Superyachts get better as billionaires get richer
Excerpt from EuropeanCEO.com by Jules Gray
The ultimate plaything for the world’s super rich, superyachts are becoming bigger and more lavish each year as billionaires strive to outdo one another Roman Abramovic and Andrey Melnichenko are just two of many billionaires who take great pride in their superyachts. The ultimate plaything for the world’s super rich, superyachts are becoming bigger and more lavish each year as billionaires strive to outdo one another
The ultimate sign that someone has reached the upper echelons of the world’s wealthiest, superyachts come in varying degrees of size and extravagance. And, in spite of its rarefied appeal, the industry is seemingly more competitive than all others. Each year, it seems, new superyachts are announced, all designed with increasingly dazzling features that will make anybody that bought one just 12 months previously go lobster-red with embarrassed inadequacy.
Superyachts have changed in size dramatically over the last few decades. In 1999, when industry magazine Boat International published its list of the top 100 yachts, the smallest was 44.83m long. Today, the same spot is occupied by a yacht a little under double that length, at 78.2m.
There are a number of types of superyacht, but they fall broadly into two categories – sailing and motored. The most famous sailing luxury yacht is The Maltese Falcon, which was launched in Malta in 2006. Commissioned and previously owned by US investor Tom Perkins, the ship is one of the largest sailing yachts in the world, at 88m in length. It was eventually sold in 2009 to Elena Ambrosiadou, the founder of Cypriot hedge fund IKOS. However, it is soon to be surpassed by White Pearl, which is a sailing yacht commissioned by Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko. It will be 147m in length and has been under construction since 2012.
Some of the world’s wealthiest people own vast superyachts, completely designed to their own specifications. While most of them are extremely secretive about their possessions, there are a few notable examples of extremely wealthy people publicly flaunting their huge superyachts. These include many of the world’s tech entrepreneurs of the last 30 years. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owns the 126m superyacht Octopus, while one of the last things Apple founder Steve Jobs helped to design was his €100m, 79m superyacht Venus. Oracle Corporation founder Larry Ellison, worth a reported $56.2bn, owns the 138m Rising Sun, which cost over $200m to build.
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