In 2022 we saw a substantial increase in the number of premium secondhand yachts for sale in our market. Our website catalogued a rapid rise in the number of listings during the spring and summer, likely due to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions which allowed more travel opportunities. Some long-term yacht owners, who had kept their yachts during the pandemic, decided to sell in 2022 in order to pursue other adventures. I anticipate and hope that we will see an influx of high-quality premium yachts on the market in the spring of 2023 as well.
Despite the ongoing challenges in the world, the demand for quality brokerage yachts has remained high throughout 2022. In terms of sales performance, 2022 was a great year for us. We broke our previous record from 2019 and sold pre-owned sailing and motor yachts to a value above SEK 100,000,000. The average sales price for our yachts continues to grow. Unlike previous years, where we sold the majority of our yachts to international buyers from Europe, in 2022 we saw a more even split between international buyers and Swedish buyers. Perhaps this reflects what we believe to be an increasing interest in the sailing and motor yachting lifestyle in Scandinavia.
Sales figures from the first two months of 2023 indicate that the sale prices of well-maintained yachts will likely remain similar to last year’s levels. This is in line with the trend of rising prices across various products, including new yachts, which suggests that the sales prices of well-maintained brokerage yachts will remain steady.
For international sales, the exchange rates are always a key consideration. Currently, the Swedish Krona (SEK) is at an unusual low level, with an exchange rate of 11.3 SEK to 1 EUR, which is 15-20% lower than its “normal” rate of approximately 9.5 SEK to 1 EUR. This makes it an attractive time to trade a Swedish yacht on the international market, as both sellers and buyers can benefit from a favourable exchange rate.
In conclusion, despite the current situation, the terrible war in Ukraine, inflation, increased interest rates and much more, we hope and believe that the market for premium second-hand yachts in good condition remains strong, and we expect sales prices to remain stable in 2023. The current exchange rate offers a great opportunity for Swedish yacht owners to sell their yachts on the international market.
We are pleased to announce the addition of Anna Friberg to the Berthon Scandinavia team. Anna brings with her a wealth of experience, having worked at Adams Boat Care, a company she co-owns with her husband Carl, specializing in the restoration and refitting of second-hand Hallberg-Rassy yachts. At Berthon Scandinavia, Anna will be responsible for administration and providing support to our brokers.
We are delighted that for 2023 we have further strengthened our ties with our favourite Italian yacht builder, Solaris Yachts. Our companies have been working together on various projects for many years, and we recently decided to increase our efforts promoting these superbly designed yachts in the Scandinavian market. Solaris has a long history of producing high-quality yachts and a reputation for innovative design, but many Scandinavian sailors are still not familiar with the Solaris brand.
Solaris Yachts was founded in 1974 in Aquileia, Italy, an area well-known for its boat-building traditions. The shipyard’s modern production facilities, located right by the water, provide the opportunity for clients to test sail and tour the yard. For the past 15 years, Solaris has been focused on developing and building a diverse line of modern and well-designed yachts. In collaboration with Argentinian naval architect Javier Soto Acebal, Solaris’ design team has created a fleet of 9 models ranging in size from 40 to 111 feet, known for their innovative design, high construction quality, and attention to detail.
Berthon Scandinavia has had the privilege of working with Solaris on several initiatives, including accompanying Scandinavian clients to Italy for test sails and factory visits, participating in boat shows in Germany and Cannes, and being on site for the launching of the new Solaris 50. We were pleased to showcase Solaris at the Düsseldorf boat show this year and receive positive feedback from clients who were impressed with what they saw. With a bit of luck, we hope to see new Solaris yachts sailing in Scandinavian waters soon. We join the Berthon Solaris crew in the UK and East Coast of the USA – with 10 Solaris yachts currently in build for Berthon clients we look forward to seeing hulls in build destined for our waters.
ARC and Bluewater Cruising
Many of the yachts we broker are designed and equipped for bluewater cruising. I believe our experience in ocean sailing and our deep product knowledge sets us apart as a Swedish yacht broker, making us uniquely qualified to present our clients’ yachts in the best possible light and to guide and understand their needs. In partnership with the highly skilled service yards here on the island of Orust, we can also advise and assist buyers with any yacht related services, upgrades, or refit projects.
Working as a yacht broker typically involves a heavy workload during spring, summer, and autumn, leaving limited time for sailing during the typical Scandinavian season. So, I was overjoyed when a friend invited me to join him, his wife, and ‘Doctor Andy’ on board the Najad 570 WEIR KRAKEN to participate in the 2022 ARC from Gran Canaria to St. Lucia. We had made this trip twice before, but it had been 7 years since any of us had gone on an ocean crossing. After two frantic weeks of preparations in the Canaries, we finally set sail. The 2022 ARC was mostly characterized by light winds and nice sunny weather. The yacht treated us well except for a few minor technical issues and a broken downhaul line for the gennaker (which snapped in the middle of the night). Nonetheless, the trip was fantastic and the feeling of being far away from everything, floating around on a 5km deep ocean with unbelievable starry nights, fantastic cloud formations and watching the sun go up and down is an experience I wish everyone could have. Not having access to emails, mobile phones, or Google just makes it all even better.
As I write this text, I have just returned from the Caribbean after a 3 week sailing holiday on board WEIR KRAKEN with my family, charging my batteries to be 100% prepared for the 2023 brokerage season… and I will not complain if I don’t manage to do a lot of sailing during the Scandinavian sailing season.