Weak US Dollar Sells More Super Yachts

Superyacht Sales are up because Dollar is Down

Directors at Trinity Yachts have been talking to the press and discussing in the frankest of terms the recession. In a report carried by the Reuters News Agency they say the financial down turn has shaken nearly every corner of the U.S. economy but that they are still turning out custom-built luxury boats, thanks in part to a sagging U.S. dollar.

Trinity, the largest U.S. super yacht builder, will deliver eight yachts this year from its shipyards in Gulfport, Mississippi and New Orleans.

A weak U.S. dollar has helped keep us afloat by making yachts more affordable to wealthy overseas clients, said chief executive John Dane. Of the last seven yachts Trinity sold, three went to Russians, three to Middle Eastern buyers and one to a Mexican.

To set itself apart from the competition, the company is building bigger, faster boats, including a 51-metre yacht with a power plant producing 11,000-horsepower that will see the craft making over 30 knots.

With a subcontract to build 10 patrol boats for the U.S. Navy. Trinity is diversifying. “That’s the equivalent of two-and-a-half mega-yachts,” Dane said.

The company’s backlog of orders has shrunk from a peak of 24 boats a few years ago, and the company may build only four next year.

Talking to reporter Kathy Finn company vice president Billy Smith said, “ It’s good news for some customers who now face only a two-year wait for a boat, but dramatically less than in previous years. Right now the premiums are off the pricing, and you don’t have 10 guys trying to buy three boats.”

Dane admits that Trinity is also feeling the chill. A commodities trader and a builder of ultra luxury homes defaulted on their yacht purchases this year. Through IYC its brokerage arm, the company is working to find new buyers for those boats.

Dane and his partners are compensating by taking on more of the military and commercial work the company specialised in before launching its luxury yacht business 20 years ago.

“A hankering for speed and high style soon will draw more buyers,” Dane said. He confirmed recently making a return visit to a potential buyer on the Mediterranean coast, and the company said he is in talks with another U.S. prospect.

Trinity’s owners believe the appetite for yachts will return. “It’s a matter of the buyer’s mind-set,” Smith said. “A guy who was worth $10 billion and is now worth $5 billion obviously took a hit but he certainly can afford a yacht.”