This year’s Monaco Yacht Show was destined to be a coming-out party of sorts for the Passenger Yacht Code, which lets specially built yachts charter with 36 guests versus the usual 12. As of this writing, Lürssen was scheduled to show the 278-foot Areti, and Oceanco was bringing the 361-foot Jubilee, which is for sale through Burgess Yachts .
“So you have two PYC projects — the first time for a PYC project at a boat show,” says Ed Beckett, a Burgess naval architect who worked on Jubilee. “It will be the first time that a lot of people will have been aboard a PYC. … It will be very interesting for people who have all these preconceptions that getting on a PYC is like getting on a cruise ship without any carpets or curtains or leathers. They’ll see the reality and realize that if they just went on board those boats without knowing which ones were PYC, it would be very hard to pick it out.”
Beckett is one of a select few at the top of the superyacht industry who are working to fulfill the new code’s demands, which require everything from extra escape routes to nonflammable materials. Some materials had to be invented and certified so that the yachts would still look elegant while meeting the new regulations. And PYC yachts can accommodate 36 guests, yes, but they can take 120 people overall — numbers that require shiplike attention.
“You have to think more carefully about how they escape in an emergency,” Beckett says. “You’re talking about getting 120 people off a boat.”
Working on PYC yachts is now a niche superyacht specialty, one that Beckett was excited to see go mainstream at Monaco because yachtsmen could experience how a PYC yacht looks and feels. “For the public to get to see them is very rare,” he says. “They’re often very big and very private.”