SYBAss: Economic Report from the Winter Update 2023

SYBAss Winter Update 2023 included the thirteenth edition of the SYBAss Economic Report which again was compiled by Erik Floor, Eric Prinsen and Eric van der Knaap. All formerly working for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), they compiled the report as independent advisors using data from Forbes, BCG, Wealth-X and SuperYacht Times.

They also conducted qualitative interviews with various industry stakeholders to understand the latest trends in the market. The report provides an annual assessment of global economic developments and their impact on the market for superyachts. This edition of the report focused on what impact the pandemic might have on the industry, as well as the effects of the crisis in Eastern Europe. 

The SYBAss Economic Report was presented by Erik and Eric at the SYBAss General Assembly held in Monaco last September.

Key points included:

World economy

  • The global economy bounced back after the initial Covid-19 dip with 6.1% GDP Growth in 2021, only to be hit hard at the start of 2022 because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine
  • The S&P 500 went down by 21% in the first half of this year, after growing at 14% annually for the last ten years
  • Higher food and energy prices, supply constraints in many sectors, and a rebalancing of demand back toward services have driven up inflation in most economies, leading to the highest worldwide inflation since 1996
  • Latest IMF projections show worldwide GDP growth slowing down to 3.2% in 2022, and slowly decreasing further down to 2.9% in 2023


  • The billionaire population has risen by an average of 8% annually over the last two decades
  • After an extraordinary growth in the number of billionaires over the previous year, the billionaire population shrank by 3% in 2021 to a total of 2,668 billionaires
  • In relative terms, Eastern Europe saw a whopping decline of 25% as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. Russia saw a sharp drop in both the number of billionaires (-35%) as well as the average wealth per billionaire (-25%)
  • Asia-Pacific accounts for the largest loss in the absolute number of billionaires (-66), which is predominantly caused by a drop in billionaires in China (-90)
  • North America’s billionaire wealth has increased by 7.5% through more billionaires and higher average billionaire wealth, reclaiming the lead as the region with most billionaire wealth Superyacht fleet
  • The number of orders for superyachts longer than 40 metres in 2022 was record-breaking at 134
  • The number of expected launches for 2023 is 93, the highest it has been in a decade
  • The Russian-Ukrainian conflict coincides with zero known orders by Russia-based buyers up to now
  • Sailing yachts between 30-39 metres are primarily owned by Europeans 

Superyacht Uptake

  • The superyacht uptake has gone down by an average of 5% a year over the last ten years.
  • Ten years ago, the ratio between billionaires and superyachts younger than 15 years (the superyacht uptake) was 0.62, in 2021 the uptake was 0.42
  • Large regional differences exist in superyacht uptake. In the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe, the superyacht uptake is roughly 20 times higher than in Asia Pacific
  • If historical trends in billionaire growth and superyacht uptake continue, we would expect between 389 and 533 new yachts to be launched by 2026, roughly 80-100 per year
  • If trends continue, the fleet younger than 15 years is expected to grow or shrink from 1,111 in 2021 to roughly 1,069-1,213 in 2026 Outlook
  • The number of billionaires is expected to keep growing, the fleet/billionaire ratio is more or 3.2 less constant and the fleet <15 years is expected to grow to between 1,069 – 1,213 in 2026

SYBAss Statistics Report

The mid-year update to the SYBAss Statistics Report provided an overview of orders and deliveries in 2022 up to and including 30 June, along with aggregated information of the yachts currently under construction.

The strength of the SYBAss Statistics Report is that the data is provided by the members directly, making it the most reliable intelligence report available. Statistics requests were sent in early July. All data is kept confidential and only reported on in an aggregated way, in line with the confidentiality agreement the secretariat has in place. Non-member data once again was provided by SuperYacht Times.

Along with the SYBAss Economic Report, the SYBAss Statistics Report was presented at the SYBAss General Assembly held in Monaco in September. Highlights of the report are:

  • Up to and including 30 June 2022, 48 yachts over 40 metres were ordered: 47 motor yachts and 1 sailing yacht. The 48 yachts were ordered from 26 shipyards
  • Over the years the number of yards working on new-build orders has fluctuated, but this year it is almost the same high order intake compared to last year. The number of 40m+ orders seems to stay consistent after the two lowest years in order intake (2019 and 2020) due to Covid-19
  • End-of-year totals for 2022 were projected using the averages from the previous twelve and five years, as well as the percentage change between 2021’s mid-year and end-of-year totals. Accordingly, between 94 and 130 yachts were projected to be ordered with a mid- point of 112

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