10. LADY MOURA 344'0"
Proof that the megayacht business is an international business: This German-built yacht features Italian-made furniture for the owner’s and guest areas, and she’s been owned since day one by Nasser al-Rashid, an alum of the University of Texas who served as chief engineer to the Saudi royal family. Lady Moura is particularly notable for what she doesn’t show: tenders, liferafts, even her anchor and some of her navigation lights. They’re all concealed behind a series of hydraulically operated doors and fold-up/fold-down hatches, an unusual solution back in 1990, when she was delivered, and one which has only become commonplace in recent years.
Y: 1990; B: Blohm & Voss, Germany; N: Luigi Sturchio/Diana Yacht Design; H: Steel; E: 2/6,868-hp Deutz-MWMs
11. CHRISTINA O 325'3"
Given the tens of millions—in some cases hundreds of millions—of dollars some owners spend on commissioning new yachts, it’s amazing to realize that the late Aristotle Onassis spent just $4 million in the early 1950’s to convert the Canadian naval frigate Stormont, a convoy escort, into Christina, arguably the most sumptuous private yacht in the world. Now bearing the name Christina O, the yacht is no less sumptuous, having undergone a $35-million, two-year refit through 2001 under her current owner, John Paul Papanicolau, a Greek national whose family knew Onassis (and who went aboard the yacht as a small child). No doubt Onassis would approve of the music room’s collection of Maria Callas memorabilia, including the only gold record the opera diva ever received. The walls of the Sports Lounge are adorned with Onassis’ original sextant lamps, and Ari’s Bar features the same barstools the shipping magnate used to delight in telling his guests were covered with whale foreskin (though thankfully Papanicolau had them recovered).
Y: 1943/2001; B: Canadian Vickers, Canada/Howaldtswerke (original conversion)/Viktor Lenac, Croatia (refit); N: Prof. Pinnau (original conversion)/Costas Carabelas (refit); H: Steel; E: 2/2,775-hp MANs
12. CARINTHIA VII 321'5"
The yacht world isn’t exclusively one of boys’ toys, as proven by Heidi Horten, a German retail heiress who commissioned this blue-hulled yacht strictly for personal use. Horten has never permitted a formal photo shoot to be done, so the interior features remain a mystery. She’s so protective of her privacy that she even had the yacht being built under the code name Fabergé.
Y: 2002; B: Lürssen, Germany; N: Builder/Tim Heywood Design; H: Steel; E: 4/9,925-hp MTUs
13. LIMITLESS 315'7"
Even though she’s been exceeded on our list in recent years by far larger craft, Limitless will always be a standout in our books. For starters, when she was launched seven years ago, she was the largest American-owned yacht, extending more than 110 feet longer than the number-two yacht. In fact, nothing in her size range had been launched for an owner of any nationality for some time before her debut. While it’s taken a few years, people outside of the yacht world are beginning to understand the significance of these facts; the Wall Street Journal recently credited Limitless’ owner, Leslie Wexner (CEO of Limited Brands clothing stores), with creating envy and therefore kicking off the “yacht wars.”
Y: 1997; B: Lürssen, Germany; N: Builder; H: Steel; E: 2/7,268-hp Caterpillars
14. EVERGREEN 302'4"
This yacht gets her name from the Evergreen Marine Corporation, the famed shipping company whose containers and craft you’ve no doubt seen if you live anywhere near a large port. Her owner, Yung-Fa Chang, put her up for sale a few years ago, reportedly because he’d placed an order for a larger yacht. While we’ve never been able to confirm those rumors—if the yacht was truly under construction, it was expected to be launched by now—we do know that Evergreen is still on the market. Her interior features a cinema, hair salon, karaoke lounge, and hospital suite.
Y: 1997; B: Hayashikane, Japan; N: Diana Yacht Design; H: Steel; E: 2/6,598-hp Wartsilas
15. TATOOSH 301'8"
When Tatoosh pulled into San Diego last October for some refit work, including new paint and communications equipment, at Southwest Marine and then Knight & Carver, people took notice. The local paper was even moved to comment, “It’s an ocean liner with a helicopter pad. It’s a floating communications center. It‘s a billionaire’s super-yacht. The mammoth ship now at a National City boat repair facility is all of the above.” She’s also the second of the yachts owned by Paul Allen (see no. 3) to make our list. Unlike Octopus, which sports a dark hull, Tatoosh is all white. She also totes a 72-foot sailboat as a toy.
