Epes Sargent nailed it for me with the opening lines to his poem, ‘A Life on the Ocean Wave’.
‘A life on the ocean wave,
A home on the rolling deep,
Where the scattered waters rave,
And the winds their revels keep!’
I come from a nautical and sailing background and the waters forever call to me. Whether it’s the spray of the sea and its roiling waves or the calmer surface of the lakes, there’s something primitive and demanding about piloting your own craft. It’s that struggle to master Nature with just your wits, muscles and that bit of luck. Of course most people experience sea travel by less demanding means. The ferry to France holds no fears for me and I must admit it is nice to be a passenger once in a while.
The richest among us will take to the sea in something more extravagant, the equivalent of the executive jet: the millionaire’s yacht. These vessels are luxuriously appointed, well equipped and need more than a crew of one with his hand on the tiller. Millionaires don’t need to enjoy sailing, sometimes their craft are a flagrant gesture of the financial success or they’re part of the affluent persons’ ‘uniform’. To be honest I seem to see these yachts docked more often then used. They’re almost a floating party home rather than a form of transport.
Needing an impressive crew of 60 souls the Lady Moura is a masterpiece of refined luxury. She is owned by Nasser Al-Rashid, the founder of Raschid Engineering and an advisor to the Saudi Royal Family. It has a remarkable price tag too, weighing in at $210 million. Her name and escutcheon are picked out in 24 carat gold. The Lady Moura is now 21 years old but its 5050 kW engines are still capable of propelling her at 20 knots. If one vessel isn’t enough for Raschid then his yacht ought to satisfy him with its garage housing a Boston Whaler, Ski Nautic boat, Venetian Taxi and a Sikorsky helicopter.
Currently the most expensive yacht, this lady certainly requires you to be a multi-millionaire considering it’s estimated to have cost anywhere up to $800 million. Owned by 44 year old Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, best known here for his takeover of Chelsea Football Club in 2003, the gentleman can relax in the most opulent surroundings. Two swimming pools, two helicopter pads, a dance hall and a master bedroom with opening roof give Abramovich plenty of scope for fun. The Eclipse is the longest private yacht in the world at an amazing 164 metres.
This is the second mention for Roman Abramovich burgeoning fleet. Considered as the world’s 11th largest private yacht, this sleek 115m long craft is crewed by 46 souls and was built in 2003.
Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, is the proud owner of this fantastic yacht. It has two helicopters on deck, a pair of submersibles and jet skis by a hatch: what more could you ask for?
With a ticket price of $350 million this gorgeous vessel now sports its third name. She currently belongs to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. The Dubai is 162m long.
Sunseeker Predator 108
With 108 referring to its length of 108 feet – 33 metres this is one of the smaller vessels covered here. It is one of the fastest though with a top speed of a staggering 34 knots. At the aft there is a mooring for the usual motor launch but in the special edition model there is a modified ramp to take a car. On the picture below the company has garaged a Caterham Se7en in it. It could be yours sans Caterham for $12 million.
This vessel is one of the first Vitruvius series and benefits from a small displacement allowing it entry to shallow waters. Ideal for launching one of many of the water sports vehicles inside. These are available for weekly rental in the Caribbean at £250k per week.
Since he took ownership of the Al Said in 2008, the Sultan Qaboos of Oman has enjoyed a level of onboard privacy almost unheard of in the yachting world. So little is known about the Al Said that learning it has a helipad on the deck is a major newsflash albeit a rather obvious one.
We are at number nine on the list and I’m going to have to be patriotic here and mention the UK’s very own constructed ‘royal super yacht’.
El Horria (previously Mahroussa)
For 120 years (!) the British built El Horria was the longest private vessel ever to travel the seven seas. It was delivered to its owner Isma’il Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt in 1865 and was still in service until 1951. Read more.
Back to the present and the Eclipse is set to be eclipsed by Emocean’s new yacht under construction. Oddly name the Gigayacht which I’m hoping is just a working name that will be changed once complete.
Needing a 70-strong crew this 200 metre long ship will have helipads, hangers, a pair of 30 metre long sailing yachts, casino, games room and so much more. Personally I’d be keen on visiting the two tier cinema or a dip in the 30 metre long swimming pool. It’s not going to be slow either with its top speed of 28 knots or 20 knots cruising speed.
Guest blogger, Greg Coltman, writes prolifically for transport and travel blogs. He’s not convinced that all this luxury would be more satisfying than grappling with a sailing yacht’s ropes.