Bloomberg Línea — Brazilian manufacturers of luxury boats are increasingly targeting the North American market. Dedicated fairs showcasing new models of speedboats, which can cost up to $700,000 (R$3.7 million), are part of the strategies to boost foreign sales of Brazilian boat builders.
The advantages of Brazilian boats come from tax incentives and lower production costs. This year, for instance, nautical fairs in Florida cities such as Miami, Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale have received boats produced in Brazil.
This is the case of Triton Yachts, a manufacturer based in São José dos Pinhais, Paraná, which debuted at the Miami International Boat Show, considered the largest nautical event in the world, in February. Three Triton models were displayed, such as the recently launched Triton Flyer 38 T-TOP, valued at $310,000, as well as Triton 300 Sport and Triton 370HT models.
Another Brazilian boatbuilder, Fishing Raptor, took the Fishing 390 Solarium to the Palm Beach International Boat Show, a nautical fair closing on March 26. With almost 12 meters in length and capacity to receive up to 16 passengers, the vessel has a price tag of $700,000.
Armatti Yachts, a boatyard from the souther Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, has bet on the export of supersport motorboat models ranging from 30 to 52 feet. In October, the brand delivered the first model of the new Armatti 420 Sport Fly in Miami. The 42-foot boat is valued at more than half a million dollars.
Engineer and entrepreneur Fernando Assinato, Fishing Raptor’s CEO, says the boatyard has already sold more than 20 units of the new Fishing 390 Solarium speedboat in Brazil and abroad. According to him, the North American market is interested in these models because they are designed to sail long distances.
“The vessels can be equipped with three 400hp engines and boast a speed of over 60 knots, equivalent to almost 115km per hour,” the executive told Bloomberg Linea.
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) is another nautical event on the agenda of the world’s main boatyards in Florida, and this year it is scheduled for October 25 to 29.
Allan Cechelero, CEO of Triton Yachts, emphasizes the role of closing partnerships to expand the international operations. He says the US market demands a lot and that, in order to conquer clients there, it is necessary to participate in fairs in Florida, such as in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Triton Yachts operates in North America under the Hanover brand in partnership with Blueride Marine LLC Group, an exclusive dealer.
“To further expand our presence in the country, Triton Yachts is represented by the Hanover brand and has partnered with Blue Ride Group, a local exclusive dealer of these models. In addition, the Miami Boat Show was an excellent opportunity to get even closer to our clients”, said Cechelero.
The North American market is seen as a watershed for Brazilian shipyards.
“It is gratifying seen this model exported for the first time in such a short time, especially after it was launched less than a year ago,” said Armatti Yachts CEO Fernando Assinato. “In Brazil, more than five units have already been sold, some of which are still in the design phase.”
Other markets are on the radar of the boatyards. The Santa Catarina luxury yacht brand Okean Yachts already exports boats to countries such as the USA, France, Spain, and Japan. The next bet is Australia, which has about 1 million registered boats scattered over 350 marinas, with 35% of them imported.
In January, the Okean 52, valued at more than $2 million, unloaded in Melbourne. The six-year-old yard says it has already delivered more than $80 million in recreational vessels, with 90% of production being exported.
“We expect to have more Okean Yachts sailing in Australia soon, especially after important events such as the Sydney Boat Show, which takes place in July, and yacht fairs such as the one in Queensland, in the east of the country, with coral reefs and well known for its natural beauty,” says Ike Moreira Ferreira, Okean Yachts’ director.
The Brazilian nautical industry also builds large luxury vessels, such as the Azimut Grande 27 Metri, a model valued at more than $11.20 million. Since 2020, the yacht has also been manufactured in the Azimut Benetti group’s shipyard in Brazil, the only production subsidiary outside Italy.
With a factory in Brazil since 2010, Azimut posted domestic revenue of $82 million during the nautical year 2021/2022 (September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022). For the period 2022/2023 the projection is to exceed $102 million, a 25% increase.
Francesco Caputo, CEO of Azimut Yachts Brazil, says the megayacht designs seek to be inspired by high luxury residences. This is the case of the Grande 27 Metri, which the shipyard considers the most luxurious yacht made in Brazil, with her 27 meters, produced in the industrial park in Itajaí, Santa Catarina.
Check out the main highlights of the interview with the CEO of Fishing Raptor, Fernando Assinato, edited for clarity:
Bloomberg Línea: Compared to last year, there was an increase in costs and a pass-through to the product with readjustment in the prices of speedboats?
Fernando Assinato: We have noticed a rise in the cost of production and supplies for our vessels in the last two years and, consequently, this increase impacts the final value. On the other hand, exports dodge inflation oscillations due to the exchange rate and dollar appreciation, and this allows us to sell the boats with a higher final value abroad, mainly in the U.S.
What is the advantage of the Brazilian-produced motorboat in the perception of foreign customers in terms of price and features?
The main advantage of a boat produced in Brazil is having a lower production cost compared to other countries, especially the boats produced in Santa Catarina, due to the tax incentive. Thus, large shipyards choose the state to open a production branch in Brazil. In addition, the labor force in the south of the country is one of the most qualified, and accounts for 80% of the production of the Brazilian fleet.
Where is Brazil in terms of global sales of yachts?
According to Acobar [the Brazilian Association of Boat Builders and Implements], Brazil is a country with a lot of potential, but it is still in a nautical maturing process. Today, Brazil has the capacity to produce 3,500 fiberglass boats per year, between 16 and 100 feet, and part of this volume is exported. The association confirms that in 2021, for example, there was a 10% growth in the number of exports, and in 2022 this percentage should reach 30%.