Countries with the Largest Number of Yachts, Boats, and Cruise Ships

Have you ever wondered what countries have the largest number of yachts and where most yacht owners come from? According to the statistics for 2023, the largest number of yacht owners live in Russia, Uzbekistan, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.

Which country owns the most yachts?

However, the locations of the homeports often do not coincide with the yacht owners’ home countries or the countries where their companies are registered (often yachts are written in the name of a company rather than a natural person). As a rule, expensive superyachts ‘hide’ somewhere in the marinas of the Caribbean Sea. The yachts can also be registered in offshore jurisdictions because this enhances the confidentiality of their owners and allows the latter to economize on taxes.

The list of countries where most yachts are registered also differs from the list of countries where the yacht owners live. The United States and some European countries are at the top of the former list. Let’s see the recent statistics that shows where the largest number of yachts are registered and in what countries renting a yacht is a popular activity.

If you would like to choose a foreign country where you could register a yacht, you are welcome to apply for our professional assistance. Marine vessel registration is one of the offshore services that we offer.

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Countries where most yachts dock

In 2019, the U.S. was the country with the largest number of yachts that docked there: 158. Then followed Italy, Spain, France, and Greece. The list for 2020 looked as follows:  

  1. U.S.A. – 216.
  2. Italy – 197.
  3. France – 155.
  4. Greece – 145.
  5. Spain – 84.
  6. Croatia – 64.
  7. Turkey – 63.
  8. Bahamas – 20.
  9. Australia – 19.
  10. UAE – 17.

In 2023, the geography of the homeports is a bit different due to the current political events in the world. However, the changes are not significant. Yacht owners choose to dock in the countries that are located in the areas where they like to sail. Besides, the service conditions and the fiscal incentives are of importance too.

Please follow the link if you would like to find out about the most popular places for registering a yacht.

Countries where most yachts are registered

The largest portion of superyachts over 80 meters long is registered in tax havens or offshore jurisdictions. Yacht owners are normally wealthy individuals but they don’t mind saving on taxes too. The list of the most popular countries where people register their yachts includes the following ones: Liberia in Africa, St. Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, and BVI in the Caribbean, Marshall Islands in Oceania, Malta in the Mediterranean Sea, and several other jurisdictions.  

Where else could you register a yacht in the name of a natural person or in the name of an offshore company?

  • Great Britain – registration of pleasure yachts up to 24 meters long.
  • Georgia – registration of light yachts.
  • Jersey – registration of private pleasure yachts (up to 24 meters long).
  • Marshall Islands offer an especially wide range of opportunities:
    • Registration of ‘green’ ships.
    • Registration of commercial ships.
    • Registration of commercial yachts.
    • Registration of private yachts for commercial use.
    • Registration of private yachts.
  • Cook Islands – registration of commercial and private ships.
  • Tuvalu – registration of pleasure yachts up to 24 meters long under the flag of Tuvalu.  
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Yacht and boat rent: the tendencies in 2022/2023

Yacht and boat rentals are especially popular in the following three regions: the U.S.A., Europe, and Asian Pacific. In 2022, the largest number of yachts were hired in Europe. Experts believe that the tendency is going to continue because the popularity of nautical tourism keeps growing in the region.

Such countries as Croatia, Greece, France, Spain, and Italy are popular tourist destinations and they are located on the seashore. Thus, foreign tourists who visit the countries to see the sites on land also avail themselves of opportunities to go on boat trips.

North America holds the second position in the yacht rental market because there you can find a large variety of beautiful locations accessible by a cruise ship. The Atlantic shore in particular offers some fantastic views indeed.

The Asian pacific region was also very popular for boat rental in 2022 and experts believe the boats for hire are going to be in even higher demand in the near future. The reason for that is the growing prosperity of the countries in the region, which brings about an increase in the number of leisure activities available to the residents and tourists. The activities include fishing, diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, and other water sports. Countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan and Australia are doing very well as far as their economic positions are concerned. No wonder the demand for yacht and boat rental is growing in the Asian Pacific. 

How many boats are there in the world?

The total number of boats is about 33 million in 2023. Almost a half of them (around 16 million) are found in the U.S.A. Most of them, however, do not belong to Americans and they are often registered in other jurisdictions.

Canada has 234 boats per 1,000 people. This is the highest ratio of boats to people in the world. The total number of marine vessels that Canada has is 8.6 million. 

Italy is the European country with the largest number of boats (577,513). However, Italians are not exactly avid yachtsmen: there are only 9 boats per a thousand people in the country in 2023.  

Other countries where boats are popular include Finland, Norway, and Switzerland. The ratio of boats to people is between 75 and 210 in these countries.

As far as the Mediterranean countries go, a comparatively large number of boats is found in Croatia (25 boats per 1,000 people) and Greece (17 boats per 1,000 people).

Speaking about the ratio of boats to people, China is at the very bottom of the list. With the population of nearly 1.4 billion people, the country has only 116,475 boats.

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