Archive for » March 4th, 2016«

Super-rich just riding around on their superyachts as sales of bigger, fancier boats up 40 per cent

The ultra rich spent last year buying the most fabulous — and gigantic — yachts in the world, according to the Knight Frank Wealth Report, which determined that superyacht sales were up 40 per cent from 2014 to 2015. The report, conducted with Wealth-X, surveyed around 45,000 ultra-high-net-worth-individuals whose collective wealth is more than a half trillion dollars.

Defined as yachts longer than 78 feet or 24 metres by Knight Frank, “superyachts” are most popular in the Pacific. The boats are extremely expensive not only to purchase, but also to operate. Kitty McGowan from the United States Superyacht Association estimated the annual cost for operating a 55-metre yacht was $6.36 million.

Individual retailers experienced sales increases well more than 40 per cent: Y.Co, a company in Monte Carlo that focuses on yacht sales, management, and charters, said the company sold 16 superyachts in 2015, with an average length of 47 metres, for a collective sales value of $469 million. That’s twice as many as Y.Co sold in 2014, the company’s chief executive officer, Charlie Birkett, said.  

“I certainly don’t think we are up to the levels of sales that we were in pre-2008, but we are certainly getting close,” Birkett explained. He expects that by the end of 2016, there will be 48 super yachts longer than 100 metres sailing the high seas. According to market data compiled by Boat International, only 16 superyachts over 60 metres were sold in 2015. Notably, Boat International’s market report, which looked at the number of superyachts sold rather than dollars spent, found that 20 fewer such ships were sold in 2015 than in 2014, with 392 and 412 on the brokerage market, respectively. 

How the super wealthy use their superyachts is shifting: Once used primarily for leisurely travel around the Caribbean and Mediterranean, the Knight Frank report noted that travel destinations are changing “to more adventurous locations such as the Antarctic and Asia.”

With the change in locale comes boat redesigns. “People are looking at beach-house, single-deck living, like a loft apartment, as opposed to a conventional several-deck yacht, like a wedding cake,” Birkett explained. “The clients are younger, more adventurous, more into water sports, not just sticking to the normal cruising grounds.”

More outgoing superyacht shoppers demand a highly trained crew that can navigate and manage a ship of this size 500 to 1,000 miles away from the mainland, Birkett said. Y.Co’s superyacht crew members now include paramedics and water sport instructors.

Superyachts aren’t the only toy of the ultra wealthy. Knight Frank’s report also determined that plenty is spent on classic cars and collectables, primarily fine art. The most collected car over a million dollars was the Mercedes-Benz 300SL, best known for its gullwing doors. 

“People are prepared to pay for their passions,” Andrew Shirley, editor of the report, concluded.

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Reduced sales tax on boating in New Jersey began on Feb. 1, 2016

Looking for another reason to finally go boating this year? The New Jersey Division of Taxation announced that the sales tax is reduced to 50 percent of the tax for every boat sold in New Jersey, as well as every boat rental and boat club membership purchased. This reduction effectively makes the sales tax 3.5 percent across the board for boats purchased, regardless of the price of the boat, with a sales tax cap of $20,000.

The new law, which was championed by the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ), went into effect on Feb. 1, 2016. Ray Fernandez of Bridge Marina in Lake Hopatcong, who serves on the Board of Directors of the MTA/NJ, said he was delighted to hear that the new law successfully went into effect. “The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey put an incredible amount of time and energy into making this tax reduction a reality. This reduction in sales tax is not only a great boost for the overall marine economy in New Jersey, but it’s a great incentive and savings for our New Jersey boaters.” Fernandez went on to say that the sales tax reduction also includes boat rentals and boat leases, two services that Bridge Marina offers to local boaters in addition to traditional boat sales.

About the new law, MTA/NJ Executive Director, Melissa Danko, said, “We are very thankful to everyone that helped make this happen, including our legislative sponsors: Senator Van Drew and Assemblyman Andrzejczak, and especially Governor Christie for expanding the tax savings on all boats, signing this important legislation into law and supporting the boating industry in New Jersey. This new law will not only get more people out on the water enjoying our waterways but will ensure the future health and growth of the New Jersey recreational boating industry by increasing revenues and creating jobs.”

The Division of Taxation has released a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” to help clarify the implementation of the new law. Details can be found by visiting

About Bridge Marina, Inc.

Bridge Marina is Lake Hopatcong’s award-winning, boutique marina, offering dock slip memberships, daily boat rentals, the Lake’s only Boating Club, boat sales, service department, marine-grade fuel, and more. Bridge Marina has been recognized twice as the national “Marina of the Year” and is the only freshwater marina in the Garden State certified by the NJDEP as a “Clean Marina.” For more information, visit BridgeMarina .com or call 973-663-1976.

About the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ), established in 1972, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, advancing and protecting the recreational marine industry and waterways in the State of New Jersey. The MTA/NJ represents over 300 marine related businesses in the Garden State. For more information, visit

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