on 11 Nov 2021
Strange pandemic times have caused a regional boom in yachting. We round up the hottest motoryacht arrivals into Asia throughout the Covid era
As we come to the end of 2021, we had contemplated putting together a retrospective round-up taking stock of yachts delivered in the Asia-Pacific region over the previous 12 months. However, Covid-19 has deeply affected yacht manufacturing, staff, component availability and delivery logistics since early 2020. So, we decided a fairer assessment in the current era would be to focus on the period between January 2020 to now (November 2021), to take into account the unusual lag time experienced by many owners after placing an order. As this means we are talking about hundreds of deliveries, the 10 boats below represent a mere sliver of the scale, style and price seen in recent arrivals – from smallish run-arounds to imposing megayachts. Ask some of the world’s top multinational yacht businesses, and they say demand in the region has surpassed supply.
“The majority of clients look for two key characteristics: good range and great internal volume” – Carmen Lau, Camper & Nicholsons
“We are extremely lucky to have had a 100 per cent success rate on all the boats we listed under the central agency agreement, thanks to the powerful worldwide network of Fraser,” says Eric Noyel, head of Fraser Asia brokerage – under his yachting dealership and services company Asiamarine, based in Hong Kong. “There are naturally more and more owners listing their boat with us. In the superyacht segment, buyers have looked at availability and become more flexible and accepting to secure their vessel quickly. The ratio of preowned to new has been 80:20 per cent.” And looking into 2022 and beyond, Noyel says, “the market should likely continue on its trajectory. It might be marked by a real entrance into the superyacht segment from domestic buyers in several Asian countries.”
“There is no doubt that the momentum is still driving sales for 2022-2023. A lot of newcomers have enjoyed yachting and brought it to new crowds” – Eric Noyel, Asiamarine
Of the past two years, Carmen Lau, senior advisor at international brokerage Camper & Nicholson Asia’s Hong Kong office, says that “the surprises started mainly after the first quarter of 2020,” when yacht lovers realised travel restrictions meant they would be based in their own country for at least the summer and winter season. “Apart from the brokerage in the super-active second-hand yachts market, I have also been involved in at least four new-builds in the past six months, and they are all over 35 metres,” says Lau.¬†”The majority of these superyacht builders are talking about delivery in mid-2024. “As the size of the yachts increased, clients are looking for a different variety of brands – brands that have different exterior profiles and that allow more customisation in their layout, models that offer different propulsion systems, and other unique qualities. But the majority do look for two key characteristics: good range and great internal volume.” Charles Massey, a worldwide yacht transportation specialist at the Hong Kong division of international operator Sevenstar Yacht Transport, says that the pandemic period saw a significant surge in sizable new boats arriving in the region. “This year, in particular, there have been so many boats,” he says, “and it’s not been uncommon to see yachts of up to 30 metres [in length] arriving in Hong Kong. “Australia has been seeing an even larger volume arriving and has been oversubscribed for some time. And Singapore has been quite a bit further behind Hong Kong [in order numbers]. Hong Kong has seen luxury brands from Italy mostly and from Britain, with a lot of ‚Äòvolume’ brands coming from France, and a handful of sports boats from the US.”
“This year, in particular, there have been so many boats, and it’s not been uncommon to see yachts of up to 30 metres arriving in Hong Kong” – Charles Massey, Sevenstar Yacht Transport
The following list of ten desirable deliveries into the APAC region from January 2020-November 2021 is ordered alphabetically.
Absolute 58 Fly
The Absolute 58 Fly was previously Absolute Marine’s best-seller, says Thomas Woo, the co-founder of this brand’s distributor for Hong Kong and Greater China. “Then this was replaced by the 60 Fly, introduced in June [priced at ‚Ç¨1.6 million] – and we’ve had so many enquiries and orders that this model is now sold out till 2024. The first one is coming to Hong Kong in November.” The Navetta line from Absolute has had increasing takers in the region – thanks to a vertical windscreen, the Navetta line is not as sporty as the Flybridge range, but its 58 is also sold out until 2024. The newer Navetta 64, priced at ‚Ç¨2.5million, is also raising interest in Hong Kong. Potential owners most appreciate the quality, spaciousness and practicality of the Navetta, says Woo – while the stylish exterior lines and ease of handling with Volvo Penta IPS (Inboard Performance System) joystick are draws for the 58 Fly. “We know that the sales in Hong Kong are leading those in Asia for Absolute Yachts,” says Woo, “and these picked up at the beginning of Covid, from April 2020 – much quicker than in Europe and the rest of the world. At that time, we had more boats to sell, but then the entire world also picked up, so now it’s a lot harder to get boats.”
