The Future of the Yachting Industry—5 Trends to Watch

The Future of the Yachting Industry—5 Trends to Watch

By HMY Contributor   September 16, 2020

It’s an understatement to say this year is crazy, in so many ways. All of which impacted and unsettled industries across the globe, including the yachting industry.

The good news is, the yachting industry’s been through tumultuous times before. The resilience of HMY’s people, and those across the global yachting industry, once again was on full display. Not only did the industry survive another tough period, but we’re seeing signs everywhere of surging business.

As the sun rises again, sales increase, and yachts continue to get out on the water, now is a great time to look ahead to what the future of the yachting industry looks like.

Here are 5 key trends to keep an eye on according to our expert team at HMY.

1. Luxury day boats are taking over. 

OKEAN 55 sport day boat with people sunbathing
The OKEAN 55 Sport proves to be the ultimate day boat, expanding into a spacious beach club with ease.

The express cruisers industry is stepping into luxury day boat design – building incredible vessels such as the OKEAN Yachts 55 Sport.

These new breeds of day boats are still luxurious with wonderful accommodations, but a bigger focus is now on bringing the outside in—open spaces and 360° views, taking inspiration from the outdoors and offering a true connection with the sea. 

OKEAN’s “Open Up Your World” design pushed the luxury day boat to an entirely new level. Working with HMY— the exclusive representative for OKEAN Yachts—throughout the design process, they saw the market for this type of innovation and seized it.

Look for more yachts that offer the feeling of being outdoors while indoors and other touches like beach clubs that continue to make luxury day boats even more attractive.

2. Pushing design limits

After years and years of fairly traditional yacht designs, the last couple of decades have brought some big changes. And there’s no sign of the pace of design change slowing down, especially in motor yachts.

Yachting is about expressing your uniqueness. The new generation of customers want something new, something that’s theirs. They don’t want their parents’ designs.

New technologies and a new breed of customer who desires different, more personal and edgy looks means manufacturers are cranking out new designs like the striking X95 and R35 from Princess.

3. Green yachting

The International Maritime Organization’s directive for the industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050 from 2008’s levels plus a new breed of high net worth customers who want all the luxury and are much more conscious of their environmental impact is spurring innovation around the yachting world.

Builders and suppliers are working together to tackle eco issues and find sustainable solutions to reduce consumption at reasonable costs. How this plays out over the next couple of years will shape the industry for years to come.

We’re already seeing great strides in areas such as hybrid propulsion engines that combine battery and fuel to lower the vessel's impact, environmentally-sustainable paints and epoxies that are safe for marine life, more efficient batteries, sophisticated power management systems, and water turbines that can quickly generate a lot of amps.

4. Outboards keep growing

Pictured above: The Valhalla V-41, V-37 and V-33. Valhalla Boatworks just announced the V-46, coming soon to the line-up.

Whether for fishing or cruising, the outboard explosion shows no signs of stopping. Big center consoles are incredibly popular and selling like crazy—on the day of the release of Viking/Valhalla Boatworks' new Valhalla V-46, two longtime HMY customers immediately called to place orders.

Watch the video about buying a new Valhalla from HMY here.

The better accommodations on a large center console are attracting owners from the smaller fishing boat market as well.

It will be to the point soon where there won’t be anything under 50’ without an outboard. And you’ll see more and more builders jumping on the train.

5. Chartering charges ahead

Tail Lights, an Azimut 116' Grande, is available for charter through HMY Charter Vacations.

Since 2018, the number of first-time charter customers continued to surge until the COVID-19 outbreak. Crewed yacht charters were steadily gaining popularity around the globe, particularly outside the usual yachting crowds.

Long term, even with the slowdown, this trend is projected to continue. And the good news is, there are already signs of life as fall and the holidays approach. A yacht charter just might be one of the safest holiday celebrations this year.

Additionally, we’ll see continued interest in seeking out new charter destinations around the world. The changing demographics of high-net-worth individuals brings requests for more remote and exotic locations other than just the usual Mediterranean or the Caribbean.

The next generation of charterers are requesting exploration yachting to places such as Antarctica, Scandinavia, Australia, or Southeast Asia. This means we’ll see more explorer-style yachts, as they’re built to travel the globe in almost any kind of weather. And they typically have large interiors with room for lots of fun toys.

As we navigate the currents of 2020, we know there are better, brighter days just over the horizon. HMY is your trusted partner and resource, always here to help. Contact us today to set up a sea trial, plan a charter trip, or start the hunt for your next perfect yacht.

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