The World’s 100 Largest Yachts 2003 Page 2

The World’s 100 Largest Yachts - 2003

By Diane M. Byrne


Octopus (#1)
Photo: Frank Behling
 More of this Feature

• Top 100: Part 1
• 1-9
• 10-19
• 20-29
• 30-39
• 40-49
• 50-59
• 60-69
• 70-79
• 80-89
• 90-100
• Yacht Spotter

 Related Resources
• Megayacht Feature Index

1. OCTOPUS • L: 413'4"; Y: 2003
In a game of inches, every single one counts—and in the case of this yacht, there are 4,960 of them. To put it another way, Octopus beats Savarona (see no. 2) for the top spot on our list by a mere 64 inches. It could actually be more, as we’ve heard Octopus’ LOA could be 120 meters (the length given above) or even 127 meters (416'7"). Regardless, there’s nothing like laying claim to owning the largest private vessel in the world. Congratulations, Paul Allen, you’ve done what no other private individual has done in the 18 years that we’ve been compiling this list. The Microsoft cofounder (and owner of the Portland Trailblazers and investor in about, oh, a billion other things) sure knows how to play the game known as yacht ownership—a.k.a. one-upmanship. Not only did he topple Savarona from her perch, but he’s also become the first private individual to simultaneously own three yachts measuring 60 meters (about 197 feet) and up. So besides her sheer size, what makes Octopus so special? While the firms involved in her construction and design are keeping mum due to Allen’s wishes, some people associated with the project have revealed that there’s both a cinema and a music studio onboard, just like one of Allen’s other yachts, Méduse (see no. 65). We’ve also learned that the interior was designed by Seattle-based Jonathan Quinn Barnett. Despite her astonishing size, she only has about a year to retain her number-one title, as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is widely rumored to be taking delivery of a new cruiser that exceeds her length.
B: Lürssen, Germany; N: Espen Øino Naval Architects; H: Steel; E: MTUs (hp unknown)

2. SAVARONA • L: 408'0"; Y: 1931/1992
Savarona is notable for reasons beyond her amazing length and 56-foot beam. She’s the first yacht built by the famed Blohm & Voss shipyard, for instance, and was commissioned by a woman, Emily Roebling Cadwalader, an American. A secret passage connected Cadwalader’s stateroom to a crew stateroom. (Oops, so much for that being a “secret” anymore.) Cadwalader sold the yacht after a few years to the Turkish government for President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. But Atatürk only spent six weeks onboard, dying in late 1938. The Turkish government kept the yacht through the 1980’s, but Savarona was hardly used. In fact, she was nearly scrapped in 1989, following a devastating fire, but a Turkish national, Kahraman Sadikoglu, rescued her, acquiring a 49-year lease that allowed him to restore the yacht. (Since Savarona isn’t being maintained by taxpayer funds, she qualifies for our list.) Today 34 guests can enjoy charters onboard; previous charterers include supermodel Claudia Schiffer, the late musician George Harrison, and actors Robert DeNiro, Hugh Grant, and Sylvester Stallone.
B: Blohm & Voss, Germany; N: Cox & Stevens; H: Steel; E: 2/3,500-hp Caterpillars

3. ALEXANDER • L: 400'2"; Y: 1976/1986
In April Alexander’s owner, Greek shipping billionaire Yiannis “John” Latsis, died. No word on whether the 92-year-old’s family will sell the yacht—although they can certainly afford her upkeep if they don’t, as son Spyros manages the estimated $12-billion fortune. Latsis had a long love affair with the water, having attended naval school and subsequently working his way up from deckhand to captain between the two world wars. He acquired Alexander in 1985; she was a cruise ship, and he had her converted into the then-fourth-largest private yacht in the world, complete with a ballroom and speedboats as tenders. (Interestingly, the following year, when he took delivery, Latsis hired another cruise ship to go to the Greek city of Kalamata to serve as shelter for nearly 1,000 people left homeless after an earthquake.) Latsis often entertained the world’s elite onboard, including the former king of Greece, Constantine, as well as England’s Prince Charles (with the late Princess Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles—separately, of course). As generous as Latsis was with his yacht, he was also generous with his fortune, having made several donations to charities favored by Prince Charles and giving a significant contribution to Athens’ bid for the 2004 Olympics.
B: Luebecker Flender-Werke, Germany; N: Builder; H: Steel; E: 2/8,050-hp MANs

4. ATLANTIS II • L: 379'7"; Y: 1981
Open letter to the Niarchos family: Why, oh why, do you leave Atlantis II nearly permanently docked in Monaco’s harbor? In case you haven’t noticed, the only people who blink twice at the sight of her are the tourists who’ve never been in Port Hercule before—everyone else practically forgets that the yacht is even there, except for those rare times that the crew has to move her to make room for other vessels. (And that in itself, we hear, is a real sight, as Atlantis II has to motor out backwards, due to the combination of her size and the limited turning space within the port.) C’mon, folks, whatever happened to that spirit of one-upmanship that your late patriarch Stavros embodied so well—the same one that pervades the upper echelon of the yachting world? Remember how he just had to have a retractable swimming pool installed on deck because his rival, Aristotle Onassis, had one aboard Christina (now Christina O, see no. 8)? And how he had the yacht equipped with one of the only two ITT satellite navigation systems in existence at the time of her launch? (The other was aboard the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth.) Please, all we ask is that by this time next year you give us something to write about.
B: Hellenic Shipyards, Greece; N: Maierform GmbH; H: Steel; E: 2/4,800-hp S.E.M.T. Pielsticks

