The middle ground: Semi-custom market analysis

14 February 2018 • Written by Chris Jefferies

Semi-custom yachts were traditionally the preserve of the sub-30 metre market but we are seeing a continuing and distinct trend towards larger boats of this type.

While the graphic below shows the number of superyacht launches remaining stable, it doesn’t show their changing size: the average length of a semi-custom superyacht today is 30.4 metre, but the average under construction is significantly higher at 33.1 metre. The 30-40 metre segment is a big driver of this, with 59 projects in build, but there are 43 semi-custom yachts on order in the 50 metre-plus segment too.

The steady volume of semi-custom launches masks a gradual increase in average size [BPloggedin]

Christos Ramnialis, general manager at Benetti, argues that this trend follows a general move towards larger yachts. “Because custom yachts are getting bigger, so the entry level of semi-custom yachts has increased in length as well,” he says. For Benetti, the growth sector has been 40-50 metres — rising by 11.2 per cent over the past four years — but this is not the case for all yards.

Horizon’s Elise Moffitt says 26-40 metres is the most competitive market, particularly in Taiwan, the third biggest builder of semi-custom yachts by total LOA. “Semi-custom manufacturers specialise in efficient build practices and we think this has helped tremendously in increasing production.”

The Azimut Grande 27 Metri series is set to spawn 11 hulls by the end of 2019 [BPloggedin]

According to Stefano de Vivo, chief commercial officer at Ferretti Group, the 24-40 metre market has been stimulated by two key factors: renewed demand and yards investing in developing distinct, well-defined models.

“In our experience, semi-custom clients are mainly attracted by volume, water toy storage spaces and outdoor living spaces,” he reveals.

Italy leads the way for semi-custom yacht construction [BPloggedin]

Sara Cipolletti of Sanlorenzo believes that the boom in this sector is largely down to clients realising the wealth of options now available to them. “Today, a [semi] custom model offers a large number of possibilities in terms of layout, materials and performance,” she explains.

“And, of course, you can play with many more options if you have larger sizes at your disposal.” When you can have the most luxurious yacht features faster and cheaper, semi-custom hardly seems like a compromise at all.

More about this yacht

Azimut   26.78 m •  2017

Similar yachts for sale

Sanlorenzo   28.93 m •  8 guests •  €8,750,000
Benetti   40.8 m •  10 guests •  €21,500,000

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