ECONOMY

Luxury yacht market sees rapid growth

The luxury yacht market is showing considerable growth across the world, according to the latest statistics. Data published by the industry publication Showboats International suggests that for 2006 orders so far are posting a 7.9 percent rise compared to last year. This translates into 688 recreation boats under construction, the total length of which exceeds 81,000 feet. The sector’s financial data report shows a 15 percent increase in orders for superluxury yachts of more than 50 meters, 30 percent of which concern mega-yachts from 70 to 120 meters long. The only figure in decline is the number of orders for yachts between 35 and 48 meters. Out of yachts under construction, the majority belongs to motorized craft, while the decline in sales of more environment-friendly sailing yachts continues. Sales of long-haul touring boats are posting a 35 percent rise. They are the silver-hulled vessels with a great autonomy that allows them to make long trips even under adverse conditions. Racing boats remain steady, while sailing yacht sales decline by 12 percent. There are 7,000 yachts measuring over 25 meters in the world today; a decade ago their numbers did not exceed 4,000. A key reason why the purchase of luxury yachts has become more affordable in Greece in recent years is related to favorable changes in tax legislation. It is no coincidence that over the course of the last decade, as the financial figures of EKKA Yachts show, sales of racing yachts have increased by 100 percent, while even the category of yachts of over 50 meters has enjoyed a sales’ growth of 10 percent, with prices frequently exceeding 20 million euros per craft. Exhibition Meanwhile, the fifth annual exhibition of luxury yachts continues at the Aghios Cosmas marina today and tomorrow. At least 90 established shipyards from around the world are participating in «Exclusive Yachting 2006,» presenting over 200 luxury yachts. The show also features «Sailing Club,» that includes various activities, such as new yacht presentations.