Mega yacht, mega luxury, mega price

Luxury often doesn’t come cheap,
and that is doubly so for the top end of the mega-yacht industry.

One such craft is the Cayman
Islands-registered vessel Martha Ann, which, like the Apoise, was built by
Lurssen Yachts, master shipbuilders for the luxury market. Martha Ann is a
230-foot vessel which was launched in 2008 and sleeps 12 guests in seven
cabins, plus a full 20-man crew.

The boat is joint 92nd-biggest in
the world and was designed by Espen Oeino with interiors by Francois Zuretti,
also can point to a very large, 1,400 square foot master suite which, like the
rest of the vessel is designed in a classical style.


Swimming deck

The grandiose super-yacht also has
a swimming deck and a lap pool, a cinema and a gym along with a baby grand
piano, seven wet bars, a barbecue setup, and a circular glass elevator onboard.
Water toys also are plentiful and include kayaks, waverunners, skis for adults
and children, a wakeboard, and fishing equipment.

Earlier this year, the Apoise, a
220-foot vessel, sold for nearly $40 million. It says much about the amounts
involved in that industry that it was considered to be a bargain. But you don’t
need tens of millions of dollars to experience these watercraft; you can
charter the Martha Ann for a mere US$782,585.

On the International Yacht
Collection charter list, Martha Ann is by far the most expensive. Second at the
moment is the 197-foot Linda Lou, available for a bargain $495,000 per week,
explained Captain Richard Thiel, editor-in-chief of Power & Motoryacht

“It all comes down to amenities —
things like the chef and how many crew per person. Keep in mind that this
figure does not include fuel and tips, the latter which can run between five
and ten percent.

“At the risk of stating the very
obvious, the people who own and charter these vessels are truly the super-rich.
Even taking into account that some of these charters are corporate, not
individual, you can see that the level of wealth is truly something the average
person simply cannot comprehend,” added the world-renowned yachting expert.

He added that it would be unusual
for a mega-ship to be present in Caribbean waters during hurricane season, but
noted that crews carefully monitor the weather.

‘If need be, these yachts can
usually outrun all but the biggest storms. And they’re built like ships, so
they can even ride out a hurricane if they have to.


Berthing project

Mr Thiel, who holds a US Coastguard
OUPV captain’s license, observed that the industry is well aware of the
possibility of a mega-yacht berth in Grand Cayman connected with the projected
port redevelopment.

“As you can imagine, yachts of this
size have a major problem finding a place to park, and so adequate berthing can
be a big factor in determining where they go. A facility like that is bound to
make your country much more popular with mega yachts.

“A number of yacht owners, most
notably Larry Ellison of Oracle, have actually downsized because they can’t get
their yachts into anywhere but the commercial ship basin.”


Mega yachts are the silent world travellers.
Photo: File

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