Billionaire boats: Sailing on super-deluxe superyachts

The 279-foot Solandge is the latest launch by German superyacht maker Lurssen

(Credit: Lurssen)

I’m a devotee of the Yacht Rock school of sailing, which means smooth music from the late 1970s with plenty of cocktails. Worrying about winds, sandbars, and fuel supplies is someone else’s job.

I’m nearly useless as a crew member, but at least I can provide some ballast. That’s why I’m hoping to sail the seas aboard a superyacht one day.

These ultra-luxurious vessels are enormous and enormously expensive. They’re private mini cruise ships with the amenities of five-star hotels, and although the market for these floating gin palaces took a serious beating with the 2008 financial crisis, there are signs it’s cruising back to life.

For instance, this year saw the launch of the no-holds-barred Azzam, the world’s longest privately owned vessel. At 590 feet, it’s two football fields long, outranking the 536-foot Eclipse owned by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich. Azzam cost an insane $609 million, and its owner is said to be a member of the Saudi royal family.

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