Y: 2000; B: H.D.W. Nobiskrug, Germany; N: Studio Acht/Kusch Yachtagentur; H: Steel; E: 2/3,360-hp Deutz-MWMs
16. NAHLIN 300'0"
An arduous restoration project is still underway on this steam-powered yacht. Nicholas Edmiston, head of Edmiston & Co. yacht brokerage, and William Collier, a yachting historian, teamed up to acquire the yacht in the late 1990’s and oversee the process. Prior to that, the yacht had been used for about 30 years as a restaurant in Romania on the Danube River, moored to the shore, loaded with asbestos insulation and other original materials. It took more than a year’s worth of negotiations, but Edmiston and Collier successfully took possession of the yacht and had her taken to Devonport in England. In 2000 G.L. Watson & Co., which designed the yacht’s lines 75 years ago, was appointed as a special consultant in her rebuild. Since that time the team has created numerous drawings for executing the restoration. In addition, the firm’s sister company, Yachtworks, has overseen the removal of more than 450 tons of asbestos, fuel oil, and other debris, and the creation of plaster casts of relaunch embellishments. The relaunch date is not yet set, but we’ll continue to follow the progress.
Y: 1930; B: John Brown & Co., Scotland; N: G.L. Watson; H: Steel; E: 4/Brown-Curtis steam turbines
17. AIR 295'3"
Built under the code name Rainbow, Air has more than just an environmentally friendly name. Her owner specifically requested that she be built to have as minimal an impact as possible on her surroundings. Low emissions, low vibrations, and low sound levels were high on his list. As a result, Air features eight gensets that can take care of propulsion and powering what’s commonly referred to as the “hotel load” (meaning everything from the air conditioning to stereos and hair dryers). Given all these features, it’s no surprise that in its publicity materials, Lürssen calls her its “response to the Kyoto agreement.” In regards to propulsion, the power from the gensets is fed through a power-management system to two electric motors housed in two ABB azipods beneath the stern. Air is the first such private vessel launched with azipods.
Y: 2005; B: Lürssen, Germany; N: Builder/Tim Heywood Designs; H: Steel; E: 8/1,129-hp diesel-electric motors
18. ASEAN LADY 289'0"
Brian Chang, CEO/chairman of Yantai-Raffles Shipyard in China, had been in the shipbuilding business for nearly 30 years and had been enjoying the yachting lifestyle for about 20 years when an idea dawned on him: Why aren’t more yachts stable in rough waters? While sitting aboard his 157-footer, he looked out across the water and saw a proa, a Pacific outrigger canoe, easily gliding through seas that were making other boats roll uncomfortably. Thus the concept for Asean Lady was born: While she looks like a traditional motoryacht from one side, she actually has a 138-foot-long outrigger serving as a stabilizing force. Her main propulsion source is a single 2,000-hp engine with a counter-rotating propeller azimuth drive; a 600-hp retractable thruster can also push her along at 7 knots. And given her beam of more than 60 feet, her interior handily accommodates 22 guests in extra-spacious rooms.
Y: 2003; B: Yantai-Raffles Shipyard, China; N: Ian Mitchell; H: Steel; E: 1/2,000-hp Caterpillar
19. ARCTIC P 288'7"
Can you blame Kerry Packer, the Australian media tycoon, for spending his money (reportedly $20 million) to convert this former ice-class tug into a world cruiser ten years ago? The Aussie nearly died in 1990 from a heart attack; his heart actually stopped beating for several minutes. The yacht can be spotted in Sydney, though she also visited Auckland earlier this year.
Y: 1969/1995; B: Schichau-Unterwasser A.G., Germany; N: Claus Kusch (conversion); H: Steel; E: 2/4,400-hp Deutz-MWMs
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