Market Report – Here Come the Big Boys!

Written: Tuesday April 25 2023

Go Big or Go Home!

In our last 2 Market Reports we tried to give our views on where we felt the New and Brokerage Catamaran market stands today and where we felt it was headed. We are sorry that our current outlook on the market is not terribly positive but there are just as many longer-term positive features that we are also seeing in today’s market.

One of the bright spots in the catamaran market today is the meteoric rise in the construction of ‘big’ catamarans. Back in 1998 when we first became a naïve Lagoon Dealer, we were literally selling only a handful of new cats annually... and that hand didn’t have all 5 fingers! Each year we sold the odd Lagoon 380, maybe if we were lucky a couple of 410’s and every few years an L 470. When we sold an L570 we thought that we were the bees knees but we never quite climbed the ladder the whole way up to selling an L67, the largest production catamaran in the world. In those days the L67 was considered huge but over the decade that model was available the factory sold only 4 of them worldwide. That highlights how big the big boat market was in the early 2000’s with an average of one 67-footer being sold every 2 ½ years.

When the L67 was phased out Lagoon introduced the L620 and even though smaller in length, it actually had similar interior volume to the L67. The market seemed to fall head over heels for the L620 and over the next decade we sold over 30 out of the 140 that Lagoon built so we quickly became pretty well educated on the big boat market and were recognized by the industry numerous times over that period for being the largest big cat dealer in the world. But even back then, a 62-footer was considered a ‘big’ boat, especially when you remember that a catamaran’s usable space is effectively around 1.4 times that of an equivalent monohull so a 62-foot cat = 85 foot monohull. From 2010 onwards for the next decade we therefore watched the bigger end of the market move into the 60–70-foot realm with double digit annual sales in that category.

So where are we today and heading to in the next decade? Covid threw everything out of alignment but today the big boat market continues to be very buoyant. We currently we have four 80 footers being built by Sunreef in Poland. Yes, you read that correctly, 4! To put that into perspective; CatCo currently has more 80 footers in production at Sunreef than the number of Lagoon 67s that were sold in the entire world, by all their dealers just a decade ago. While we were busy patting ourselves on the back, Sunreef just launched the first 100-footer of their latest series! Sunreef have more than 40 of their 80 footers delivered or on order and are delivering these boats at a pace that manufacturers used to deliver 45 footers.

The story though is however even more interesting than this. We do not have the space to address this next topic in this particular Market Report but it will allow us to give you a teaser for the next one. All 4 of the Sunreef 80’s we currently have under construction are environmental-friendly, Eco catamarans, all using electric propulsion. Their entire hulls are covered with solar panels actually built-in to the gelcoat so they are actually generating power and recharging their batteries even while sitting at the dock. This is state of the art technology and you can see that this market is no longer your “Father’s Oldsmobile”.

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