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UHNW Luxury Yachting Sector Trends Revealed by Camper & Nicholsons and Wealth X

By Codelia Mantsebo

Wealth-X, the global authority on wealth intelligence, and Camper & Nicholsons, the global leader in luxury yachting activities, have released a first-of-its-kind report on the world’s ultra wealthy and the luxury yachting sector. “This report identifies the convergence of this segment’s desire for privacy as well as their seeking of new and unique experiences in their travel,” says Mykolas Rambus, Wealth-X CEO.

The new global ownership survey by Camper & Nicholsons and Wealth-X highlights how the rapidly changing face of wealth and luxury affects trends in yachting. It focuses on the new, younger generation of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI), who are increasingly focused on pursuing rare, tailored experiences over accumulating ‘things’.

As noted by Gualtiero Giori, Executive Chairman of Camper & Nicholson “In my generation, people are more attracted to experiencing luxury as opposed to just showing it off.”
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With an average price tag of US$10 million, a superyacht is a luxury item owned and enjoyed by the ultra wealthy, making it the ultimate platform of luxury.

In part this is because such uniqueness presents and affirms high status for those who can secure such experiences.

Wealth-X analyzed data from 211,275 UHNWI – defined as those with a minimum net worth of US$30 million – globally. The data identified three factors that marked these experiences as desirable: time or making every moment count, privacy amid the experience and personalization to both meet individual tastes and to provide something genuinely unique. A superyacht is the ultimate platform of luxury: it is customized, private and gives access to one of a kind experiences in food and drink, travel and culture, activities and entertainment.

As the pursuit of luxury moves from goods and services to unique experiences, the ultra wealthy are demanding that the returns on their most valuable ownership – time –  are maximized in every way possible. Superyachts provide the pre-eminent platform to do this.

Key findings from the report include:

The average value of a superyacht owned by an UHNWI is just over US$10 million, however only 1,512 individuals own a superyacht— that’s only one for every 141 UHNWIs. One third of them are billionaires.

The top country for superyacht ownership is the United States at 33%. Second is Britain with 11%, while Italy comes third with 5%. Australia is fourth with 4% followed by Russia with 3%. UHNWIs are about 98% of the share of the luxury market for yachts, with an annual spend of US$22 billion.

Wealth-X and Camper & Nicholsons also identified four trends in the yachting industry, including:

Ultimate Luxury vs. Adventure: a growing desire for remote locations such as the Galapagos, Antarctica and Asia, which means an interest for ice-breaking frames and long range abilities is rising.

Innovative Layouts: Today’s yachts are moving away from traditional, compartmentalized layouts toward brighter, open-plan interiors. Additionally, there is increased attention to the outdoor areas to create a direct, intimate experience of the sea.

New Toys and Entertainment: Alongside standard toys such as jet skis, waterskis and canoes, there is an expanding interest for the latest gadgets such as a jetlev, skibob or hover board. Top-quality cinema rooms are also becoming popular.

Focus on Health and Wellness: Keeping in mind the end goal to not compromise passenger health while on board, yachts are now offering expert personal trainers, nutritionists, therapists, and masseurs.