Looking for signs of a looming recession, I thought it made sense to see how the global yacht market was doing. In March of this year, there were 53 new yachts >150 feet in length available for purchase at Yachtworld.com, although many had not yet been completed (see post “Blackstone eyes brass ring“, March 16-07); today, 62. If you throw in the ones with some hours on the engines, there are 231 available, down from last check.
Is it that folks have pulled their used boats off the market, or that a bunch have been sold over the past 5 months? As for the increase in new ones coming available, can IPOs at Blackstone, Fortress and KKR produce enough buyers for the additional 9 yachts that are scheduled to come available shortly? Certainly five more months of $70/barrel oil will help the boat brokers in the Gulf states.
The most expensive available has jumped to US$477MM from US$210MM; delivery in 2001 suggests that it isn’t quite in the keel-lying stage yet. What’s the builder thinking? How many boats can Oracle’s Larry Ellison own?
If the prognosticators are calling for a drop in the fine art market this Fall, as a result of uncertainty in the stock market, surely the luxury yacht market will be caught up in that tide as well. Right?