Sean McMillan, Spirit Yachts CEO and head designer, says that an oversupply of super yachts has resulted in strong competition to create more and more outstanding models.
How much do your clients spend on superyachts?
Spirit Yachts work with clients on superyachts between three to five million sterling. However, lately the enquiries are getting larger and we are currently working on design proposals for around £12m.
What new trends have you seen this year?
There are more luxury collaborations between yacht builders and designers, car manufacturers and fashion houses such as Gucci who have done a project with Riva Yachts for their 90th anniversary, or Elie Saab, Haut Couture, who is working on superyacht design concepts. Aston Martin is also developing a sports power boat with Quintessence yachts called Earth to Water. The reason is that an oversupply of super yachts has resulted in strong competition to create stand-out concepts.
Much more attention is also being paid to environmental issues. The fuel consumption of large, motor superyachts is simply obscene. There is a growing awareness of the effects of these boats on the marine environment. Owners are becoming much more conscientious and are exploring new eco-aware technologies, which is leading to some very exciting concepts. There is also a growing need for enhanced security on board. Safe rooms and escape submarines are ceasing to be the accessories of James Bond, and are now an unfortunate necessity.
Are yachts still a good investment?
Well-designed superyachts that offer something original and are well-built are holding their values well. The classically designed yachts, both power and sail, are also performing strongly.