Yachting’s 27 Best New Superyachts

Here's a first look at this year's finest fleet of large yachts around the world.

CBI NAVI 167 Alibi


In the not too distant past, a yachting scribe decided that yachts over 80 feet, rare in those days, should be called superyachts. Soon, yachts over 150 feet began to slide down building ways around the world, and in such numbers that another term-megayachts-was coined. These days, yachts over 200 feet are becoming, if not commonplace, at least expected. A few yachts over 300 feet, and even a couple over 400 feet, have been launched recently, and rumors abound that contract negotiations for yachts over 500 feet are soon to be the new reality.

Why the increase in both size and numbers of such yachts? Surely a general rise in personal wealth must be part of it, but the necessary money has always been there for yacht owners in this strata. A growing awareness of the world and the exotic locales it holds may be another part of the equation, but man’s yearning for exploration predates Marco Polo.

What then is the trigger for such growth? In a word, electronics. Electronic communications enable owners to stay connected, with family and friends as well as with business, during extended cruises. Electronic navigational systems make cruising to and exploring remote destinations not only easier and safer, but more interesting as well, and the world doesn’t stop at the waterline. Underwater cameras, sonar and 3-D bottom mapping open up the undersea world as well.


Sophisticated computer simulations mean a yacht’s motion pattern can be tailored, through both hull design and stabilization systems, to an owner’s particular preference, so time aboard will be more comfortable than ever, both at sea and at anchor. Finite element analysis of structures yields lighter construction, resulting in better speeds with reduced fuel consumption for longer cruising ranges.

Numerically-controlled machining of propellers results in better propulsive efficiency with reduced vibration. Computer design of noise-reduction packages assures that saloons and staterooms, often mere inches away from powerful diesels and whining reduction gears, are quieter than most homes.

Electronics bring aboard on-demand audio/ video packages that store hundreds of movies and thousands of songs for immediate recall in every stateroom. (For more, see “Electronics” in this issue.) Even more amazing, some yachts now have dedicated music and video studios aboard, so owners and guests can return home with a professional quality multi-media production of their adventure.


It is irrelevant whether more cruising results in bigger yachts, or bigger yachts result in more cruising. What matters is that there are lots of magnificent new yachts on the water this year, going to greater lengths than ever-and that’s in both senses of the phrase. We’re pleased to bring you this collection of some of the best superyacht designs from around the world.

LÌRSSEN 238 _Queen M, 200 Phoenix_Germany’s Lürssen remains one of the world’s most secretive yards with regard to their clients and the mind-boggling yachts they build, but completed yachts cannot be hidden, so news and photos eventually appear. Hot on the heels of last year’s 377-foot Pelorus, 414-foot Octopus and 191-foot Capri (“Redefining Luxury,” March 2004), Lürssen delivered the 200-foot Phoenix and the 238-foot Queen M earlier this year. The two yachts left the yard at the same time, headed north together, and spent several days in Oslo before departing, Queen M for northern Europe and Phoenix for the Med. Queen M was designed by Espen Oeino, with a “light oriental” interior by Donald Starkey. She has a beam of 44 feet and carries six decks. Phoenix was designed by Andrew Winch and has an art deco interior. She has a beam of 38 feet and carries five decks plus a flying bridge. Lürssen reports that an additional two yachts will be delivered by year’s end. Lürssen, (011) 49 421 6604 166;
AMELS 171 _Aidre_With a new yard at Vlissingen to augment the construction capability of the existing yard at Makkum, Dutch builder Amels was able to deliver the 242-foot Ilona last winter and then not miss a beat as the parade of superyachts continued with three more launches in rapid succession this year. Aidre, last of the Tigre d’Or series, is a 171-foot Terence Disdale design whose long straight superstructure lines effectively mask her 30-foot beam and the height of her raised bow. The result is a yacht that carries tremendous interior volume yet still appears quite sleek. Accommodations are provided for 12 guests in five staterooms, and 13 crew are carried in seven cabins. Intended for comfortable displacement-speed travel, Aidre has a cruising speed of 14 knots, and can extend her range to 4,500 nautical miles by pulling the throttles back a touch to 13 knots. She is powered by Cummins KTA38M2 engines operating at 1800 rpm. Amels, (011) 31 515 232525;
