Photographer: Jeff Brown

Peek Inside Today's Most Astounding Superyachts

The Superyacht Book, out this month, offers an all-access look at today's most stunning boats—and it's also a window into what luxury means now.

Before editing The Superyacht Book, Tony Harris spent a decade as publisher and chief executive officer of Boat International magazine—which is to say that he’s no stranger to the world of luxury yachts. But researching and assembling the tome, published this month by TeNeues, was as much a study on nautical design as it was a reflection on the evolution of luxury. “A few major developments have happened over the last 10 years,” Harris told Bloomberg in an interview. “Primarily the boats are getting bigger. Much bigger.” They’re also getting greener, he said—lightweight materials such as composites and glass make for sleeker designs and more efficient fuel consumption, so yacht-goers get the double-win of feeling sustainable and spending longer amounts of time sailing between refuels. Harris says yachts are the perfect reflection of societal trends at large. “They’re no longer just a five-star hotel on the water—they’re more an activity center,” he said, referring to the helipads, movie theaters, submarines, and beach clubs now built into the world’s most spectacular boats. Here’s a look inside his most rarefied finds.

  1. The Prime Seats on ‘11.11’
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    The Prime Seats on ‘11.11’

    “The experience of spending time on a motor yacht has changed significantly,” said Harris. “Ten or 15 years ago, you were looking at the water from over a railing on the deck, as you might do on a cruise ship. Now, yachts have beach clubs right at water level and folding balconies on a lot of the cabins so you can take breakfast with the water right below you—you’re truly part of the surroundings.”

    Source: Benetti

  2. ‘Elfje,’ Royal Huisman's Sailing Yacht
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    ‘Elfje,’ Royal Huisman's Sailing Yacht

    “People want unique experiences when they travel, and that is reflected in the number of explorer yachts being built,” said Harris. “Ice breakers are at the most extreme end of that, but more commonly you see boats that are able to spend a long time away from land without having to refuel or reprovision.”

    Photographer: Cory Silken

  3. The Rare, Fully Certified Helipad on ‘Stella Maris’
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    The Rare, Fully Certified Helipad on ‘Stella Maris’

    “Boats have been with us for thousands of years, and while hull shapes continue to evolve, they still don’t look that different from something that the Egyptians could have rowed around 2,000 years ago,” said Harris. “Some of the fundamentals are very slow-moving.” However, technology is ever-changing. Here’s a look at one of the only yacht helipads that's certified to take flights day and night—it's cleverly built into the owner's "villa on the sea" design aesthetic.

    Source: VSY

  4. ‘Atlante’s Glass-Sided, Top Deck Forward Pool
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    ‘Atlante’s Glass-Sided, Top Deck Forward Pool

    "The higher up you are on a yacht, the more valuable the real estate," said Harris. "These days there are plenty of boats out there where the gym is right up on the top deck," he added. Not the Atlante, whose owner had "no intention of working onboard."

    Photographer: Maurizio Paradisi

  5. The ‘Galactica Super Nova’ From Above
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    The ‘Galactica Super Nova’ From Above

    “I think that whole design aspect of yachts—in terms of flexibility of what you can use them for and what you can do with them­—will continue to develop,” said Harris about his forward-looking predictions for the industry. These days, “you’ve got boats that can take helicopters, submarines, fishing tenders … and that trend will continue to develop.” As for this yacht's standout feature? A waterfall pool—and maybe the outdoor cinema.

    Photographer: Guillame Plisson

  6. A Ship Built for Sailing
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    A Ship Built for Sailing

    As a lifelong sailor, Harris’s favorite ship in the book is the 170-foot Royal Huisman Elfje—it was designed to look timeless and sail from the tropics to the Arctic and beyond. “She’s got a fantastic pedigree from both builder and designer, and she’d be perfect for a round-the-world cruise and at some speed, too,” he said.

    Source: Royal Huisman

  7. A Sundeck You Can Endlessly Reconfigure on ‘Invictus’
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    A Sundeck You Can Endlessly Reconfigure on ‘Invictus’

    "A yacht is a very public statement of how successful you are and what you’ve achieved in life—to commission a yacht like this, you need to have a certain amount of liquid assets to fund not only the build but the running costs. It tends to be a pretty exclusive club. But one of the greatest luxuries that yachting of these sorts provides those people is privacy. It’s a very public display of wealth, but it affords the owner a huge amount of privacy that they can’t get through renting villas or resorts."

    Photographer: Jeff Brown

  8. ‘Talisman C’
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    ‘Talisman C’

    “The process of designing and building these yachts is in itself one of the huge attractions of owning the yacht,” Harris explained. He said it can take three to four years to design such a ship from start to finish—with the design phase spanning up to 18 months. Almost everything is custom-built. “And I’ve seen quite a lot of owners that get the boat and love the boat—but then they want to start scratching the itch again a year later,” he said. This boat is a prime example: It was built for a repeat owner looking for "bigger and better."

    Source: Turquoise Yachts

  9. ‘Seahawk,’ One of the World's Fastest and Most Efficient Boats
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    ‘Seahawk,’ One of the World's Fastest and Most Efficient Boats

    "There’s always a better boat to be built," said Harris. This sailing ship is a great example: It was built around two aluminum masts and lightweight carbon-fiber booms and rigging that represent state-of-the-art construction. The goal? Speed and efficiency. But its boatbuilders at Perini Navi are almost certainly looking to outdo themselves yet again. "Even the very experienced yachtsman—and I know owners who have built 20 or 25 of these—they're always looking for ways to build a better yacht."

    Source: Perini Navi

  10. One of Seven Cabins on ‘Silver Fast’
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    One of Seven Cabins on ‘Silver Fast’

    Yacht owners are famously secretive about their identities. But Harris says the book represents “successful fashion entrepreneurs who are reasonably well-known, certainly some tech billionaires, and a number of Russian entrepreneurs.” He says most are male—but not all. And the youngest, he estimates, is in their late 30s. 

    Photographer: Guillaume Plisson

  11. ‘The Superyacht Book’
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    ‘The Superyacht Book’

    The Superyacht Book is available for purchase here, for $75.

    © The Superyacht Book edited by Tony Harris, published by TeNeues