If you believe the old adage, size doesn’t matter. It appears, however, that the world’s elite ultra high net worths didn’t get the memo, and if you want evidence you only have to look at the just-published list of the world’s 100 Largest Yachts.
There are some familiar names on the list of owners, including Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich whose 162.5m (533.15 feet) yacht Eclipse still clings to the top spot as world’s largest private yacht. However, his reign – which he has held since Eclipse was launched in 2010, eclipsing the royal yacht of Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum by just 50cm (20 inches) – is likely to end this year. In build at German yard Lürssen and due for launch before 2013 is out is Project Azzam, a superyacht that will not just creep into the top spot in 2014, but will utterly dominate the list. It measures 180 metres (590.55 feet).
This reflects a growing trend that we, at Boat International, have been monitoring since we started compiling the world’s most comprehensive database of superyachts way back in the late 1980s. At that time, superyachts were a rarity, but over the last two decades the numbers and the sizes of those yachts have burgeoned. And we are not talking utilitarian work vessels here – superyachts are the epitome of bespoke design, custom fit-out and sumptuous luxury.
The previous trend for people to accumulate several large yachts has dwindled this year, with just two people owning more than one yacht in the Top 100 list. Music mogul David Geffen recently acquired the 138.4m (454 feet) Rising Sun from Larry Ellison (for which Geffen was said to have paid somewhere in the region of $300 million), thus taking over the number 8 slot in the list, in addition to owning the 114.5 metre (375.6 feet) Pelorus, which currently sits in 20th position. Paul Allen’s fleet now numbers just two Top 100 yachts, with the 126.18 metre (414 feet)Octopus and 92.42 metre (303.2 feet) Tatoosh at 11th and 35th in the list respectively. Larry Ellison himself took delivery of a new yacht at the start of the year, the 87.78 metre (288 feet) Feadship-builtMusashi, which ranks at 45th= in the list.
Interestingly, serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban entered the Top 100 largest yachts list in 2012 withFountainhead, the 87.78 metre sistership to Ellison’s Mushashi. Other big name billionaires whose boats made the list are Dennis Washington who rebuilt the 100.89 metre (331 feet) yachtAttessa IV, taking 26th position in the list; Victoria’s Secret founder Leslie Wexner, whose 96.25 metre (315.8 feet) yacht Limitless sits at 30th; Steven Spielberg, who claims position number 49 on the list thanks to his 86 metre (282 feet) yacht Seven Seas; and media tycoon and entrepreneur Barry Diller, whose 82.6 metre (271 feet) yacht Eos ranks not only 60th on the Top 100 list, but also ranks third in the list of the world’s largest sailing yachts.
A notable entry to the 2013 list is the futuristically styled 78.2 metre (256.5 feet) Venus, which was purportedly started for the late Apple founder Steve Jobs. The dramatic exterior styling comes from renowned designer Philippe Starck, and marks his second entry into the Top 100 – he also styled the avante garde 119 metre (390.5 feet) yacht A, owned by Andrey Melnichenko. Rumour has it that Melnichenko has a larger, sailing yacht in build that will further push the boundaries of design and aesthetics.Venus is one of nine new entries to the Top 100 list, ranging from the 77 metre (252.5 feet) Sea Stallionto the 147.25 metre (483 feet) Topaz.
As big as 2013 is, 2014 will be even bigger. Boat International’s extensive data shows that 12 large yachts being launched in the next year will qualify for our 2014 Top 100 rankings.
(Source: Google News: Forbes. View the original story and a slideshow here.)