Ten Extraordinary Superyachts of 2017

SLIDESHOW: Some of the unbelievable yachts that launched this year.

This year has seen a considerable boost in the number of the outstanding high-end superyachts, with features including discos, waterfalls and submarines.

This year, there have been 10 new entries to the 101 largest superyachts in the world — more than double the number that entered the list in 2016, according to trade magazine Boat International.

Each yacht boasts unique luxurious features, including an indoor padel tennis court; a sundeck with a pizza oven; a massive aquarium; full-height doors that open on to folding side balconies; and plenty of gyms and spa pools.

One of the most notable yachts this year is Black Pearl with solar panels on her sails and the ability to generate electricity from rotating propellers, so that she can cross oceans without using any fuel.

Sailing Yacht A is officially designated a “sail-assisted motor yacht”, but this 142.81m boat is considerably larger — in terms of length and volume — than any other sailing yacht in the world. Designed by Philippe Starck for Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, and built at German shipyard Nobiskrug, her vital stats are astounding: she has eight decks, connected by multiple elevators and free-floating spiral staircases; garages for four tenders; a submarine; a helipad; an electric crow’s nest to whoosh crew 60m up the mast; and an underwater viewing pod moulded into the keel. The mainmast towers 100m above the waterline — taller than Big Ben.

At 123m, Al Lusail is one of three new entries in the Top 101 for German shipyard Lürssen. Designer Jonny Horsfield included central balconies on the side decks to “open up the centre of the yacht to avoid that long dead-corridor effect — we wanted to create a living space in the middle of the yacht”. Other indulgences on board include a swimming pool, a cinema, a helipad and a beauty salon.

There’s a lot of glass on the 88.5m Oceanco Barbara, most notably, two levels of forward-facing glass doors that open on to the folding side balconies. That’s not all that transforms on this boat: the helideck converts into an outdoor cinema; and the main saloon turns into a disco.

Adventurous New Zealand billionaire Graeme Hart commissioned Norwegian yard Kleven to build not one, but two 100m-plus explorer yachts. The 106m boat entered the list last year and 116.15m big sister U116 is set to be delivered very soon. Her features include new-scale accommodation; a below-deck cinema; an upper saloon with pool; pinball and other games; and a swimming pool and spa.

Jubilee is the biggest superyacht currently (and officially) on the market. Her most distinctive feature is her three false decks, which, as designer Igor Lobanov puts it, “give the illusion that she is longer and have a positive effect on the yacht’s proportional aesthetics”. This striking yacht boasts a fully certified helicopter deck, large pool deck with built-in aquarium and substantial beach club below.

Since Sailing Yacht A is officially a “sail-assisted motor yacht”, 106.8m Black Pearl is now the biggest sailing yacht in the world. There are solar panels on her three 60m rotating DynaRig masts, as well as rotating propellers that generate electricity, which mean she could cross oceans without using any fuel.

The build of the 104m Amadea was shrouded in mystery, but we know a few quirky details. She has a four-tonne decorative bowsprit in the shape of an albatross, for example. According to designer Espen Øino, the owner wanted it to “eternalise the life of the albatross to protect Amadea from the spell in Coleridge’s poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’”.

The 98m Aviva has an internal volume far larger than boats of a similar length; she packs in a 20 x 10 x 6.5m padel court on the lower deck. Aviva overtakes 90.22m Nahlin as the biggest British-owned boat in the world.

The 96.55m Feadship yacht Faith is packed with glamorous touches. The owner’s cabin enjoys 180-degree views and has a 3m skylight directly above the double bed. The saloon is divided into two by a limestone and quartz double-sided fireplace; the glass-bottom pool is fed by a waterfall; and on the sundeck you can soak in the spa pool or sweat it out in the gym (there’s a pizza oven up there too).

The 85m Areti is owned by a former Olympic cyclist and features are focused on helping professional athletes relax. There’s a toning spa; a large steam room and sauna; a 12-seat spa pool; and a full-height plunge pool chilled to 8˚C.

According to Boat International, there are now 53 yachts in excess of 75m in build around the world — the largest number ever. The new entries were all built in Europe: five in Germany; four in the Netherlands; and one in Norway.

Boat International’s editor Stewart Campbell says: “These really represent the pinnacle of design and construction, and each of them is a massive project. On the Sailing Yacht A project alone, 400 companies were engaged to help build her. With more supersized superyachts in build than ever before, the outlook is very bright for this part of the market and, in 2018, we’re expecting 12 new entries into the Top 101.”

He adds: “My highlight from this year’s list? Either the viewing pod moulded into the keel of Sailing Yacht A, giving a view of the massive props as they turn, or the padel court on Aviva, which you’d never guess was there until you walk down some steps and it suddenly opens up in front of you.”

The full list appears in the January issue of Boat International, out 14 December 2017.

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