BAGLIETTO 138 _Blue Eyes_Operating from greatly expanded and completely refurbished facilities in La Spezia, Italy, yachtbuilder Baglietto was very busy when Yachting visited this spring, having just completed a couple of superyachts and preparing to deliver a couple more. A 135-foot design by Tommaso Spadolini is covered in more detail in this month’s Superyacht Report. Also delivered was Blue Eyes, a sistership to Blue Scorpion (“Italian Minimalism,” May 2004). This sleek 138-foot trideck shares the earlier yacht’s dark hull and the sensuous superstructure lines of Francesco Paszkowski’s design. Built of steel with an aluminum superstructure, she is powered by Caterpillar 3512B engines and cruises at 15 knots. Baglietto, (011) 39 019 95901;
BURGER 113 _Top Times_Most Burger yachts ride on hard-chine semidisplacement hulls, but Top Times is different. As Burger’s first expedition yacht, the 113-foot trideck motoryacht has a full-displacement aluminum hull with round bilges to minimize fuel consumption and maximize range. Naval architecture and exterior styling, with an attractive raised bow, is by Don O’Keeffe and the Burger design team. A 25-foot beam and a Quantum zero-speed stabilization system combine to reduce rolling and enhance comfort at anchor. Top Times’ deco-styled African mahogany interior, by Linda Wietzke of Linda Street Design, is bisected by a dramatic three-deck staircase. Built for a family with three teenagers, the yacht carries an abundance of water toys, including a 16-foot sailboat and a 17-foot center console Aquasport for fishing and diving. When the day’s outdoor activities are over, a central audio/video library allows each of the flat screen monitors throughout the yacht access to the extensive collection of DVDs and CDs. The pilothouse electronics, by Yachtronics, are equally high-tech, with multiple “glass bridge” screens being interchangeable between radar, GPS, Chart Nav, TV, security and other monitoring and operational functions. Top Times is powered by Caterpillar 3406E diesels. Burger Boat Company, (920) 684-1600;
CBI NAVI 167 _Alibi_The range of yachts coming out of the Viareggio, Italy, yard of CBI Navi is often quite remarkable, and this year was no exception. In addition to a 112-foot cruiser-sterned yacht (“Superyacht Report,” September 2004) and the 108-foot Baloo, the yard delivered their largest build to date. Alibi is a 167-foot raised-bow beauty, designed by Luca Dini of Florence with an interior by Giorgio Radice of Milan. Her dimensions allow not only a large saloon, but also a separate conversation area aft on the main deck. The raised bow and a beam of over 30 feet result in an exceptionally large owner’s suite, with office, dressing rooms, and his-and-hers bathrooms sharing a whirlpool tub and oversized shower. Four guest staterooms are found forward of the engineroom, and abaft, a large garage carries a 20-foot RIB and three PWCs. Alibi’s steel displacement hull, complete with a moderate bulb, is powered to a top speed of 16 knots by Caterpillar 3512B diesels driving Rolla six-blade props. CBI Navi, (011) 39 0584 388192;
CHRISTENSEN 157 _Liquidity_After delivering a 155-foot motoryacht to golfer Tiger Woods earlier this year (“Lovely Ladies,” June 2004), Christensen Yachts is anticipating a December launch for Liquidity, the first of its new series of 157-foot tridecks. The yacht is being completed for a repeat client, but is now for sale as Christensen commences construction of an even larger yacht for the satisfied owner. Liquidity’s 29-foot, 6-inch beam translates into a spacious interior and lots of outdoor deck area as well. She carries an owner’s complement of 12, with a VIP suite and four guest staterooms below deck and an owner’s suite forward on the main deck. With a pilothouse located on the upper deck, the open top deck is fully devoted to guest relaxation, including a large whirlpool tub fully forward. Interior design is by Williamson & Associates. Liquidity is built for long-range cruising. Her composite-construction hull, coupled with a pair of MTU 12V4000 engines operating at 1800 rpm, yields a top speed of 17.5 knots. Liquidity’s fuel capacity of nearly 16,000 gallons translates to a range of 4,500 nautical miles at cruise. Quiet operation, critically important on longer voyages, is assured by a sound attenuation package engineered by Van Capellan and supplied by Soundown. Christensen Yachts, (360) 695-3238;
