Cars / Yachts

James Clayton on Superyacht Surge in APAC

Simpson Superyachts’s Sales Director gives his perspective on the state of superyacht sales in Asia-Pacific.

Nov 21, 2023 | By Florence Sutton
James Clayton, Sales Director, Simpson Superyachts
James Clayton, Sales Director, Simpson Superyachts

According to industry reports, the number of superyachts in the Asia-Pacific region has seen a notable uptick, with an average of 100 superyachts over 30m visiting the region each month – and this figure is growing.

In Hong Kong alone, over 100 30m-plus superyachts are registered following a 10 per cent increase in registrations over the past fiscal year. This surge is emblematic of a burgeoning interest in luxury maritime experiences among high-net-worth individuals across Asia.

I attribute this growth to several factors, most notably the region’s expanding affluence and a cultural shift towards embracing the exclusive yachting lifestyle. Asia has become a hotspot for superyacht enthusiasts, with over 25,000 islands to explore, due in large to two of the world’s biggest archipelagos, Indonesia and the Philippines.

There’s a diversity of unspoiled nature that attracts yacht owners willing to explore more unchartered waters, with the region offering the allure of exploring pristine coastlines and secluded island paradises.

Hong Kong and China, with their rapidly growing economies, have taken centre stage in the regional superyacht market, yet other APAC nations like Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia are not far behind. Australia, on the other hand, is an already developed and mature superyacht market, with major growth opportunities.

In fact, we’re witnessing a diversification of interest across the region. Clients are not just seeking a vessel; they’re investing in a one-of-a-kind life fulfilment experience, with a superyacht opening a whole world of opportunities for them.

Kamakasa, the second Sanlorenzo Alloy
Kamakasa, the second Sanlorenzo Alloy

In terms of vessel preferences, there’s a notable trend towards larger, more technologically advanced superyachts with alternative propulsion systems.

Discerning buyers in Asia are increasingly drawn to superyachts equipped with cutting-edge amenities, state-of-the-art navigation systems, and eco-friendly technologies like recently presented methanol fuel cell systems and alternative nature-powered generators with wind turbines and solar panels.

This shift aligns with a global movement within the superyacht industry towards sustainability and innovation. 

However, there have been challenges posed by the ongoing global supply chain disruptions, which have been affecting the timely delivery of superyachts to Asia. The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in the supply chain, impacting production schedules and, consequently, delivery timelines. This is a hurdle the industry is actively addressing to meet the growing demand.

The answer to long waiting times can be a quality brokerage superyacht, as there’s currently good market availability in the 40-50m and 50-80m segments. Over the summer, Simpson Superyachts sold the 44.5m Kamakasa, which was delivered in 2020 and is the second hull of Sanlorenzo’s successful Alloy series.

I’m optimistic about the continued growth of the Asia-Pacific superyacht market. The potential in this region is immense. As we navigate the challenges linked to inconsistent regulations and lack of quality superyacht marina berths in some key locations, we’re also presented with opportunities to redefine the luxury yachting experience in collaboration with our clients in Asia.

Now based in Hong Kong, Clayton is Sales Director of Simpson Superyachts, a part of Simpson Marine Group. His two decades of experience in the yacht industry includes over eight years with Benetti as General Manager Americas for the Italian shipyard and he has a strong understanding of the Asian market, having spent many years in Malaysia and Singapore.

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