The Yacht Insider: All About Megayachts

Camper and Nicholsons International's first offering provides a wealth of information on the megayacht market.

2nd July 2008.
By Kim Kavin


Just how many megayachts are there on the world’s waters today? How old are the majority of the vessels? How many of them charter, and for how many weeks each year?

Yacht-spotters have been trying to answer these questions for years. Finally, on May 13, one of the world’s largest large-yacht companies stepped in to help.

Camper & Nicholsons International released its first-annual Super Yachting Index, which it prepared by combining internal data with information from private industry databases and research by the Luxury Institute. The new CNI index is a treasure trove of statistics for anyone seeking quantifiable answers to the questions posed above, representing the first time a global megayacht company has made such information public.

CNI says it created the report to help check the increasing tide of false data about the industry, particularly in lifestyle magazines. If yachting is to be a true industry, CNI says, then accurate statistics must be available to the public.

Hallelujah. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting nuggets from the index:

1. There are 3,800 yachts larger than 80 feet.

2. Yachts are getting bigger, but the overall fleet remains “small,” with 74 percent of the 3,800 yachts being between 80 and 130 feet long.

3. The fleet is relatively new, with one-quarter of the 3,800 megayachts being built after 2005.

4. More than 20 percent of yachts 80 feet and larger are available for charter—and a third of the people who charter go on to buy a yacht.

5. By 2010, there will be more than 5,000 yachts larger than 80 feet afloat, representing a 250 percent increase since 2000.

I could go on for pages about the data in this index. Suffice to say it’s nice to have proper statistics being made available-especially if CNI goes through with its plan to compile similar indexes annually with the help of its competitors.

It will be fascinating to see how the numbers turn out next year, so that we can finally say for certain exactly where the global superyacht industry is heading, and at what speed.

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About the author:

Kim Kavin

Kim Kavin is an award-winning writer, editor and photographer who specializes in marine travel. She is the author of 10 books including Dream Cruises: The Insider’s Guide to Private Yacht Vacations, and is editor of the online yacht vacation magazine

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