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New orders for luxury yachts up 28 per cent

By IBI Magazine/Michael Verdon

New orders for luxury yachts jumped 28 per cent, or US$1.22 billion, compared to the previous year, according to ShowBoats International magazine's 2005 Global Order Book.

The growth equals a 144-yacht increase over 2004. Orders were placed by buyers in traditional markets like North America, Europe and Asia. But orders from Russia also spiked this year.

"This level of growth is nothing short of staggering," said James Gilbert, ShowBoats International's editor-in-chief. "Consider that since 1997, the international market for luxury yachts has more than tripled. In fact, this year's 144-yacht increase is almost the same size as the entire global market of 1992."

According to the Order Book, which will be published in its entirety in ShowBoats' November issue, Italy has retained its position as the world's leading yacht-building nation, with 249 units and 27,595 linear feet of boats—or 5.2 miles—under construction. The United States again placed second in that category, with 97 units accounting for 11,215 linear feet.

"We've seen a significant diversification in product offerings, as evidenced by the rapid growth of the sport yacht sector, which has more than doubled over the past 12 months," said Gilbert. "People who want to go fast are no longer limited to a smaller class of vessel. They can have comfort and speed at the same time."

Gilbert added that technical advancements in areas like stabilization systems have helped expand the market for large yachts. More sophisticated communications technologies also provide owners with the highest levels of internet, telephone and television service, including video teleconferencing.

Gilbert said that the publication's editors canvas the yacht industry all over the world, gathering information from builders, designers, naval architects and major systems manufacturers to put together the Order Book's data.

(21 October 2004)




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