Delivered in 2017, the futuristic look of sailing yacht A includes smooth, silver-metallic surfaces and windows that look nearly invisible, three composite masts that bend slightly, and a deck hidden by high bulwarks. The Philippe Starck-design is a wild fantasy yacht of the future. The 468-foot sailing yacht is a technical victory for German yard Nobiskrug, which developed composite fashion plates to create the unusual shapes, without any compromises in strength or fluidity. It has the tallest freestanding composite masts on any sailing vessel, a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system and state-of-the-art navigation systems. The boat also reportedly has an underwater viewing platform in the keel. “Sailing yacht A is undoubtedly one of the most visionary projects Nobiskrug has ever been involved in,” said Holger Kahl, the firm’s then managing director. Starck’s interior remains a secret. The yard reports the yacht has a top speed of 21 knots.
9. ‘El Mahrousa’ (478 feet, 1 inch), Samuda Brothers
El Mahrousa, which means “the protected” in Arabic, is currently Egypt’s presidential yacht, though the 478.1-footer has a separate history as that country’s royal yacht. The London-based Samuda Brothers began the build in 1863, and it was launched in 1865. It was originally built for the Ottoman governor of Egypt, Khedive Ismail, and later carried three Egyptian kings into exile. The yacht was also at the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. The world’s oldest superyacht features external design by the British naval architect Sir Oliver Lang, and has had multiple modifications over the years, including a lengthening by 40 feet in 1872 and another 17 feet in 1905. During the second refit, the owners replaced its paddle-wheel engines with turbine-driven propellers. The yacht, in care of the Egyptian Navy, occasionally goes to sea for a day or two. In 2015, it was used to inaugurate the new Suez Canal.
8. ‘Prince Abdulaziz’ (482 feet, 3 inches), Helsingør Værft
7. ‘A+’ (483 feet, 1 inch), Lürssen
Very little is known about A+ (formerly Topaz), which was launched by Lürssen in 2012, other than it is the fourth-largest yacht ever built by the German shipyard. Tim Heywood Designs did the exterior, which features helipads on the foredeck and amidships on an upper deck. A lower aft deck includes a swimming pool. The German yard has not released any images of the Terence Disdale interior. Reported to be owned by Manchester City Football Club owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahnan – Emirati royalty and deputy prime minister of the UAE – A+ has a top speed of 22 knots, and can carry 62 guests and up to 79 crew.
6. ‘Al Saïd’ (508 feet, 5 inches), Lürssen
Another 500-plus-foot yacht from Lürssen, the original Project Sunflower gained its official name of Al Saïd following its launch in 2016. Espen Øino’s exterior is akin to a classic cruise liner, complete with the twin exhaust stacks in the center of the superstructure. Owned by the Sultan of Oman, six-decked Al Saïd can carry 154 crew and, according to some sources, 70 guests. Lürssen says Al Saïd has a top speed of 22 knots. The London-based Redman Whiteley Dixon studio designed the interior, which includes a concert hall that can hold a 50-piece orchestra.
5. ‘Dilbar’ (511 feet, 8 inches), Lürssen
4. ‘Dubai’ (531 feet, 5 inches), Platinum Yachts
This Andrew Winch design was originally commissioned for Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei as a joint project between Blohm+Voss and Lürssen, before it was halted in 1998 with just a bare hull and skeletal superstructure. The hull was sold to the government of Dubai, and, under the direction of the country’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, work on the 531.5-footer began again, though this time by Platinum Yachts. Dubai delivered in 2006 and is now the sheikh’s royal yacht, with accommodations for 24 guests and quarters for 88 crew. The seven-decked yacht has an impressive 70-foot-wide atrium, landing pad for a Black Hawk helicopter, submarine garage, disco, and cinema. Full certification was obtained from Lloyd’s Register in October 2006, and it can reach a top speed of 26 knots.
3. ‘Eclipse’ (533 feet, 1 inch), Blohm+Voss
Stately Eclipse, the 533.1-foot yacht delivered to billionaire Roman Abramovich, took five years to design and build. When it left the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg in 2010, it was the world’s largest yacht. The interior has 17 staterooms and a palatial master suite, with the capacity to carry 85 crew. Both the interior and exterior are designed by Terence Disdale. A proportional profile is defined by tiered decks that sweep upward and bend ever so slightly at the aft ends. Eclipse has a 185-foot-long owner’s deck and, at the time of its launch, the largest swimming pool on any superyacht (the bottom raises and converts to a dance floor). Other features reflecting its stature: the capacity to hold three helicopters, including one in its belowdecks hangar, a sophisticated stabilization system, six tenders, and an enormous spa, gym, and beach club. Hybrid diesel-electric engines are connected to Azipod drives that give Eclipse a top-end speed of 21 knots, with a range of 6,000 nautical miles.
2. ‘Fulk Al Salamah’ (538 feet, 1 inch), Mariotti Yachts
Little information has ever been released about the world’s second longest superyacht, custom-built Fulk Al Salamah, and it has been shrouded in mystery since first announced in 2014. Even the overall length of 538.1 feet has been estimated from AIS data. However, built and delivered by Italian builder Mariotti Yachts in their Genoa shipyard in 2016, the imposing vessel is believed to be owned by the Omani royal family. Exterior design is by Studio de Jorio, and it is considered by some to resemble more of a support vessel than a superyacht. Nonetheless, aerial photography shows an impressively large helideck, raked masts and a bathing platform.
1: ‘Azzam’ (592 feet, 6 inches), Lürssen
It’s not surprising that the world’s longest yacht hails from a shipyard with 13 out of the 25 top builds in the superyacht arena. Unfortunately, Lürssen could never really boast about Azzam after its launch in 2013 because of the owner’s penchant for privacy. Mubarak Saad al Ahbabi directed a team of designers and engineers who started with the bare concept, worked through the technical challenges of what might be the most complex superyacht ever, and finished with an unusually large vessel that can top the 30-knot mark. Nauta Yacht’s exterior features a long, sleek forward area, with well-proportioned tiers moving up to the skydeck. Lürssen describes the interior by Christophe Leoni as “sophisticated, with luxurious decor inspired by the Empire style of the early 19th century”. Its gas turbines connected to water jets push Azzam to more than 30 knots, giving it the ability to operate at high speed in shallow waters. She also boasts an impressive build time for a yacht of her size, with construction taking only three years after one year of engineering.