Billionaire boom

Burgess Yachts reports a record-breaking year in brokerage, new build sales and charter, led by a rise in the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals embracing yachting.

13 January 2022


According to the Forbes Billionaire’s List in 2020 there were 2,095 billionaires. This grew to 2,755 in 2021, so it stands to reason that industries servicing UHNW individuals should grow too.

But did this increase translate over into the superyacht sector?

For brokerage, Burgess reported a record-breaking year selling superyachts with a combined value of over 2 billion EUR in 2021. This equates to a 27 percent increase on the previous best year. Of these transactions over 50 percent were yachts over 50-metres  in length.

Jonathan Beckett, CEO commented, “I have never experienced a year quite like the one we have just seen in my 41 years at Burgess.”

With the new build sector at an all-time high too across the industry, and shipyards reporting very few build slots available for the next few years, Burgess New Construction also enjoyed its best ever results with a 39-percent increase on 2020 turnover.


Looking at the number of yachts in the global fleet, the Burgess charter team reported just a 2 percent increase in the number of yachts available for charter. When compared to previous years where this figure usually sits around 5 percent, there are significantly fewer charter yachts available in 2022.

Yet the demand is still high. 2021 equalled the teams most successful year ever (2019), and 2022 figures are already promising a bumper year for charter. However, clients will need to book early to secure the yacht they want, at the time and in the destination of choice.

“More owners are deciding to keep their yachts private this year,” Richard Lambert, Head of Sales, commented. “COVID is arguably the biggest driving factor, with owners reserving their yachts for exclusive family use.”

Looking ahead to 2022, Burgess is optimistic for continued success. Charter bookings are already up by 25 percent for the summer, which indicates confidence in travel has been restored. With demand far outweighing supply across all sectors, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

“Fasten your seatbelts – we’re in for another exciting 12 months. There will be some bumps in the road, but if we work hard and concentrate, we all stand a great chance of success,” said Jonathan Beckett.



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