Benetti Oasis 40M ¬†
“With more than a quarter of the Oasis 40 sales coming from APAC, it is clear this series has great design appeal in this region, and it is easy to see why – with its large entertaining spaces and versatile family lifestyle layouts,” says Peter Mahony, general manager for Benetti Yachts APAC. Besides the Oasis series, Benetti says it has seen a lot of attention on its Motopanfilo 37M in Asia, already securing orders for this model. “And believe me, the interior is second to none,” says Mahony. “The first hull was at the recent Cannes show, and it’s a mind-blowing concept interior, steeped in quality and design detail that is incredibly pleasing on the eye whilst retaining excellent functionality.”
Italian brand Bluegame has been getting big traction in Asia since its world premiere in Cannes in 2019, says Asia distributor Simpson Marine. A BGX70¬†was recently sold to a Hong Kong owner, and a stock boat for sale is arriving next month to the city. Ewa Stachurska, manager of group marketing and strategic partnerships at Simpson Marine, mentions that boat owners like its “alternative layout, great lower deck that’s connected to a maxi aft platform, the very flexible layout, an upper deck that’s very bright and spacious, and its wide-beam body.” Other attractions noted by would-be owners, she says, are in the performance department: “ease of manoeuvring and very low fuel consumption and high speeds.”
Galeon 640 Fly
Like other models by the Poland-based yard, the ‚Äòtransforming’ configuration ability of the 640 Fly often impresses a potential owner. Hong Kong’s first 640 Fly was delivered in April this year. “The drop-down wings are always a unique feature,” says Eric Noyel, CEO of Asiamarine, the Hong Kong-based distributor of the Galeon brand. “Normally, you need at least 100 feet [30.5m in length overall] to have a seven-metre-wide boat. Given the parking constraints in Hong Kong, this 69-footer [20.8m] can offer you the space that’s only found on a 100-foot yacht and allows for bigger volume and better space distribution.” A middle-panel door through the windshield can extend the bow area. Because it can be opened, guests can utilise the entire main deck space. The owner – keen on the onboard space for family use – opted for plenty of customisation. “He took every possible option, from the largest powerful engine of 2,400 horsepower (from twin Volvo Penta engines) to [fitted] wine cellars and a luxury full-size American fridge,” says Noyel, adding that he matched the interior with that of his private jet. This was the first Galeon 640 hull in Hong Kong and the second in Asia. More are expected to be delivered in 2022-2023, says Noyel. The average market price for this model is around US$3 million. Of Asiamarine deliveries in the region in the past two years, Noyel says that the leading spots of Hong Kong and Singapore have seen plenty of newcomers into the market. “It has been an exceptional past year,” he adds. “We have delivered 30 yachts this year in Asia since summer 2021.” With demand so high, components are running low, delivery dates have to be quite flexible, and rates are rising with shipping companies, he noted. Added to these factors, Noyel says the cost of ownership is going up due to a dramatic lack of mooring and berthing spots. In addition, the crewing fees have risen, thanks to increased demands for them and captains from new boat owners. Despite all this, his regional boating forecast is rosy: “There is no doubt that the momentum is still driving sales for 2022-2023. It is certain that a lot of newcomers have enjoyed yachting and brought it to new crowds, who now desire to own a boat in the future. Unless the cost of ownership escalates to impossible levels, I see no reason for a change in the market evolution in the next year.”
Taiwan’s high-end boatbuilder Horizon Yacht recently delivered two yachts from its Fast Displacement (FD) line in Asia, both of which premiered in July. A 27.5m FD90 went to Thailand in August, and a 27.5m FD75 was delivered to Singapore in September. Base prices for these models are US$4,960,000 for the FD75 and US$8,240,000 for the FD90. “Horizon is happy to see our highly acclaimed FD Series high-volume motor yachts [sold] in Asia,” says John Lu, CEO of Horizon.¬†”The FD90 yacht Tyee is the 20th hull of the FD Series model and the first FD yacht delivered to Southeast Asia.¬†Ocean Lily, the third hull of the FD75 model, has been customised from stem to stern to accommodate and entertain large parties.” Lu’s outlook for 2022 is positive. “We have had great responses recently from potential clients in the Asia market and look forward to having more owners join the Horizon family,” he says.
