What Sailboats Are Being Built?

A question came up recently about what new sailboats are currently being built with the continued economic conditions. To gauge this fact rationally, I took a survey of what is available on the brokerage market from 2009 to 2012. I also limited the search to yachts over 40-feet in length. The results are subject to limitations such as a variance for low volume, semi-custom manufacturers such as Hylas. Also the results say something about the length of ownership. Manufacturers with very happy buyers would expect them not to offer their yachts up for sale within 3 years of purchase. Albeit with those limitations, the results covered below do give guidance to which manufacturers are likely selling more yachts despite a down global market. Group Beneteau is the clear winner in volume with its Beneteau, Jeanneau, and Lagoon brands. Nautor Swan slightly edges them in total valuation for a single brand at $30 million vs. $29.5 million in Beneteau inventory. Swan’s number is buoyed by the 90′ Swan, Red Sula asking $11 million.

Mfg # +50 -50 $
Beneteau 84 33 51 $29.5m
Jeanneau 70 24 46 $21m
Lagoon 40 19 21 $25m
Hanse 31 6 25 $8.5m
Hunter 28 7 21 $11m
Dufour 24 2 22 $7.5m
Bavaria 22 4 18 $4.5m
Fountaine Pajot 15 4 11 $10m
Sunreef 13 13 0 $25m
Island Packet 9 0 9 $5m
Grand Soleil 8 1 7 $4.5m
Moody 8 1 7 $3.5m
Catana 7 6 1 $9.5m
Oyster 6 4 2 $16m
Outremer 6 0 6 $5m
Swan 5 5 0 $30m
Privilege 3 2 1 $8m
Hylas 3 3 0 $4m
Hallberg-Rassy 3 1 2 $2.5m
Prout 3 2 1 $2.5m
Leopard 3 0 3 $1.5m
Prout 3 2 1 $2.5m
Passport 2 2 0 $3m

Columns in order are the manufacturer, total brokerage listings post-2009, number of listings that are larger than 50-feet, number that are smaller than 50-feet, and total valuation of listings. Records were limited to larger than 40-foot yachts.

A Take-Away
The biggest surprise to me had nothing to do with the volume or valuations of individual manufacturers. I was surprised at the high percentage of over 50-foot catamarans being built. Usually we say a 40-foot catamaran is equivalent to a 50-foot monohull. I was thinking that production would mirror this comparison and that as a percentage monohull manufacturers would be building longer yachts. In fact the exact opposite is true. Overall longer than 50-foot yachts make up 44% of the post-2009 production class while over 50-foot catamarans make up 49% of the total 137 catamarans built since 2009. Not only are catamarans double the width, but they are on average being built longer. Buyers are not trading off between a 50-foot monohull and a 40-foot cat. They are just purchasing 50-foot catamarans.

Other Statistics
Comparing overall trends in terms of overall location, number of hulls, and overall length, post-2009 yachts are more often found outside the USA (86% vs. 79%), more often catamarans (21% vs. 9%), and more often longer than 100-feet (5% vs. 3%). Please feel free to contact me for more information about my statistical methods and confidence intervals.

Joke of the Week
A farmer, his wife, and son from deep in the country travelled for the first time to a big city. The wife went shopping, and the farmer and his son were left wandering around the streets. They stopped in front of a giant skyscraper and starred in awe.

After a little while, a heavy woman with a hunched back and unattractive features limped up to the skyscraper. The automatic doors opened, she walked through, and then the doors closed behind her. A few seconds later, the doors opened and a beautiful, slim woman with radiant blond hair walked out to the astonishment of the farmer and son.

The farmer said, “Son – go get your mother.”

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