CODECASA 164 _Andale_The 164-foot motoryacht Andale is a four-deck vessel designed and built by Codecasa for extended cruising. Construction is steel with an aluminum superstructure. Her Caterpillar 3516B diesels are governed to 1600 rpm for longevity, and Finnscrew five-blade S-class propellers help her achieve a top speed of 17.5 knots and a range of about 4,600 miles at 14 knots. Andale’s interior, by Franco and Anna Dellarole, features something a little different: a fifth guest stateroom adjacent to, but entirely separate from, the owner’s suite on the main deck. Four additional guest staterooms are situated below deck, and two of these are fitted with Pullman berths, bringing her guest accommodations to 14. To accommodate the professional crew, the yacht has a captain’s cabin, engineer’s cabin and four twin-bed cabins. Andale was delivered to an American owner this summer in time for a season cruising the Med. Codecasa, (011) 39 0584 383221;
DELTA 163 _Triton_Reported by the builder to be the largest composite yacht constructed in the United States, Delta Marine of Seattle launched the 163-foot expedition yacht Triton this summer. Designed for worldwide cruising, the trideck raised-bow motoryacht is powered by Caterpillar 3508B diesels operating at 1600 rpm. Top speed is 16 knots, cruise is 14 knots, and range is over 6,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. Triton has many special features that allow her owner to pursue his avocations of deep-sea fishing, reef diving, and underwater exploration. The bulbous bow is equipped with an underwater camera, and a sonar and bottom-mapping system by Simrad records details of the bottom and stores the information as 3-D maps to pinpoint areas for diving. A sophisticated onboard dive compressor has nitrox and tri-mix capability, Triton’s stern platform is designed specifically for ease of use by divers, and a Great White-rated shark cage is available for use when required. Topside, one of the yacht’s two elevators whisks guests to the crow’s nest for fish spotting. If that’s not high enough, a Eurocopter EC130 4B stands ready on the pad abaft the pilothouse and skylounge. Triton was designed inside and out by the Delta design group, led by naval architect Jay Miner. The yacht is fully wheelchair accessible, and if it is also truly child-proof as Delta reports, attacks by Great Whites on its carbon fiber reinforced hull are no threat. Delta Marine, (206) 763-2383;
FEADSHIP 235 _Utopia_Yachting was fortunate to board two new Feadships in a visit to Amsterdam earlier this year. High Chaparral, at 164 feet, is the ultimate English gentlemen’s club, with a membership of one. Her British owner is prominent in the horse set, and designer Terence Disdale has infused High Chaparral’s interior with the essence of leather throughout. The trideck motoryacht accommodates 10 in four guest staterooms and an owner’s suite, all finished in oak and lacquer. Great attention has been given to preserving the appearance of High Chaparral’s classic profile. Upper deck superstructure sides are full beam, but have been inset slightly and painted a light ivory to contrast with the white bulwarks, giving the illusion of wide shaded sidedecks. The yacht also has a sizable helicopter pad aft, but the upper deck extension that carries the pad has been inset and painted gray so the extension disappears from most viewing angles.The second yacht was Utopia, at 235 feet the largest Feadship to date. She was the second yacht and the larger of a two-boat order for a repeat client. Unfortunately, the owner passed away before Utopia was completed, and she was thus on the market at the time of Yachting’s visit this summer. As the culmination of everything Feadship and the experienced owner could bring to bear, the yard terms her “arguably the most complex Feadship yet built.” The engineroom, with separate control and generator rooms, is two decks high. The helicopter pad has a special safety device, originally developed for military ships, which secures a landing helicopter to the deck within a fraction of a second. Utopia has five guest staterooms, three on the main deck and two on the lower deck. The owner’s suite occupies the entire middle deck. Huge windows bring the outside in, and high overheads further the feeling of spaciousness. Feadship, (011) 31 023 524 7000;
