The growing European nautical industry
A few days before the Cannes Yachting Festival, the Fédération des Industries Nautiques (FIN) presented the statistics of the French yachting sector 5.09 billion, up +5% in 2018. The positive trend is continuing in the rest of the European Union. UCINA, the Italian trade union, welcomed the opening of the Genoa Boat Show with a double-digit growth of 10.3% to reach ?4.27 billion. British Marine, the British association, took the opportunity of the opening of the Southampton show to announce a cumulative turnover of £777 million (?875 million), up 21.3%.
Different types of boats in different countries
On the British side, the growth is mainly due to the increase in exports of inboard motor boats for cruising (+11.4%) and semi-rigid boats (+5.5%). More than 65% of the new boats built in the United Kingdom in 2018 were for export. Equipment represents a small part of the sector.
Italy remains the leader in the sector of pleasure craft over 24 metres, with 379 superyachts under order or construction in 2018, with an average length of 37 metres. The number of units is 3 times higher than its dolphin in the slot, the United Kingdom. Specialist in inboard motor boats, Italy ranks far behind for outboard units, with 1.8% of the world market share, while with 3.7% of the sailboat market, it ranks 6th in exports behind France at 34.2%. Equipment accounts for ?1.2 billion of cumulative revenue and marine engines for ?358 million.
Some figures to be qualified
While optimism is in evidence in these 3 European countries, some concerns remain. UCINA, FIN and a fortiori British Marine, have all highlighted the risks associated with Brexit for their industry. Boater confidence in the British domestic market is declining and could impact the boating industry. The domestic market is stagnant. The increase in ship sizes and the export share of European shipyards also makes them more sensitive to ongoing international trade wars.