The multi-billion-dollar global luxury boat industry is experiencing such a boom brought on by the pandemic, that it is fuelling a burst of new locally designed and produced motor yacht models, as well as sales and exports.
Offering the freedom to escape home-based lockdowns, circumnavigate international travel restrictions, and holiday by avoiding crowds, the return of premium yachts has been one of the striking global trends to emerge from Covid-19.
Family-owned luxury yacht manufacturer, Maritimo, is based within the Gold Coast’s Marine Precinct – one of the most advanced and highly respected marine clusters in the southern hemisphere.
Maritimo said interest from buoyant domestic and international markets had exploded in the past 18 months.
Maritimo Director of Design Tom Barry-Cotter said the boatbuilding giant was positioned to experience 20 per cent annual growth year-on-year over the next three years, with orders for new motor yachts sold out beyond mid-2024.
“Everything from web traffic to enquiry and sales figures are at record highs,” Barry-Cotter said.
He said two key factors were driving growth – a strengthening global economy and Maritimo’s large scale new model roll-out.
On the back of rising wealth, the global market for luxury craft is projected to jump to US$84.7 by 2027. This is up from US$64.1 billion in 2020 when the Covid crisis began, according to the latest Yacht Industry Global Market Trajectory and Analytics report.
“Boating is a safe, family-friendly activity and has certainly become an ideal alternative to international recreational travel during the past 18 months,” Barry-Cotter said.
Even from markets where travel wasn’t so heavily restricted, such as the United States, Maritimo was experiencing record sales and enquiries, he said.
“We are seeing record interest and sales from Australia, New Zealand and North America,” he said. “Over 50 per cent of our production is exported around the globe.”
He said Maritimo’s large scale new model development strategy would see the company globally launch eight new models by the end of the year. Two of those models, the new M55 Flybridge Motor Yacht and S55 Sedan Motor Yacht, were launched at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in Florida in late October.
Two are yet to be released by Christmas.
“Our highly experienced Gold Coast-based team have worked closely with our global network of owners in creating world-class motor yachts that are centred on customer feedback and cater to always enhancing our customer’s boating experience,” Barry-Cotter said.
“The result has driven the greatest amount of growth for our brand, with a vast majority of future orders arising from new models.”
The family-owned Maritimo business is based within the Gold Coast’s Marine Precinct, which is one of the most advanced and highly respected marine industry cluster developments in the southern hemisphere.
The Gold Coast Marine Precinct is Australia’s premier boating hub. Set across 250 hectares on the shores of the Coomera River, the precinct supports the largest concentration of marine trades in the country.
The Gold Coast boating industry is serviced by 10 major marinas reaching from Southport to Steiglitz in the city’s north, along with 52 kilometres of beaches and 260 kilometres of navigable waterways.
The Gold Coast’s boat building industry, which is headquarters to more than 450 marine companies from manufacturers of luxury superyachts to smaller recreational aluminium boats, is estimated at $33 million, with a further $11 million currently being invested into the city’s marine trades campus.
A version of this story first appeared in NewsLeads.
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