In days gone by, the status symbol of the super rich took the shape of a supercar, but with every Premier League footballer now owning a garage full, the allure of these has diminished. Owning your own private jet became the next ‘in-thing’, but with concerns over air travel in the modern world, this too has fallen away. However, one notion which has never lost its appeal to the wealthy has been owning or chartering a yacht. Take this one, which has been parked a stone’s throw from the office, as an example.
As with most things, there are yachts and then there are yachts, but now we have the rise of an even more elite boat – the superyacht. For those interested in charting the seven seas in nothing less than pure luxury, let us examine the ultimate status symbol.
1. ‘Superyacht’ is a term coined to describe any yacht that is longer than 24 metres (78ft). Because of the sheer size, a full time crew must be employed which makes it far more exclusive, and serious, than a smaller boat. A superyacht can take years to build from new but there is a burgeoning market in buying of second hand ones.
2. It is, with an investment of this magnitude, advisable to do some research on whether you actually enjoy being on a yacht – let alone owning one. There are a number of ways of chartering a yacht and surely one of the finest ways is to rally friends and family and head out on one for the day. After all, they are the people that will most likely be on-board your own yacht, if it comes to that.
3. The world of the superyacht is divided into two strict, yet friendly, camps – the sail or the motor. A sailing yacht provides a more natural and authentic feel, whereas the motor yacht is more accommodating with large open spaces and the option of a more individualistic design.
4. To go for a new yacht or existing one is a question that, ultimately, depends on a few things. Firstly it’s up to how patient you can be, as new builds can take a number of years to be finished. Secondly, whether there exists a yacht which fits the specifications and design you have in your head and your heart. Thirdly, the price! How much your budget can account for will often go some way to determining whether you can afford to design your own superyacht from scratch or if you should buy a model already worn-in. For the former, up to £70million should do the trick.
5. When buying an existing superyacht, the place to start is with a broker. Contacts in the industry possessing a good knowledge of the market are ideally placed to help you with your search. Normally, 10% of the price is paid up-front with the balance only being imbursed once all the paperwork is completed.
6. Building your own superyacht is an incredible experience, really only on par with constructing your own house. Working with designers and builders in tandem you will be able to put down on paper exactly what you want and how you want it to look. Obviously with experienced professionals, there will be certain things that are simply not practical for a superyacht, but most will try to accommodate you as much as possible. There are a number specialists who sometimes get involved in the building of a brand new superyacht, and these include interior designers, naval architects and independent surveyors.
7. No two yachts are the same in relation to their speed, noise and range. Performance is normally guaranteed within a set range and a fixed sum is agreed as compensation if performance falls outside of this range.
8. If you think you have got the taste for owning your own superyacht but can’t decide on what it should look like, take inspiration from what is currently patrolling the seas.