Yachts go big

The Global Order Book, BOAT International’s annual survey of the superyacht industry, has revealed that there are more superyachts measuring 100m or more in build than ever before, and that the number of ‘explorer’ yachts in build has also risen to a new high.

Globally, there are 23 projects in the 100m-plus category scheduled for delivery between now and 2025. The Bremen-based shipyard Lürssen is top of the leaderboard, with seven projects, two of which are scheduled for delivery this year.

The biggest project in build, however, is research superyacht REV Ocean, which at 182.9m will become the biggest yacht in the world when it is delivered in 2022. REV Ocean is being built by Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke to facilitate ocean research, and its amazing features include a ‘moon pool’ through which a submarine will descend to study the deep.

Explorer yachts – tough boats built for destinations such as Antarctica or the South Pacific – have had another good year. Adventurous owners are demanding more autonomy, range and capability from their boats, with the result that there are now 64 explorers in build globally, an all-time high.

However, it is not all good news. Covid-19 has had an inevitable impact on the superyacht industry. According to BOAT International’s research, 159 of the 821 yachts counted as ‘in build’ in the survey are delayed – a consequence of logistical challenges caused by the pandemic.

Delayed projects are nothing new – each year the GOB includes boats whose deliveries have slipped to the following year’s count, but the sheer number this time is significant – double that of an average year.

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