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Positive signs of resurgence in the sailing yacht market
6th April 2023
Following an uncertain period for the sailing yacht sector, the tide may be turning. Ahead of the Palma International Boat Show – the most important event for sailing yacht brokerage – Arne Ploch and Maël Fiolet explore the current dynamics and evolving client preferences in this very niche segment.

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AVENTURA Luxury Sailing Yacht for Sale | C&N
37.14m | Dutch Yacht Builders | 2006
4 Cabins | 9 Guests | 6 Crew

Please Enquire
SILVERTIP Luxury Sailing Yacht for Sale | C&N
33.80m | Yachting Developments | 2001 (2021)
3 Cabins | 7 Guests | 4 Crew

Asking: € 3,900,000

IDLE Luxury Sailing Yacht for Sale | C&N
32.00m | CNB | 2007
4 Cabins | 8 Guests | 4 Crew

Asking: € 2,200,000

FANTASEA BLUE Luxury Sailing Yacht for Sale | C&N
24.48m | Barcos Deportivos | 2005
3 Cabins | 6 Guests | 2 Crew

Asking: € 1,500,000


Positive signs of resurgence in the sailing yacht market

In recent years, the sailing yacht market has gone through a tumultuous period; with declining demand in new builds, the number of active sailing yacht builders has reduced significantly due to this lack of business. While the new build sailing yacht market represents just a small fraction of the overall superyacht market – accounting for just 5.9% of the 2023 global order book – recent activity in the segment provides cause for optimism.

Arne Ploch, senior sales broker at Camper & Nicholsons, has observed a shift in the sailing yacht market. “Over the last 10 years, new build sailing yachts became very racing focused, making them super expensive and deterring a lot of clients,” he explains. “I think the racer-cruiser trend is declining because superyacht racing is so dependent on ratings and participating is very expensive – there are less yachts attending the superyacht regattas every year. Clients that want to race are buying smaller one-class yachts and having a big yacht for cruising.”

Sailing yachts designed for cruising are also becoming more popular due to a younger generation entering the market. As Maël Fiolet, sales advisor at Camper & Nicholsons, adds, “A lot of clients are new to sailing but they are attracted by the lifestyle sailing yachts can offer, such as cruising without the engine running. Modern designs also provide much more interior volume and sail well downwind, as opposed to older designs with narrow hulls built for upwind performance.”

This evolving demand has translated into some interesting developments and innovation in the sector, with some very large projects being built in the 80m-plus size range. Sailing yacht designs are also incorporating more features traditionally found on motor yachts. “We are starting to see balconies in the owner’s cabin and stern openings, as well as huge windows in the hull – all motor yacht trends that we’ve never seen on sailing yachts until now,” comments Ploch.

Fiolet agrees; “Cruising clientele want more amenities, and, for them, the interior of their sailing yacht has the same importance as on a motoryacht, which was not always the case. There have been big efforts in the sailing yacht market to cater for this clientele by offering the same level of comfort that you can find on motor yachts.”

Due to the limited choice of sailing yacht builders now, and the high cost of new build projects, the secondhand brokerage market has some extremely interesting opportunities for prospective buyers. As Ploch advises, “There are some very attractive sailing yachts above 35m on the market now for a fraction of the price of a new build. These are custom yachts built at a very high quality 10-15 years ago – a quality that might not even be possible to build now.”

In fact, activity within the secondhand sailing yacht market has been very healthy in recent years, with 69 sailing superyachts sold in 2022 compared to the annual average of around 55 in recent years. This increase in transactions is a clear reflection of improving demand in a market with limited new build options.

Currently listed for sale with Camper & Nicholsons, the 37m Corto Maltese, 33.8m Silvertip, 32m Idle and 24.28m Fantasea Blue will be on display at the Palma International Boat Show and present fantastic opportunities for the right buyers. To find out more about these yachts, or other opportunities on the sailing yacht market, please contact the Camper & Nicholsons sales team.

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