HAKVOORT 151 _Flamingo Daze_In the picturesque Dutch village of Monnickendam, Hakvoort delivered one of its largest yachts yet, the 151-foot Flamingo Daze. Designed by Vripack Yachting, the trideck motoryacht has a contemporary interior by Glade Johnson. Mahogany, cherry and maple burl predominate in the joinery and bulkheading, all built by Unlimited Interiors, a Hakvoort subsidiary. A variety of rare marbles, selected in Italy by the owner, grace the owner’s suite and the four guest staterooms. Large windows and oversized ports enhance the view as well as bring in lots of light. Windows are double thickness, eliminating the requirement for storm shutters. Intended for world cruising by the owner and his family, as well as for charter, Flamingo Daze has a round-bilged displacement hull propelled by Caterpillar 3508 engines operating at their 1600 rpm continuous duty rating of 973 horsepower. Top speed is 14 knots, and range is 5,300 nautical miles at 10 knots. Vosper stabilizing fins, coupled to a Naiad control system, will reduce rolling both at sea and at anchor. Hakvoort, (011) 31 299 651 403;
HARGRAVE 115 _Missy B II_While the majority of the growing fleet of Hargrave motoryachts lies in the under-100-foot range, the builder cracked that barrier this year. Missy B II is a 115-foot composite trideck that was delivered this summer. She carries a large upper deckhouse, but the absence of a flying bridge keeps her proportions in balance and yields a pleasing profile. With accommodations for eight in four staterooms, she was built for Grady and Sharon Burrow, current Hargrave owners. The builder has 17 yachts currently under construction, and reports that they are working with Japan’s Sterling Shipyard to develop a line of steel yachts, with a 135-footer ready for production and a 185-foot Fexas design in the proposal stage. Hargrave Custom Yachts, (954) 463-0555;
Heesen 154 _Yalla_Heesen Yachts, with nine projects currently underway, began the year with the launch of the flag-blue 144-foot trideck motoryacht Bilmar and the 123-foot Lady Ingeborg, the first of the builder’s new 3700 Series of raised pilothouse yachts. Also delivered was Yalla. The 154-foot yacht, owned by an Egyptian, has a round-bilge displacement hull. Exterior design is by Omega Architects, with an interior by Art-Line and naval architecture by Heesen. Yalla has a stained maple interior with accents of upholstered and lacquered panels on the bulkheads and overheads. A central feature is the main staircase, whose floating steps span three decks and are lighted by a trio of round skylights. Heesen expects to make two more deliveries before year’s end. Heesen Yachts, (954) 522-2300;
HOLLAND JACTBOUW 105 _Cassiopeia_Holland Jachtbouw, the Dutch builder of such notable sailing yachts as Windrose, Pamina, and more recently, the fabulous Ted Hood/Ted Fontaine-designed Whisper (“A Visionary’s Reward,” June 2004), has delivered its first motoryacht. Like Whisper, the 105-foot world-class Cassiopeia is American designed, this time by Bill Langan, a talented naval architect with a Webb Institute degree, a Sparkman & Stephens apprenticeship, and now his own design office in Newport, Rhode Island. Cassiopeia is classically styled with a trunk cabin forward and a sweeping sheerline, reminiscent of the raised pilothouse cruisers of the 1970s. The yacht’s traditional interior of varnished teak and polished brass fixtures reinforces the image, reflecting not only the owner’s wishes, but some of the designer’s and builder’s sailing heritage as well. In a marked departure from tradition, however, the updated arrangement plan includes a large aft saloon and spacious open aft deck that are key to the yacht’s performance. These areas sit atop a stern engineroom that carries twin MTU diesels coupled to V-drive gears. By shifting the machinery weight aft, Langan was able to replace the thin-ended displacement lines typical of many earlier cruisers with a modern semi-planing hullform that enables Cassiopeia to reach a top speed of 27 knots, according to the builder. The arrangement also has the added advantage of concentrating the noise and vibration of the engineroom at the stern where it is more easily isolated from the accommodations. Holland Jachtbouw, (011) 31 075 614 9133;
ISA 156 _Ellix Too_Exactly 12 months after the launch of April Fool, the first of their 47 meter series, International Shipyards Ancona (ISA) christened Ellix Too in July of this year. While the two 156-foot motoryachts share hull, styling and structural designs, there are enough differences to discard the term “sistership.” First and most obvious is the striking bright red hull of the latest launch, but there are significant differences in the arrangement plan as well. Ellix Too carries her owner’s suite on the upper deck, enabling a 360-degree view and a private outdoor sitting area forward. Three double guest staterooms and a VIP stateroom occupy the lower deck, while a media room and second VIP suite fill the space that would normally be devoted to the owner’s suite on the main deck. Ellix Too is designed by Walter Franchini with engineering by ISA, and has an aluminum superstructure and full-displacement steel hull. She is powered to a top speed of 17 knots by MTU 12V4000 engines. ISA, (011) 39 071 502191;
