienced yachtsman, the project is designed by Vripack for big-game, deep-sea fishing and will be the largest yacht in the sportfish category upon completion.
While the sailing yacht market accounts for just 5.9% of the current order book, there are still set to be some interesting developments in the sector this year. With its launch expected in 2023, the 59m Project 3090 is a ketch-rigged performance cruiser currently under construction at Vitters. The three-masted 127m Oceanco Y721, now transmitting on AIS as KORU, is also nearing its delivery date.
The total number of yachts over 100m in the order book has decreased for first time since 2019. Joining the 100m-plus club on the water this year will be the 118m Abeking 6507 – the largest project from the German shipyard yet – with highlights including a semi-submerged Neptune lounge and expansive pool.
A new addition to the charter market this year will be 78m O’REA, with delivery scheduled for June 2023 from Greek shipyard Golden Yachts. O’REA will have accommodation for 12 guests across eight generous guest cabins including a large owner’s cabin with adjoining private office. Key design features include two glass-bottom pools – one on the main deck aft and one on the sun deck – that flood the below decks with dappled light. Her large spa will be equipped with a Finnish sauna, hammam, massage room and medical room.