Market Analysis | Sailing Yachts

As Boat International report states, over the course of the last two decades, 1990s and 2000s, respectively 413 and 495 new sailing yachts have been launched into the market. This attracted a number of new players such as Vitters and Holland Jachtbouw in 1990, Wally Yachts in 1994 and Fitzroy Yachts in 1997.

Demand has been quiet from 2010 to 2019, with a total of 281 new sailing vessels over 24 meters. So far, considering the decade 2020-2030, 72 sailing superyachts have been delivered, including flagship vessels like 81m Royal Huisman SEA EAGLE, the 2023 Vitters ALEA – crowned as sailing yacht of the year, and Oceanco’s KORU – considered the largest sailing yacht in the world.

Demand Increase | Sailing Yachts

The sailing market is experiencing innovative designs and enhanced sailing features that make clients more and more interested in this niche product.

Some of the recent features may be seen in the freshly delivered vessels. An example is NILAYA, 46 meters Royal Huisman, which encompasses important advanced features, being:

  • Heightened performance due to an 11% reduction in the yacht’s overall weight compared to a typical aluminum cruising vessel
  • Carbon fibre mast and sail rigging
  • An aerodynamic curved carbon fibre spreader design
  • A structured luff sail design to ensure the mast and rigging can maintain a low weight

The sailing yacht market today requires significant investment to develop new products and be in line with the market trends and owner’s demands.

With the rise of innovation and attention in cruising performance, fewer shipyards have been able to deliver pedigree sailing yachts, and niche builders were finding it hard to maintain price-competitive options without the assistance of larger shipyards and facilities.

An example is Wally Yachts, which slowed production in 2010 until the yard was eventually acquired by Ferretti Yachts and thus, was able to benefit of the group’s industrial, organizational and commercial capabilities. A similar situation has been seen by Perini Navi, acquired in 2021 by The Italian Sea Group. Following the acquisition, the group’s main objective was to implement performance improvements and innovation, still maintaining the traditional style and design that characterize the elegant Perini yachts.

A Brokerage Boom

Data clearly show that after the pandemic there has been a significant rise in brokerage activity for sailing yachts, with an estimate of 54 sailing superyachts sold in 2022, compares to 27 deals undergone in 2020.


Future Trends

Sustainability is inevitably one of the main key trends of nowadays, pushing yachts to be able to lower emissions and include environmental protections. In fact, sailing yachts are a key component in the evolution of yachting towards greener and sustainable solutions. For example, Vitters is developing an emission-free sailing yacht in collaboration with design studio Vripack. This project’s aim is to use less energy than today’s standards and to efficiently generate energy by the use of solar panels.

Currently the sailing fleet above 24 meters is composed by:

  • Monohull 81.81%
  • Multihull 5.53%
  • Gulet 11.60%
  • Others 1.06%

The return of sailing yachts also applies in changes in behavioral patterns. Owners and clients are becoming younger, adopting a more adventurous lifestyle on board. Highly demanded are multihulls, shown by the increase in popularity of Sunreef. Multihulls may be power or sailing and have the advantage of expansive living spaces and heightened stability.

In the same vein, future design themes are likely to involve innovative solutions and boost interior volumes – a primary concern for sailing yachts – in both monohulls and catamarans.

Sailing yachts represent the perfect option to go towards a more sustainable way of living the sea – an idea that is becoming more and more concrete with all the innovations and technological advancements that can contribute in protecting the oceans and the surrounding environment.  In addition, the rise of millennial superyacht owners – who are keen explorers and environmentally conscious – represent another plus for the increasing popularity sailing yachts.

*information and data supplied by BOAT International – market insight published on 12th June 2023.