Superyacht industry: Market insights and Supreme VGP-compliant solutions

Keke Liu

Superyachts or cruise ships? The market shows the gap between these types of ships is getting smaller and smaller, and superyacht companies are having golden years. The desire of ship owners is clear: bigger and as luxurious as possible, so they can escape from daily life. In this blog you can find some facts about the superyacht industry and how Lagersmit’s stern tube seals contribute to this development. Keep reading to find out how we can deliver Peace of Mind for the yachting industry!

From superyachts to cruise ships

The superyacht industry is on a fast track. Around 750 new superyachts are currently being built around the world. In the Netherlands the sales of superyachts has grown from €662 million in 2014 to 1.2 billion in 2017. That is 30% of the total worldwide sales, which means the total sales are around €4 billion.


Also, now the financial crisis of 2008 is over, buyers are looking for more luxurious and bigger ships, with deluxe elements such as helipads, swimming pools and waterfalls. The average size of superyachts has also increased over the past decade. Superyachts can now range in size from 24 metres up to 180 metres. This trend is visible in the size of the 750 new superyachts that are being built: 70 of them are over 75 metres and 20 of them are over 100 metres. But this is not the end: recent designs of superyachts that are planned to be built have a size of 220 metres. In other words: superyachts seem to be growing to the size of cruise vessels.


If we look at the buyers’ side of the market we see that the United States and Russia are in the lead with 40% of the orders. 22% of them are the American buyers. However, we also see other nationalities coming up in the superyacht industry. China, for example, now has the most billionaires in the world and the Chinese superyacht building yards are becoming prominent in China.

VGP-compliant sealing solution

Traditionally, the Netherlands has been at the leading edge of superyacht building. Take for instance Amels (founded in 1918), Koninklijke De Vries (112 years of heritage), Royal Van Lent (nearly 170 years old) and OceanCo (31 years of heritage). Lagersmit has been serving this demanding superyacht market for decades now.


With the growing average size of superyachts and strict rules and regulations such as the Vessel General Permit (VGP), sealing solutions are getting more attention than ever.


As a yacht owner, you’d want to take a swim without worrying about any oil spillage behind your vessel. The same goes while lying in the harbour: zero oil emissions are tolerated. When making longer trips, you’d want to feel comfortable, knowing your seal is functioning well. And should any problems occur, it would be nice to be able to continue your voyage and plans rather than what could have been an emergency docking.


The Supreme Athmos seal was especially developed to provide such Peace of Mind. Simply explained, the sophisticated air control unit (ACU) ensures zero emissions of oil to the outboard environment. Water leakage ingress is also prevented. The system gives extensive and real-time feedback on the condition of your seal. If leakage occurs, the ACU and drain system will automatically respond, increase the drain frequency and inform the crew. Peace of Mind for the yachting industry begins with the Supreme Athmos.


Note that the Supreme Athmos was also verified by DNV GL and proved to be in line with VGP requirements. This means that vessel owners sailing in VGP-controlled waters can continue to use mineral oils if the Supreme Athmos is used.


Looking for more information? Download our practical guide for ship owners!



Advanced options

For the Supreme Athmos our sealing experts advise the use of the following options:


  • Hard Metal Layer
  • Net cutters
  • Hastelloy® C4 springs
  • Dirt barrier


More information about our customised options.

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