Ship and recreational craft manufacturing in Estonia

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Study: Ship and boat manufacturing in Estonia 2014-2015

The study conducted by SCC focuses on the companies manufacturing ships and boats in Estonia.

The study reflects neither the Estonian recreational craft and ship building companies whose manufacturing facilities are located outside Estonia nor the companies whose main field of activity is maintenance and repair and not shipbuilding. The aim of this study is to give an overview of the ship and boat manufacturing in Estonia: turnover, percentages of export, location in Estonia.

In total, the sample covered 26 small craft building (recreational craft, boats) companies and 2 shipbuilding companies (workboats). A third of them, i.e. 11 companies are located in Saaremaa.

The total turnover of the ship and recreational craft building sector was 43.62 mio. € and 45.20 mio. € in 2014. The total turnover of the 26 recreational craft building companies was 14.53 mio. € in 2015, in 2014, the total turnover was 19.95 mio. €. The turnover of the 2 shipbuilding companies was 29.09 mio. € in 2015 and in 2014, the total turnover was 25.26 mio. €.

Recreational craft building is still influenced by the economic crisis that began in 2008. The market situation of recreational craft is influenced by ageing and change in consuming preferences of the target groups in Europe. Also the weakness of the economic situation in Finland that was considered home market for Estonian recreational craft has a strong influence to the recreational craft manufacturing in Estonia. Companies actively enter new markets and develop their products in order to restore turnover.

In recreational craft building, the portion of export is high, making up 80% of the total turnover in 2015 and 83% in 2014. One of the characteristics of the Estonian shipbuilding is that the production has to be marketed in foreign markets, because the Estonian home market is small. Only for companies manufacturing small rowing and motor boats, Estonia is a considerable market. The main export market is Sweden, second is Germany, in 2014 was the second biggest market Finland, in 2015 is Finland the third biggest market.

In shipbuilding, the home market has a bigger role as the portion of home market and export as well as the distribution of export markets depends on the public sector tenders, and the Estonian government also orders workboats from time to time.

3 biggest recreational craft building companies:

  • Luksusjaht: brands Arcona sailing yachts, Delta motorboats, Dahl (RIBs)
  • Saare Yachts: brand Saare sailing yachts
  • Ridas Yacht & Composites: brand Ridas (sailing yachts and RIBs)

Estonian shipbuilding (both companies manufacturing in Estonia and outside) is characterised by a very fast growth in value added and a strengthening product development. During the recent years, the product development and design services that were outsourced from abroad, have now become part of the companies step by step, because Estonian shipbuilding companies, both with manufacturing facilities in Estonia and abroad, have created a considerable number of jobs for engineers.
Value added per employee in the addressed 28 small craft building and shipbuilding companies reached over 34 th. € in 2015 that is good result among Estonian sectors.

Sector indicators:

  • The situation of the Estonian recreational craft building is strongly influenced by changes on present target markets. A decrease in traditional export markets for the Estonian recreational craft (especially Finland) forces the companies to product development and finding new target markets and market niches. Companies that have successfully managed it, are quite optimistic towards future.
  • The general turnover of the sector has decreased a little (2015 – 43.62 mio. €; 2014  45.20 mio.€), however, the share of workboats in the total sector turnover has increased.
  • The sector employs 400 workers. The average wages level of the sector that is considerably higher of that in Estonia in general, has grown even more in recent years.
  • The value added of the ship and recreational craft building sector per employee is 33 thousand €, for the ship and recreational craft building sector in Saaremaa, the value added is 38 thousand €.
  • Based on the Estonian shipbuilding and recreational craft building sector, a serious network of associated companies with a high value added has emerged that manufacture ship components, models and forms (Composite Plus, Mouldtech, Muvor, Hilmaa). Also, the emerging and development of shipbuilding engineering offices (MEC, Foreship, SRC, Baltic Workboats) and know-how services (SCC towing tank and ship design services) is worth mentioning.

ship and recreational craft manufacturing

Figure 1.Turnover of ship and recreational craft building companies in the total turnover of the sector (for clarity purposes, companies with a percentage of under 1% of the total turnover were excluded)

Additional information
Urve Nõgu
Partner relations
GSM: +372 520 9884

Anni Hartikainen
Head of SCC
GSM: +372 514 5968

Study: Ship and boat manufacturing in Estonia