AMSTERDAM – Every year, many eyes in the global superyacht sector turn to Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report, a bellwether of the sector’s future health. Its 2019 edition is a harbinger of very good news presaging sunny days and continued splurging in the years ahead.
In 2019, the global ranks of millionaires swelled by 1.1 million (to 46.8 million), mostly in the US and China, says the survey. It estimates this will rise to 63 million by 2023. And by then, ultra-rich people – with investable assets of $30 million and more – will number 234,000 worldwide.
Surely, not all will be buy a superyacht. But in recent years, the Dutch sector has invested heavily in capacity to build 80m+ yachts. Crucially, also, in 2019, the industry saw years of lobbying for better access to the open sea rewarded when the government approved a €215-million public works project to enlarge a locks-and-bridges project in the north of the Netherlands.
The works at the Kornwerderzand locks mean that from 2023, half a dozen builders – among them Royal Huisman, Feadship member Koninklijke De Vries and Vitters Shipyard – can build yachts with beams of up to 22m (72ft.) and take on more refits, work lots more profitable than building new yachts.
The lock and bridges project gives Dutch builders a bigger, northern exit to the North Sea. They may opt for a western exit through Amsterdam, but upgrading that route was found to be of less benefit to the Dutch superyacht sector.