Chinese interest in superyachts ‘is starting to grow’: Heesen Yachts CEO


Heesen reports growing interest in its superyachts, such as the 70-metre Espen Øino International,  from China’s wealthiest citizens.

China’s wealthiest citizens are starting to develop an interest in superyachts, according to the CEO of Heesen Yachts Arthur Brouwer.

“The Chinese market is starting to see interest in superyachts – particularly in the 50-metre plus category,” Brouwer told Superyacht Investor at his press meeting in London this week to celebrate progress in building the 80-metre Project Cosmos.

“We are slowly beginning to see requests for information come in to us – particularly over the past 12 months,” he added. Brouwer attributed the growing interest in large luxury yachts to rapidly rising wealth in the emergent Asian superpower and the increasingly popularity of Mediterranean holiday destinations.

Market intelligence group Wealth-X has documented “unprecedented wealth growth” in recent years. “China has overtaken Japan to emerge as the second largest wealth market, with a re-estimated 2.3m high net worth individuals [HNWI] including almost 26,700 UHNWI [ultra-high net worth individuals] in 2019.”

‘Ultra-wealthy individuals are under the age of 50’

While the market remains substantially smaller than that of the US, China has a total wealth of $4.2trn. The wealth of those at the ultra-high level is greater than the wealth of the 2m individuals on the lowest tier. “Uniquely to China, where economic liberalisation has had just 40 years to run, over a quarter of ultra-wealthy individuals are under the age of 50, far above the global average of just 13%,” according to Wealth-X.

Another factor sparking growing interest in superyachts is the growing number of Chinese visitors to Mediterranean destinations. “The interest also reflects lifestyles slowly changing with more visits to the Mediterranean region,” said Brouwer. This leads Chinese tourists to see superyachts off shore and arouses interest in owning one.

‘Purchase a yacht soon’

The Chinese digital publication Jing Daily, dedicated to reporting luxury items in China also detects a growing interest in superyachts. “Surveys in China conducted throughout this decade point to some growing interest, with 16% of Chinese HNWI respondents planning to purchase a yacht soon and roughly half expressing some interest in the idea,” claims the publication.

Also, the Boston Consulting Group estimates that 305 billionaires, out of a world total of 1,700, are based in China. That world’s total will increase by about 800 in the next three years with China accounting for 40% of that increase, it predicts.

Meanwhile, Heesen Yachts revealed that work on its flagship all-aluminium 80-metre Project Cosmos superyacht was nearing the halfway point, with delivery scheduled for April 2022.  The Netherlands yard has 13 luxury yachts under construction – eight of which are being built speculatively.


How wealthy is wealthy?

$1– $5m in net worth …………………. Wealthy

$5m – £30m …………………………… Very high net worth

$30m+ ………………………………….. Ultra-high net worth.

Source: Wealth-X


Heeson Yachts CEO Arthur Brouwer reports growing interest in his company’s luxury yachts – particularly those above 50-metres in length.