Size matters at Monaco yacht show

2012-09-23 19:21
(Supplied)

(Supplied)

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Monaco - The trend for ever larger floating palaces has been on full display at the Monaco yacht show as the world's biggest yacht, codenamed Project Azzam, nears completion under a veil of secrecy in Germany.

Considered the most prestigious event of its kind in the world, this year's show included a record six mega yachts, notching up an average length of 80.11m.

These giants of the seas are around twice the size of the average super yacht, already around 45m in length.

The editor of Superyacht Intelligence at the Superyacht Group of publications, Ellie Brade, said: "Yachts are certainly increasing in length."

To date, there have been 88 yachts of 80m and over delivered worldwide, and there are 19 currently under build.

Brade said there were no indications the trend was going to slow down.

The most hotly awaited new build, Project Azzam, is set to become the world's largest mega yacht, and oust Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich's 162m Eclipse from the top of the super yacht league table.

Slated for delivery in 2013, the new yacht will be 180m, longer than some cruise ships.

It is under construction at Germany's Lurssen yard, although the name of its owner is kept under wraps.

Ports

Size in the yachting world counts for a lot, industry experts confirmed at the four-day annual show.

One-upmanship aside, the appeal of a mega yacht is the onboard volume they offer.

"You might want to put in a cinema or a gym, so the more length you have, the more options and the more room you have," said Brade.

The brief from the sports-mad owner of the 78.50m motor yacht Hampshire II, on show in Monaco was simple: To have fun on board.

So the yacht's helipad can be converted into a platform for baseball, tennis or soccer, with a giant net that can be placed around the deck to keep the balls in play.

A 3D cinema graces the brand new 88.5m Nirvana that made its world debut here, along with two on-board vivariums home to a chameleon, water dragons, bearded lizards and turtles.

The boom has happened in spite of practical limitations, since the largest yachts are too big to berth at many of the world's most beautiful ports and islands.

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