These days, it’s not just the engineering of your yacht that makes it truly super.
It’s the style of it, the size of it and, of course, the toys on it. Lisa Grainger selects ten of the most covetable superyachts in the world.
Considered by many to be the finest sailing yacht ever built, a gargantuan 88 metres long, as tall as the tablet in the arm of the Statue of Liberty, and with revolutionary sails that “disappear” into self-standing carbon-fibre masts, which themselves rotate. Owned by Silicon Valley billionaire Tom Perkins, this 12-berth beauty is stocked with every luxury, gadget and sleek interior detail that $130 million can buy (including next year a submarine that looks like a shark). Booked for 2009; after that, about €350,000 for a week.
Brand new, this 60-metre streamlined Benetti heaves with the latest gizmos for its 12 guests. There’s a gym on one of the three sundecks, for instance, alongside a Jacuzzi, bar and Teppenyaki grill (for fresh Japanese-style snacks). Not to mention the hippest party equipment on the seas, from kaleidoscopic cinema screens, portable karaoke machines, a disco and a bandstand on the sundeck to wave-runners, hovercraft, waterskis and wakeboards. The main cabin is like no other, with a bedroom raised above the living room, and an outdoor bathroom. From about €250,000.
From the outside this appears to be a classic beauty, with its smart blue hull and sleek teak decking. The vast interior, though, is seriously swanky, and designed for 21st-century partying. Light floods into the double-height, marble-floored dining room (seating 24) through a glass-floored Jacuzzi on the deck above. There’s a spa, gym, library, glamorous staircase to swish down in evening dress, and nine suites, with double-sized baths. Plus all the toys a sea-lover could play with, from a Laser sailing-boat and eight-metre tenders to a floating trampoline as well as a harp and Bechstein grand piano, with professionals among the 18 staff to tinkle on them. About €360,000.
This isn’t the biggest (at a mere 44 metres) of all yachts, nor the best (not vaguely falling within leading brokers’ Top 100). But what does mark it out are small details that will impress the label-conscious: neutral interiors designed by London owners Candy & Candy, 600-threadcount sheets custom-made in Italy, crew uniforms designed by Stella McCartney’s husband, Alasdhair Willis, wallpaper featuring Louis Vuitton monogrammed leather suitcases, a dining table that becomes a roulette table, and a master stateroom with black Baccarat sconces and a grand black-marble bathroom. Plus, naturally, all the toys you’d expect for around €165,000 a week.
Owned by the Getty family – and still used for their holidays – this is one of the most old-fashioned, glamorous vessels at sea. There’s no sign that during the Second World War she sailed out of Pearl Harbour with six anti-aircraft guns and 110 US Navy personnel aboard. Today, she’s all polished wood, swags, silver and quilted upholstery (the type of details that endeared her to Winston Churchill), with 18 staff to look after just 12 guests. By day there are two graceful wooden Hacker tenders to play on (as well as jetskis, kitesurfers, Laser boat, diving gear, doughnuts, and more), and at night more than 200,000 CDs to choose from and 1,000 movies to watch on the outdoor cinema screen or private plasmas – after dinner by chef Michael Savva (formerly of the Hempel, and Badrutt’s Palace in St Moritz). From about €280,000.
One of the most stylish of cruisers, a sleek, clean-lined 54-metre Perini Navi ketch, owned by Danish coffee millionaire Kim Vibe-Petersen, whose USP is her Remi Tessier-designed interior: streamlined and minimalistic, the polish of the dark ebony and wenge woods contrasting with fine furnishings of cream leather, glass and stainless steel. What’s rare on this sailboat is the space it has for sunbathing: endless pale decks and pockets of privacy (not to mention mink bedspreads on which to collapse later). Built for speed as well as style, the masts hold 2,800 sq metres of sail, which whiz the boat to speeds of 12.5 knots. From about €198,000.
Its guest list gives some clue to this boat’s style: JFK, Jackie Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra. Owned by Aristotle Onassis, named after his daughter and refurbished several times, this is more ship than yacht, with 18 staterooms, Michelin-star food, a Six Senses spa, mosaic-lined pool, plus (of course) a helipad. From about €455,000.
One of the newest, sleekest sailing yachts on the market: more minimalist boutique hotel than boat, featuring acres of pale wood finishes and streamlined, simple furnishing. Its primary advantage over older models is its lifting keel that allows it to go into shallow waters, its range of extras (including kayaks, skis, fishing equipment and wakeboards), and its style. Ideal for small groups (it sleeps eight, with a crew of six) who are up for flying through the waves, powered entirely by the wind. About €53,000.
This isn’t the most beautiful boat from the outside: plain white, clunky and broad. But the advanced engineering on this superyacht gives it advantages that make it one of the most popular charter yachts on the ocean: not only is it super-sturdy (ideal for exploring and for taking to the high seas), but it is also unusually spacious. Its airy interiors reflect its owners’ taste: scatterings of antiques mixed with Philippe Starck pieces, modern art, ethnic carpets and comfortable white-linen-covered furnishings that make you want to flop and watch the world go by. Ideal for families, given the amount of space, relaxed décor and unrivalled watersports toys, including four wave-runners, diving equipment and compressor, kayaks, tenders, and inflatables. The helipad’s useful, too, for quick getaways. About €260,000.
40 Signature Series
Having a big-name boat-yard is not enough for some owners – who are now employing leading architects to create their domestic space at sea. Norman Foster’s 41-metre model, just launched in Italy, is not to everyone’s taste – ultra-contemporary and with acres of windows. But it will appeal to those who want sunlight streaming through every wall possible, to slip down a glass staircase to the decks below (there are four), and square, clean-lined furnishings. A 50-sq.-metre upper saloon, with a 53-sq.-metre owners’ suite, will appeal to those whose idea of luxury is simply space and more space. To buy, fractionally, from €1,875,000 for an eighth, from www.yachtplus.com
- To view a range of yachts for charter, priced from under €20,000 a week for a sailing yacht sleeping six to more than €660,000 for a vessel accommodating 36 guests, contact Camper & Nicholsons (www.cnconnect.com), Ocean Independence(www.oceanindependence.com), Fraser (www.fraseryachts.com), Edmiston (www.edmistoncompany.com) or Burgess(www.burgessyachts.com)
- This article was taken from Ultratravel, the Daily Telegraph’s quarterly luxury travel magazine.