Sicily has a long tradition of ship building spanning design, R&D, maintenance and the refurbishing of large ships. In the last 10 years, the sector has expanded to include a number of medium/small shipbuilding yards specializing in the design and construction of leisure craft.
The sector is experiencing a positive trend and an increase in the number of foreign orders has bumped up growth on an international level.
In 2005, Sicilian exports reached 206 million euros (approx. 1/15 of the national value), which is the second highest annual figure for the last ten years. The sector has also experienced a considerable increase in the home market for leisure and sports craft due to the increase in tourist berthing facilities all along the coastline.
Sicily boasts approx. 10,700 of the country's 130,000 berthings (8.2% of the national figure).
Two district agreements have been officially recognized within the sector in Sicily - a nautical district for the two seas (in the Province of Messina) and a production district for leisure craft in the Province of Palermo.
Leisure craft manufacture is one of Italy's sectors of excellence within the industry. National production in 2005 was calculated to be worth 2,541 million euros (53.4% of which was from exports), 85.2% of which from inboard engine craft. The main countries for exportation are the Cayman Islands (14.5%), France (14%), UK (13.4%) and USA (12.6%).