5. PELORUS • L: 377'3"; Y: 2003
How’s this for a debut? Pelorus’ appellation is the name of an instrument for taking bearings and also a premium-quality sparkling wine from New Zealand; thus far there’s no word on which was the owner’s inspiration for his yacht name, since Lürssen is under strict confidentiality agreements that prevent it from confirming or denying much information. Well, regardless of confidentiality agreements, someone associated with the project is definitely talking: We’ve learned that the owner is the same Saudi who owns Coral Island (see no. 30). His choice of Tim Heywood for the exterior style makes a lot of sense when you consider Heywood was a student of the late Jon Bannenberg, who in turn was the creative genius behind...Coral Island. Heywood has graced Pelorus with an astounding 56-foot beam, oversize windows, a helipad on the foredeck, and well-defined curves, particularly forward and at her sloping transom—all of which are highlighted by a vanilla-hued paint job.
B: Lürssen, Germany; N: Tim Heywood; H: Steel; E: 2/3,600-hp Wartsillas

6. LE GRAND BLEU • L: 354'3"; Y: 2000
So the burning question is, did Paul Allen actually ever buy Le Grand Bleu? John McCaw, owner of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, was widely reported to have sold the big blue expedition yacht to the Microsoft cofounder last summer. But there are some who doubt any money actually changed hands and instead believe that Allen unofficially took over her maintenance until a new owner could be found. Either way, the yacht is presently in the hands of a Russian who is said to be close to President Putin. He took her to yards in both Germany and Malta for some refit work, which reportedly included the addition of eight feet to her transom, but as of this writing none of our spies have seen the yacht close up enough to confirm it. Therefore the LOA listed above is the one she had at launch.
B: Vulkan, Germany; N: Kusch Yachtagentur; H: Steel; E: 2/4,570-hp Deutz-MWMs

7. LADY MOURA • L: 344'0"; Y: 1991
Some people have their megayachts tote a variety of tenders, like “little” cruising boats (the sizes of which are primary boats for the rest of us). But Nasser al-Rashid, the Saudi multimillionaire who’s close to King Fahd, apparently decided that Lady Moura should have an even more compelling tender: a Cigarette in the 40-foot range. This “toy” is stowed in a huge tender bay aft, just above the waterline, and can launch directly into the water. It’s a practical solution in more ways than one: The yacht’s uppermost deck, where you might normally expect tenders to be stowed, is a dizzying five levels high. According to some yacht-watchers, Lady Moura was the most expensive yacht in the world when she was launched just over a decade ago, although the reported $100-million price tag has been refuted by insiders.
B: Blohm & Voss, Germany; N: Luigi Sturchio/Diana Yacht Design; H: Steel; E: 2/6,868-hp Deutz-MWMs

8. CHRISTINA O • L: 325'0"; Y: 1943/2001
Fifty-million dollars brought the yacht made famous by Aristotle Onassis back to glory over a two-year period. (The Greek government had owned the yacht for many years, having received her as a gift from Onassis’ family after his death, but was unable to keep up with the millions in maintenance costs.) Now she’s a charterer’s paradise, with a 1,500-square-foot sunbathing area on the upper deck, a bar (also on the upper deck, naturally) dedicated to champagne, and an abundance of verandas and lounges to enjoy. Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger spent last summer aboard, along with England’s Prince Andrew and his ex, Sarah Ferguson, and we hear rocker Bruce Springsteen has even taken a look around. Imagine the stories that would be told if the walls of the Lapis Lounge and Ari’s Bar could talk—the Lapis Lounge, featuring a fully restored lapis lazuli fireplace, was a favorite spot of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Onassis’ time, and Ari’s Bar was where Onassis reveled in seeing guests’ reactions to finding out they were sitting on barstools covered in whale foreskin. Want to know more? Call your favorite charter broker or visit
B: Canadian Vickers/Howaldtswerke, Canada; N: Prof. Pinnau (original conversion); H: Steel; E: 2/2,775-hp MANs

9. CARINTHIA VII • L: 321'5"; Y: 2002
If you go back to “The World’s 100 Largest Yachts” edition from last year, you’ll find a same-size yacht named Fabergé that made her debut—that was the project name given to this blue-hulled stunner due to a confidentiality agreement. Heidi Horten, a German retail heiress, commissioned her from Lürssen for strictly private use, no chartering. She’s the big sister to the 30-year-old Carinthia VI (see no. 32), which thus far Horten seemingly has no plans to sell. If you’ve ever wondered if one megayacht could make another one look downright small, then keep your fingers crossed that one day you’ll see the two Carinthias side by side—those who already have can attest to how this one practically dwarfs her little sister. And frankly, this one is a heckuva lot prettier, with Tim Heywood’s deft design work ensuring she’ll stand out for a long time to come. Something else we’ve seen that makes the two yachts stand out: matching Bentleys parked along the quay just a stone’s throw from their transoms.
B: Lürssen, Germany; N: Tim Heywood; H: Steel; E: 4/9,925-hp MTUs

Next page > 10-19 > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

This article originally appeared in the July 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

Vetus Maxwell Tip of the Week

Hot Today

Featured Brands

Costa Palmos logo MCY logo
HMY Yacht Sales logo Volvo Penta logo
Absolute logo Sunseeker

Boat-Name Generator

cube puzzel Thinking of a unique name for your new boat can be tough, that's why we created a Boat Name Generator.
Try it here. ▶

Select Brokerage