Purely for Enthusiasts or the Future of Yachting?

Are sailing yachts purely for enthusiasts or are they the future of yachting?  That interesting question has been posed by yacht brokers Yachting Partners International (YPI).
Traditionallysailing yachts make up about 18% of the overall world fleet. Still viewed by many as a pretty idea with too much work and not enough comfort attached (to quote one of the company’s clients) they are seen as the choice of enthusiasts and those who don’t mind working at sea – a notion which doesn’t sit at all well with many of today’s owners.
“But now,” says the Company, “There seems to be a groundswell of change that has been ruminating around the industry over the last few years and which is not showing any signs of slowing.”
In 2011, there were 27 new orders for sailing yachts. 39 pre-owned vessels were sold where the average length was 32.8-metres, the asking price EUR 5.5 million and age was 16 years. Those figures may have been slightly skewed given that Lulworth was 91 years old at the time!
So far this year, there have been 7 new orders for sailing yachts including the largest sailing project ever at 147m and one project at 85m.
Over 20 vessels have come to the market for the very first time including the latest and most technically advanced J-Class in the world, Rainbow(now for sale with YPI) and there have been 7 sales including the largest of the last 18 months at over 50m.
The number of sailing yachts taking part in the increasing array of regattas around the world continues to grow as does the amount of people chartering them. So just what are new buyers seeing in sailing yachts today?
So what is the attraction?  For the yachting aficionados, it seems it’s the thrill of the race, the excitement of the challenge and working together as a team that makes the sailing experience so much more than anything motor yachts can offer.