Who in the World is Buying Super Yachts?

Asia Pacific millionaires may soon top North America’s as the richest population on earth, with an appetite for buying super boatsales to match, according to a new report released last month.

The research by Cap Gemini SA and Royal Bank of Canada revealed that Asians with at least $1 million in investable assets were set to see their riches climb to $15.9 trillion by 2015, from $12 trillion last year. Meanwhile North American high net-worth individuals held $12.7 trillion in 2012.

And as we have all known for a very long time, with rising riches comes a taste for expensive lifestyle and toys, with yacht sales and interest in motor yacht charter in Asia currently seeing an unprecedented rise.

The biggest regional growth in terms of the number of super yachts delivered last year was in Asia, according to the latest available figures from brokerage Camper & Nicholsons.

Out of the 169 super-yachts delivered in 2012, the regions of 141 owners were identified, according to the Camper & Nicholsons’ study.  About one third came from Europe.

The biggest growth was in Asia, where 11 percent were delivered last year compared with three per cent in 2011, the report revealed. And of the 125 owners’ nationalities identified, 14 per cent were Americans, followed closely by Russians.

Those from Hong Kong and mainland China came in seventh and eighth with a total of about nine per cent of deliveries.

“We’re on the cusp of the Chinese infiltrating the market,” said Peter Thompson, a partner at brokerage Worth Avenue Yachts.

However, industry experts all stressed that the Chinese domination in super yacht saleswas in its early stages. “It’s in its infancy. There is an enormous amount of money but the guys who made it are very careful with it.”

Meanwhile, Fabio Ermetto, chairman of brokerage FraserYachts, was even more cautious in a recent interview, saying:  “Southeast Asia and China are becoming more and more important, although China isn’t developing as fast as everyone was hoping.

“There’s a feeling that in the next couple of years we’ll get more and more clients who’ve never owned any kind of boat before and will invest in a new super yacht.”

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