Superyachts enjoy post-pandemic tailwind

The super-rich are pushing the boat out… and buying superyachts.

This cruise boat named Zen, belongs to Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.

It's estimated to be worth a whopping $200 million.

The multi-billion dollar luxury boat industry is experiencing a healthy rebound.

Sales of superyachts longer than 100 feet rose over 8% in the first nine months of 2021 compared to 2019…

That's according to specialist publication the Superyacht Group.

The boom appears to be tied to new consumer habits triggered by the past 18 months…

like an increased desire to avoid crowds…. amid a growing number of billionaires worldwide.

This Barcelona maintenance shipyard is full to capacity with boats measuring up to 590 feet.

Txema Rubio is the commercial director of Spanish shipyards MB92.

"The industry is growing every year, so that the boats manufactured per year is always increasing. The order book for the new built ship is also booked probably until 2025 or even 2027. So that also generates more so owners that want to get a new boat probably if they don't want to wait for that, they just jump to the second hand and that increases the refit because when a new owner purchases a yacht, they want to readapt it to their expectations."

The Superyacht Group said over 200 new luxury vessels hit the water for the first time in 2021,

while some 330 have been ordered for 2023.

The cost of a superyacht can range from $10 million second-hand to $600 million new, industry figures show.

Rubio explained that as more people buy new or second-hand yachts, the refit market expands.

"There is an asset that it runs around the 10% of the value of the purchase of the yacht, it all can all vary depending on the demands of the owner. Not only on maintenance but also rebuilding and having new spaces or modifications of the boat. But the idea is around 10% of the value."

With the number of billionaires soaring to more than 2,700, according to Forbes, there is clearly money washing around.

And the yacht sector is one of a few winners in the post-lockdown era, even as campaigners decry the impact of private yachts, jets and space travel on the environment.

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