SWAN 100 FD _Alalunga_Following on the 2003 launch of Red Sky, a raised deckhouse model, Nautor’s Swan delivered another of their 100-foot sailing yachts this year, this one a flush deck version. The German Frers design is focused on speed and performance, and is distinguished from other Swans by her emphasis on lightweight construction and a minimalist interior. Construction is single skin, with glass/aramid reinforcement laid in vinylester resin for maximum strength. Carbon fiber is used as local reinforcement in higher-stress areas. The Swan 100FD carries a 2,412-square-foot mainsail and a 8,199-square-foot asymmetric spinnaker. Displacement is 71 long tons light, 81 long tons loaded, and ballast is 28.5 long tons. Nautor reports that another 100-footer will be delivered in 2005, this one a new semi-raised saloon model that will be available on a fractional ownership basis. Oy Nautor, (011) 358 6760 1111;
NORTHERN MARINE 130 _Magic_Magic, a 130-foot design by Ward Setzer, was delivered by Northern Marine earlier this year. The trideck motoryacht has a 27-foot beam and a draft of 6 feet, 8 inches. Her arrangement plan includes an owner’s stateroom forward of the galley on the main deck, with an office opposite. Four guest staterooms are situated below deck. With a half-load displacement of about 400,000 pounds, she tops out at 18 knots and cruises at 16. Northerm Marine also expects to deliver Lia Fail, a 152-foot motoryacht, before the end of the year, and has begun construction on a 144-foot trideck as well. Northern Marine, (360) 299-8400;
OCEANCO 197 _Alfa IV_Alfa IV was delivered by Dutch builder Oceanco earlier this year (“Superyacht Report,” July 2004). The yacht has an Andrew Winch interior. Her owner’s stateroom forward on the main deck features a private panoramic lounge. Guests are accommodated in a VIP stateroom and four guest staterooms below deck. Tenders are carried in side garages on the upper deck abaft the pilothouse, and the top deck includes a glass-enclosed sky gym. Alfa IV is powered by Caterpillar 3512 diesels, has a top speed of 15.5 knots, and a range of 5,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. Oceanco, (011) 377 93 100281;
OCEANFAST 185 _Sycara III_In addition to Sea Bowld, a 174-foot Sam Sorgiovanni design (“Superyacht Report,” September 2004), Australian builder Oceanfast delivered Sycara III, a 185-foot motoryacht with detailed design by the yard but based on a concept by the late Jon Bannenberg. Her dark blue hull features a high bow, and she sports a glass-walled gymnasium topside. She has a modern interior of oak burl and marble, with stainless steel accents, fabric panels, and little molding. Sycara III has a steel hull and composite superstructure, with accommodations for 10 guests. Power is provided by a pair of 1,750 horsepower Caterpillars for a top speed of 15 knots. Oceanfast, (011) 61 08 9494 9999;
PERINI NAVI 142 _Ohana_On display at the inaugural Perini Navi Cup in Sardinia this summer (“Summer In Sardinia,” October 2004) were two of the Italian builders latest deliveries, both designed by the yard’s in-house naval architects in consultation with Ron Holland. The larger, Santa Maria, is a 184-foot ketch. The smaller, Ohana, at 142 feet, is actually a scaled-down version of Santa Maria, but emphasizes performance to a greater extent than many previous Perinis. Delightful artwork by the owner’s daughter adorns both the minimalist interior and the transom of the yacht, so it was not surprising to learn that Ohana translates loosely as “happy family.” Ohana accommodates 10 in four guest staterooms and an owner’s suite, all concentrated amidships at the point of least motion; the engineroom is aft. The aluminum ketch has a beam of 31 feet and a draft of 11.8 feet keel up, 28 feet keel down. Sail area is 10,900 square feet. Perini Navi, (011) 39 0584 4241;