Globally, the first unit sold of the sporty Pershing 140 was to a Hong Kong client, and the boat is in Hong Kong. This 43.3m modified concept model deviates from the standard Pershing main deck – to include a new stylish bar with connecting galley, large dining area and cinema/entertainment room in lieu of owner’s cabin and en-suite. “Three units of this boat have been sold worldwide, and since the arrival of the Pershing 140 in Hong Kong, we have seen a sharp increase of enquiries for the brand in Asia, says Fabiomassimo Discoli, sales and marketing director Asia Pacific at Ferretti Group. “We have several negotiations at present for the brand – including the new generation 6X, just launched in Cannes.” Discoli adds the P140 is desirable and unique due to its comfort, speed (up to 38 knots) and range of 1,400nm.
“For us at Princess Yachts Greater China, the highlight arrival of 2019 and 2020 has to be the ‚ÄòSuperfly’ X95, which arrived in Hong Kong earlier this year,” says Adam Waters, general manager of Princess Yachts Greater China, of the X95 Super Flybridge model. “Not only is it a ground-breaking design but also the first Princess designed by Pininfarina [an Italian studio known for its automotive designs for the likes of Ferrari and Maserati], which has elevated Princess interiors. She has 10 per cent more outdoor space and 40 per cent more indoor space than a traditional motor yacht, and a flybridge with extending fore and aft decks that cover almost the entire yacht, earning her the ‘Superfly’ name. “We are now excited for the arrival of the second X-Class model, the X80, to arrive into Hong Kong in 2022. Waters says the first Y72 will be arriving later this year, an upgraded version of the popular F70. “For 2022, we expect the enthusiasm for boating to continue in Hong Kong. Since the pandemic, we see more newcomers getting their Grade II licences and searching for a day boat under 50 feet [15.2m] that they can captain themselves; and, for existing owners of larger yachts, we see that they are looking to upgrade to something that suits the new ways in which they are boating in Hong Kong.”
Two hulls of this 44.5m superyacht model by the Italian shipyard were delivered in the region this year – one in North Asia and the other Southeast Asia. “With amazing volumes and design, clients like its fast-displacement hull,” says Ewa Stachurska of Sanlorenzo’s exclusive Asia representative, Simpson Marine. “[Clients also love] its very streamlined profile, great bow toy area, lateral tender garage, amazing stern area and how the master cabin extends over three levels with access to a private pool.” Another megayacht model from Sanlorenzo – the 52Steel – was also recently sold in Asia; it is due to be delivered in the summer of 2022.
80 Sunreef Power
A new 80 Sunreef Power hull, with its expansive living space, reputable performance and innovative technology, became the first of this model delivered to China in 2020. “We achieved something exceptional together; Sunreef Yachts is an outstanding shipyard,” the new owner said. With an impressive beam of 12 metres and propelled by twin 1,200hp engines, the 80 Sunreef Power offers generous lounging and dining space in the stern cockpit. Beneath a modular sofa, the yacht’s aft garage houses a large jet ski and water toys. A hydraulic swim platform carries the tender and provides for extra lounging space by the sea. With an open layout, the flybridge offers comfortable seating, oversized sunpads and a wet bar with barbecue. The yacht was given a three-cabin layout, including a lavish master suite and two airy guest cabins within the hulls. Crew cabins, galley and pantry are accessed directly from the aft cockpit for more privacy on board.
Sunseeker Manhattan 68 Pacific Edition¬†
“The 68 has been a popular model in Asia,” says Douglas Culverwell, director of distributor development at UK-based Sunseeker. “So much so, that we produced a special edition for the region. “The¬†Manhattan 68 Pacific¬†is about versatility. In a standard configuration, owners benefit from a four-cabin, three-day-head layout with the galley set aft at main deck level. The¬†Pacific¬†Edition¬†offers an exceptional amount of space for a boat of this size. The generous saloon features social seating, while the dining area has L-shaped seating and a table that can easily fold away, freeing up more floor space. There is also a galley-down option. “A new ‚ÄòGrand Master’ cabin is equipped with a private bar, while externally there are three entertaining areas; a bow seating area and sunbed, a broad cockpit with comfortable dining seating, and a well-equipped flybridge with built-in seating, loungers and bar all set below a hardtop. “Striving to tailor the Sunseeker product range to local market requirements, Sunseeker developed the¬†Manhattan 68 Pacific¬†in collaboration with Nextwave Yachting, official distributors of Sunseeker yachts in Hong Kong,” Culverwell continues. “With several layout options available, this model has already received significant interest in the Asia-Pacific region. Five yachts have arrived in the market over the last 12 months, with a very strong forward order book for the next year.” Culverwell added that Sunseeker also has a 116 in build for Japan.