Britain’s Boat Builders are Buoyant

A brand new industry report, prepared by British Marine has been released at the Southampton Boat Show. It shows that as UK boat builders move to larger, more profitable bespoke projects production levels up and revenue is growing.

The report exclusively at the boat manufacturing sector within the UK’s £3.01bn leisure marine industry and finds that across the whole of the UK boat manufacturing sector, revenue increased by +1.6%, generating £859million in turnover in 2016 and unit production climbed by +1.5% to 9,907 units.

British Marine (the trading name of British Marine Federation Limited) represents the interests of the UK superyacht sector, through its association, Superyacht UK, and has also released key findings for the superyacht sector.

These include:

  • In total, 64 yachts measuring 24m+ were built in 2016. The majority were motor yachts, of which 55 were built and the remaining nine being sail yachts
  • The superyacht build sector generated approximately £179million in revenue. Individually, the manufacturing of 24m+ motor yachts accumulates some £150million and 24m+ sailing yachts generates around £29million
  • Exports of British built superyachts produces over 61% of this revenue, £110million in total. Overseas sales of motor yachts (24m+) account for 85% of total sales (£95million) and 60% of sailing yachts (24m+) sales (£15million)
  • Recent trends in larger custom yacht builds have prompted a move among UK boatbuilders towards larger, more profitable bespoke projects with longer lead times. This is particular prevalent in the sail yacht market, were companies such as Oyster Yachts and Spirit Yachts are looking to the relatively untapped area to grow sales.

The report details a range of economic indicators for the UK’s recreational boat manufacturing sector. This includes unit production, revenue growth, manufacturing input costs, international trade and sentiment data on the growth of boatbuilding revenue and profits.

The data that underpins this analysis is derived from three main sources. The first is taken from primary data on boat production collected by Phil Draper an external consultant at Yachtbuilder International, directly from key UK manufacturers.

The second is drawn from primary financial data received from British Marine members’ Turnover Declaration Forms indicating their business in boat manufacturing, submitted as part of their membership renewal.

The third is taken from data collected from British Marine members through a bi-annual business trends tracker survey, British Marine’s ‘Marine Industry Trends’ survey

Commenting on the state of the UK’s boat manufacturing sector, British Marine CEO, Howard Pridding, said:

“Boatbuilding in the UK has changed dramatically since in the last decade, with demographic and social change re-shaping manufacturers’ customer base and their access and approach to spending and boat ownership. As a result, the market for boat builders in traditional boat segments has narrowed for boatbuilders across the world.

“UK boatbuilders have adapted. Our members continue to find opportunities and commercial niches to exploit in the Eurozone, and, increasingly in established and emerging markets outside of Europe.”

Hundreds of boats of all shapes and sizes were on display at the Southampton Boat Show, with 156 boats and products making their debut. The largest boat at the Show is the Princess 30M superyacht, priced at £8m excluding VAT whilst the smallest boat is the Excel Ventura SL200 inflatable dinghy costing just £459.