Saturday, 18 December 2010
The World’s Five Longest Super Yachts
Yachts have captured the imagination of people the world over and nothing signals luxury more than the ultimate floating home. The term luxury yacht encompasses any privately owned vessel that is professionally crewed and was coined at the beginning of the 20th century when yachting for pleasure became a reality for many.
Classifying yachts into a list of the world’s most impressive vessels is not an easy task. Most people use length as the deciding factor in determining the largest and most spectacular vessels, but in technical terms, it is gross tonnage that really determines one yacht’s size in relation to another. This measure of weight refers to a yacht’s volume and what it can carry or accommodate.
The World’s Five Longest Motor Yachts
But it is length that is more tangible for most people and is a huge determining factor in the status of a yacht. In classifying the world’s privately-owned yachts into the top 5 by length, there are actually six that emerge as clear contenders. The world’s largest yacht is actually yet to be launched and will be vying for the top spot by the end of 2008.
Most of the world’s five longest yachts were built in Europe, with only the Platinum/Golden Star being constructed in the United Arab Emirates. Germany is currently the top yacht producing country with the esteemed Lurssen Company being behind three of the world’s current longest luxury yachts. This trend of European dominance in the field of yachting is also prominent in yacht charters and brokerage. Yacht brokerage companies sell and charter some of the world’s longest and most luxurious yachts, making magnificent vessels of this type more accessible.
The Golden Star
The world’s biggest and most majestic yacht to date, the Golden Star is also known as the Platinum Star and is truly a sight to behold. Launched in Dubai in April 2006, the 160 metre yacht is owned by the Sheikh of Dubai. The yacht was originally commissioned by Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei in 1996, but when his funds ran out two years later, construction was halted indefinitely. The partially-finished skeleton of the yacht sat in a German dry dock until the project was taken over by Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. The name of the yacht as well as her features have been held secret, even after her launch with rumours of submarines and missile detectors neither confirmed nor denied. Originally named the Golden Star, the Sheikh of Dubai is said to prefer the more sophisticated Platinum Star while latest rumours have simply named the current world’s longest yacht the Dubai.
At 155 metres, the Sunflower is the world’s second largest yacht and currently one of its youngest, as it was only launched in 2007. Its design is typically Arabian, even though it was built in Germany, hinting that she may have been built for a Middle Eastern owner and her unique design includes a triple mast and a double funnel. The owner is still unknown but rumours abound that she is the next successor to the Al Said due to her similar colouring and features. The Omani Royal Yacht Al Said is now over 25 years old and was originally built in Italy.
Prince Abdul Aziz
The world’s current third largest yacht was built back in 1984 and actually holds the record of being the biggest ever built in the 20th century. The Prince Abdul Aziz, built for the King of Saudi Arabia, ruled the oceans with the title of the world’s largest yacht for over 20 years until it was usurped by the Platinum/Golden Star. The interior of the yacht was completely redesigned and refitted in Greece in 2002 to create a more modern and luxurious look. Sixty-five crew members are reportedly needed to keep the Prince Abdul Aziz afloat and she more resembles a cruise ship than a privately-owned yacht.
The Al Salamah is one of the most mysterious yachts currently sailing our seas as very little information about its features has ever been released, leaving rumours to circulate about its incredible design and luxurious touches. Lurssen Yachts in Germany were given only two years to complete the construction of the 139 metre yacht, making its completion a remarkable feat. Owned by Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi Defence Minister and son of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, the Al Salamah has all the expected features of a yacht of this size, including private cinemas and Jacuzzis, but it is the rumoured extra features that truly set her apart. Her indoor swimming pool covered by a glass roof is unique and her interior was designed by the famed British designer Terence Disdale.
At 138 metres, the Rising Sun is the world’s fifth longest yacht and encompasses five stories with 82 rooms to house its privileged guests. The yacht cost current owners Larry Ellison, CEO of the Oracle Corporation, and David Geffen over $200 million to build. Constructed by Lurssen in Germany from a Jon Bannenberg design, the Rising Sun has an estimated living space of over 8000 square metres. There are plenty of features to keep guests entertained with a basketball court, gymnasium spa and sauna as well as a giant plasma-screened cinema. The wine cellars ensure that there is always something special on hand to drink and the teak deck and onyx countertops accentuate the luxurious design.
The buzz surrounding the build of the Eclipse is keeping the yachting fraternity in frantic anticipation awaiting the world’s newest and most spectacular Super Yacht. Owned by Roman Abromovich and constructed by Blohm and Voss in Germany, the Eclipse has an estimated price tag of over $300 million. Accommodating 24 people, this yacht is built for luxury and privacy, with anti-paparazzi measures and a unique design that separates the owner, guests and crew. The features on board range from two helipads to a disco, pool, and a round glass room offering panoramic views, as well its own private submarine.
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