KEEP­ING IT REAL

Yachting World - - Front Page -

Over the last years, pro­duc­tion boat­builders have steadily grav­i­tated to­wards larger yachts. Al­most ev­ery ma­jor man­u­fac­turer has an­gled for the lux­ury mar­ket, some­times to the detri­ment of de­vel­op­ment in the 30-50ft size. De­vel­op­ment of mid-range yachts – and de­mand for them – has stag­nated.

But th­ese big­ger builds are also much more com­plex and draw in ex­po­nen­tially larger quan­ti­ties of busi­ness re­sources, money and fo­cus. Now we are see­ing builders such as Oys­ter and Bavaria, both un­der new own­er­ship af­ter fi­nan­cial trou­bles, re­turn their at­ten­tion to the fam­ily cruis­ers that made their names.

The world’s largest yacht builder, Groupe Beneteau, is also re­fresh­ing its range of smaller yachts. It re­cently bought a ma­jor­ity share­hold­ing in Slove­nian Seas­cape, which makes sporty week­enders and pocket fam­ily cruis­ers of 14-27ft, while its Jean­neau brand will get a new Sun­fast range. The ob­jec­tive is to get a new wave of younger peo­ple and fam­i­lies in­ter­ested in buy­ing a yacht and get­ting out on the wa­ter.

We love ex­cit­ing new de­signs, no mat­ter the size, but there has been a dearth of true in­no­va­tion in yachts un­der 55ft. So it’s great to see builders take a fresh and en­thu­si­as­tic in­ter­est in ‘keep­ing it real’, and hope­fully we’ll see many ex­cit­ing smaller yachts com­ing on stream.

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