The Market


The total superyacht fleet, defined by yachts over 30m in length, stood at 5,7191 vessels at the end of 2020.  GYG operates in the 40m+ segment which largely discounts the volume produced models to focus on semi-custom and custom built yachts with metallic structures, greater operational budgets, and more rigorous maintenance programmes.

The 40m+ superyacht fleet currently comprises of 2,096 superyachts and continues to grow, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.9% over the next five years. While the growth rate itself is slowing as the fleet size increases, there are clear signs of stability and consistency in unitary output each year. We are beginning to see widespread investment in new or acquired facilities amongst the world’s leading New Build shipyards in order to increase their production capacity in the longer term.

During an unprecedented 12-month period, the growth of the 40m+ fleet slowed materially in 2020, yet its rebound is forecast to be both immediate and robust. Fleet growth in 2021 is projected to spike to 3.3%, caused chiefly by the number of 2020 project deliveries delayed into 2021 due to the widespread restrictions on movement in major European yacht building territories during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, while 2020 itself represented a slowdown in expected cumulative output, replenishment of the New Build Order Book and the backlog of work created by the delays means the projection for the market in 2021 is better across every segment than it was 12 months ago. The larger LOA* segments of 70-90m and 90m+ continue to exhibit the highest growth rates reflecting the ongoing market trend for larger superyachts.



The 40m+ New Build market has seen a period of stability and consistency since 2015 and current output levels are predicted to deliver a steady fleet growth of 2.9% CAGR through to 2025.

The New Build Order Book for 2021 shows a surfeit of projects in build and scheduled for delivery in 2021 (101 vessels1).  However, this figure is distorted by the delayed projects from 2020 as well as the tendency of semi-custom builders to part-build vessels and then halt production until a buyer is secured. In any given year, it is to be expected that the New Build market will fail to deliver around 20 per cent of the projects that were forecast by the builders themselves. A more realistic forecast is presented in the above chart based on historical performance.

As stated above, the 70-90m and 90m+ segments where GYG is most competitive are growing faster in percentage terms than the smaller LOA segments. This has an exponential effect on the size of the addressable market in terms of the square meterage (m2) and consequently value (€). The estimated market value of the New Build paint market in 2020 dropped marginally to c.€132m (c.€140m in 2019), but this is forecast to recover to an estimated c.€166m in 20212. With a forecasted average market value of c.€154m per annum over the next five years, there is an indication that the new-build paint market is growing in value as a whole.

Whilst Italy is by far the largest producer of superyachts by unitary volume (54% in 2020), the Dutch and German shipyards both hold significant market shares when measured by value with 31% and 15% respectively, compared with Italy’s 39% by value. These comparative market value figures are also influenced by varying rates between regions with the northern European shipyards generally yielding higher rates per m2 than both Italy and Turkey.

The overall market growth of the superyacht fleet correlates to the global increase in the number of billionaires (UHNWI’s) which has risen from 1,011 in 2010 to 2,095 in 20203 and this figure is expected to grow by a further 22.3% to 2,563 by 2025. The U.S. remains the single most productive nation in terms of generating new billionaires, with US clients remaining the superyacht industry’s primary client market across all major sectors.



The Refit market is driven by the life cycle of the paint system which is typically 4-6 years depending on the usage and cruising patterns of each yacht. The timing of the re-painting is flexible although superyachts must undergo regular maintenance cycles every 5 years to comply with their registry, class and insurance requirements. Owners and yacht management companies prefer to take the opportunity to undertake repainting work whilst the yacht is out of service for its Refit survey, consequently major paintwork tends to follow a 5-year cycle.

The Refit market is underpinned by approximately 20% of the active fleet typically due for paintwork each year due to the 5-year cycle and continues to grow in line with the increasing size of the global superyacht fleet. The estimated number of yachts over 40m that were due for paintwork in 2020 was 3561, however the actual number of projects completed is expected to be significantly lower due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the fragmented nature of the Refit market, there remains no accurate industry data on the actual performance of the annual paint market.

The value of the addressable market of Refit paintwork is estimated to grow slightly faster than the number of projects, due to the ever-increasing size of superyachts joining the global fleet. Revised market estimates suggest that the current annual value of the Refit paint market is c.€279m and will grow to an estimated c.€335m by 2025 (CAGR 3.7%) with the 70-90m and 90m+ segments exhibiting higher growth rates, 5.6% and 6.7% respectively.


1 Source: The Superyacht Agency Intelligence Report for GYG Feb 2021. Unless otherwise stated all market estimates and forecasts are sourced from The Superyacht Agency Intelligence Report
2 Forward forecasts of market value are based on static estimates of 2020/21 achievable rates/m2 with no indexing.
3 Source: Feb 2021.
* LOA = Length overall

Last Updated: 11/01/2021