|The World’s 100 Largest Yachts - 2005|
By Diane M. Byrne
It was quite a year, 1985. While much of the world was still wondering whether Big Brother truly was watching, pondering the similarities between reality and George Orwell’s fictional totalitarian state, in the megayacht world people were contemplating a whole other state of affairs that was equally mind-boggling. They were marveling at just how astoundingly large yachts were getting. Suddenly, 100-footers were starting to become as commonplace as 70-footers had been a decade prior.
And then there were the really huge yachts that had been delivered recently, the size and amenities of which people couldn’t stop talking about. One, Kisuca, was a 220-footer that had been converted from a commercial vessel the year prior. Imagine that, they said: A converted craft, and one which toted a 32-foot Hatteras sportfisherman to boot. Then there was Cedar Sea II, a 203-footer. Not only was she purpose-built as a yacht, but she was also the largest such new launch to be built anywhere in the world and contained an oval swimming pool.
These two modern marvels came in at numbers 11 and 18, respectively, on something else people couldn’t stop talking about: “The Power & Motoryacht 100,” a never-before compilation of the 100 largest yachts in the world.
To paraphrase an old marketing slogan, we’ve come a long way, baby. Consider the following:
• In 1985 there were approximately 300 yachts measuring 100 feet and up worldwide. These days there are thousands—and counting. And as for 100-footers being as commonplace as 70-footers, well, these days 150-footers are eliciting yawns in some circles.
• The largest privately owned yacht back then was the 380-foot Atlantis. While she’s still on the list today, there are no fewer than six private yachts exceeding her length.
• The “smallest” yacht on our list in 1985 was a 123-footer named Cacique. These days a 175-footer doesn’t even make the list.
• Twenty years ago Europeans and Saudis dominated the top 20, with just one American breaking up their stronghold, coming in at number 15 with a 210-footer named Non Stop. This year five Americans are among the top 20—but that pales in comparison to the fact that one Russian owner claims title to three vessels in that same span.
Yep, things sure have changed. But not everything: Size still matters, both to private individuals and to heads of state. While we’ve been omitting yachts maintained for heads of state for several years, we’ve decided to bring them back with this issue, since there have been some significant changes among their ranks in recent years. They’re grouped separately at the end of this story as a top-five list.
So without further ado, here are the largest yachts in the world.
KEY: L=length; Y=year launched (where two dates are given, the second is a refit date); B=builder; N=naval architect; H=hull material; E=engines
This article originally appeared in the August 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.