Welcome to the 27th annual edition of The World’s 100 Largest Yachts, a.k.a. the PMY 100. Yes, you read that right. Twenty-seven consecutive years of breaking out our tape measures and trying to confirm every last inch of 100 different yachts docked around the globe.
My, how things have changed since 1985. Back then, President Ronald Reagan implored Congress and Americans everywhere to stand up to the Soviet Union, the country he’d previously deemed the “Evil Empire.” Now, not only does the Soviet Union no longer exist, but Russians are scooping up megayachts faster than Reagan could famously quip, “I did turn 75 today, but remember, that’s only 24 Celsius.”
What else happened in 1985? It was the year that Pete “Charlie Hustle” Rose surpassed Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record of 4,191, closing the year (and his career) with 4,256 hits. Given the opportunity to swing a bat today, surely he’d enjoy a little batting practice on the foredeck of the newly delivered, 258-foot Feadship Hampshire II. The foredeck was specifically designed, safety nets and all, for sports enthusiasts to play ball of various kinds.
Many more things happened in 1985. The first mobile phone call took place...Mad Max went beyond Thunderdome...and a growing company called Microsoft released the first version of Windows...eventually leading to two of the company’s key players to commission megayachts many years later.
So you see, no matter what’s happened in politics or pop culture, for us, it keeps coming down to the same thing: the yachts. You could say that we’re a wee bit obsessed. But then again, so are you. Some of you still have nearly every issue—and some of you every issue—of the PMY 100 printed during the past 27 years. Some of you have written and called us to say you saw a particular yacht from the list, while others have called to complain when their yacht no longer appeared on the list. It’s because of you that the PMY 100 has remained the longest-running chronicle of the world’s largest yachts. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been fun.
So settle into your favorite deck chair and enjoy this year’s list. You’ll surely be delighted that we’ve brought back the elements you’ve always liked most about our list: facts, figures, and occasional amusing comments about every one of these yachts. It’s one thing to list the yachts in size order, but it’s quite another to learn about their owners, their travels, and their noteworthy features.
Here’s the 27th edition of the PMY 100. Let the guessing games for the 28th annual edition begin.
This article originally appeared in the August 2012 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.