ROYAL HUISMAN 295 _Athena_From the time of the first rumors five years ago, the yachting world has awaited Athena, the magnificent three-masted schooner that was rolled out of the huge Royal Huisman building shed just prior to Yachting’s visit this summer. At 295 feet overall, and 260 feet on the hull, she is the largest privately owned sailing yacht to have been built in many years. Designed by Pieter Beeldsnijder, she has a traditional teak and mahogany interior to match her classic exterior. Athena carries an owner’s party of 12 in six staterooms, all situated abaft the engineroom. A stroll through the spacious saloon or a walk across her seemingly endless decks takes one back nearly a century to the golden age of yachting, but underlying it all is an efficient modern hull by naval architect Gerard Dijkstra, constructed of high-strength Alustar aluminum, and modern systems to provide the ultimate in comfort, communications and navigational safety. Athena has a hull speed of 19 knots, which she can achieve under power with two Caterpillar 3516 diesels or under the spread of nearly 27,000 square feet of sail. Royal Huisman, (011) 31 527 243131;
SUNSEEKER108Last spring, Yachting got a sneak peek at the awesome new Sunseeker 108 Predator while she was nearing completion at Sunseeker’s factory in Poole, England. This massive speed demon took up most of her dedicated shed, and workers scurried over the yacht to finish her in time for a Med summer. At this writing, the Mexican owner has taken the boat to Florida where she will be on display at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show.The 108 is the largest offering in the Predator series and this nomenclature seems perfectly matched with the yacht’s aggressive profile. Large vertical ports in the hull sides follow a growing trend of many large express-style yachts that are dousing the owner’s accommodations with streams of natural light. Another feature of the Predator series is the seamless transition between the outdoor space and the interior. The 108 takes this to an entirely new level with a huge after deck with a sunpad and easy access to the stern and tender garage. When the double saloon doors are opened it’s easy to imagine entertaining large groups of friends, stern-to in Monaco. Sunseeker will work with owners on the layout and interior design of each 108, and accommodations can include up to eight guests and four crew.The standard engine configuration is a pair of MTU V16 diesels or she can be ordered with triple Arneson surface drives. Yachting is already arranging a test drive. Stay tuned to a future issue for a complete feature. Sunseeker, (954) 786-1866;
TRINITY 157 _Janie III_Continuing their trend of prior years, Trinity Yachts delivered several yachts in the mid-100-foot range this year. Exemplary is Janie III, a 157-foot aluminum trideck with a beam of 28 feet. Her exterior features a raised bow and blue hull, and the interior, by Dee Robinson, carries an owner’s suite on the main deck and four guest staterooms below deck. She is powered by Caterpillar 3512 diesels for a top speed of 22 knots in light conditions and a cruising speed of 18.5 knots at half load. Trinity Yachts, (504) 283-4050;
VITTERS 140 _Gimla_Although she is third in a series of 140-foot aluminum sailing yachts from Vitters Shipyard, after African Queen (now Red Dragon) and Whirlaway, Gimla is as different from the previous boats as they were from each other. Exterior design and naval architecture are by Dubois Design, with interior design by Dick Young. To match her sleek exterior, Young has given Gimla a very contemporary interior with minimal detailing. Joinery is in matte finished birch, overhead beams are limed birch, and trim is stainless steel. Decks are oiled teak with ebony splines. An exceptionally long passageway bisects the guest accommodations, but Young has avoided the visual tunnel effect by building considerable curvature into its length. Two double staterooms lie to starboard, two twin staterooms are aft, and the owner’s suite, with sitting area, is to port. Gimla carries a 4,360-square-foot main and a 12,300-square-foot genaker in a cutter rig with Marten Marine in-boom furling. An MTU 12V183TE72 diesel driving a Korsor controllable pitch propeller provides auxiliary power, and bow and stern thrusters, 100 hp each, aid maneuvering. Vitters, (011) 31 038 3867145;
VT SHIPBUILDING 246 _Mirabella V_Without doubt the largest sloop ever launched, the 246-foot Mirabella has broken new ground (in more ways than one; see our “Special Report”) in every technical area imaginable (“Stretching the Limits,” August 2004). With keel down, she draws 33 feet, and her mast reaches 290 feet, nearly the length of a football field, into the air. Owners Joe and Luciana Vittorio conceived the yacht and worked with designer Ron Holland and builder VT Shipbuilding (formerly Vosper Thorneycroft) to make her a reality. Her waterline len