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  1. Wealth
May 23, 2018

Superyacht awards highlight new stars of the waves

By Spear's

From on-board hospitals to at least one Turkish bath, superyachts have more features, style and adventure than ever before, writes Arun Kakar

On-board beach clubs, helipads and even hospital facilities — these are just some of the features on the world’s greatest superyachts in 2018, named in Boat International Media’s annual awards.

Hailed for its ‘new standards in design and construction,’ the £148 million, 100 metre-long Faith took home the coveted prize for best motorboat, leading a who’s who of the industry’s finest covering 17 categories.

Boasting a nine-metre swimming pool on its main deck, a three metre high skylight dome in its master bedroom and even a wood burning pizza oven, the Redmond Wiley Dixon-designed, Feadship-built Faith, renovated last year, offers accommodation for 18 passengers and 32 crew. Its present owner is Canadian investor Lawrence Stroll, who is probably better known for his collection of vintage Ferraris as he is for his ventures afloat.

In the displacement motoryacht categories, Seven Sins – new to the market last year – steamed home: the five-deck, steel 52-metre boat features a swimming pool with a transparent floor to allow natural light to filter into its on-board beach club below. In addition there are two folding terraces on either side of the yacht along with a float-in tender garage. For those looking to stay fit on the high seas, there is a gym including a hammam steam room and shower.

The sail-powered categories lauded the 53.9-metre Pink Gin: the largest carbon fibre sloop in the world, it also includes two opening balconies on its topsides. Its force feedback steering’ power-assisted system gives its helmsman a control and precision that defies its size while it’s lifting keel reduces its seven-metre draft to just 4.5 metres. A segment of the market that often stands accused of forgoing luxury for engineering, Pink Gin’s master stateroom comprises an open plan suite and fold out private balcony, with interiors designed by British firm Design Unlimited.

Innovations in the industry were celebrated in the support vessel category, where the aptly named Game Changer took home top prize. The distinctive 69-metre vessel can carry an 10.5-metre tender, a U-Boat Worx submersible and helicopter (with integrated hangar) with an additional 250 square metres of open deck space for storage and looks more like a science vessel than a conventional luxury yacht. It can also accommodate 22 crew, and was hailed for its ability meet modern demands. ‘Modern yacht usage is more adventurous than in the past, with many vessels roaming the entire globe from ice cap to ice cap,’ said the judges.

With 429 sales of superyachts in 2017, it was the biggest year for yacht brokers since the financial crisis. Middle Eastern and Russian owners accounted for the top ten largest vessels in the world, with the 180-metre Azzam the current ruler of the seas owned by Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan , the president of the UAE.

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Little is known about it but it is likely to share the decadent sensibilities of the yacht whose size it overtook — Roman Abramovich’s Eclipse. The Chelsea owners’ mega yacht features an armour-plated master suite, two swimming pools, two helipads, a mini-submarine, a cinema and even its own missile defence system.

Arun Kakar writes for Spear’s

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