Super Yachts

Post by: TheYachtMarket News
27 June 2008

Super Yacht

A super yacht is the ultimate holiday accessory! Exclusive and expensive, super yachts are an extravagant pleasure. Buying or chartering a super yacht is the beginning of an amazing adventure, and with the right advice, it can be plain sailing all the way.

What is a super yacht?

The term super yacht refers to a luxury yacht which is professionally crewed. A super yacht may be a sailing or motor yacht. Over the last decade there has been an increase in the number of private luxury yachts, particularly in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

Charter

With the high demand of super yachts has come the increase in custom boat building companies and yacht charter brokers. Some yachts are used exclusively by private owners while others operate as a charter business. A large number are also privately owned and available for part-time charter. Weekly charter of luxury yachts around the world ranges depending on the size of the yacht and the country you sail in, and expenses such as food, fuel and berthage are charged as extra.

Design

The number of super yachts has increased rapidly since the 1990s, and nowadays only yachts above 65 metres stand out among other luxury yachts. Super yachts of this size are usually built to individual customer's requirements and taste, and can cost more than their owner's home on land. A yacht of this standard usually has 4 decks above the water line and one or two below. It may have a helicopter landing pad and aside from numerous cabins it is also likely to have a Jacuzzi, treatment room, cinema, plunge pool, bar…the list is endless.

Luxury

All these features have become standard and even considered outdated in the world of super yacht builders and their billionaire clients. Onboard the most extravagant yachts you'll expect to see medical suites, discos and basketball courts.

Buying a super yacht

The best place to start is with a broker. It's possible to buy a super yacht without any legal formalities but this is a dangerous way to deal with such an expensive investment. The super yacht must be surveyed and a sea trial undertaken.

Value added tax

If the super yacht is to be kept in the European Union, VAT may have to be paid, depending on the value of the boat and the country it's in. Once VAT has been paid in one EU country, this should be enough for all other tax authorities. So it's possible to bring the super yacht into the EU through the country with the lowest rate.

Registration

All super yachts must be registered with a particular country and display it's maritime flag, also known as the ensign. Most super yachts fly the 'red ensign', which means registering the vessel in the UK or one of a small group of Commonwealth countries. The reason for this is that the red ensign safety standards are very high, adding to the super yacht's value and prestige.

Mooring a super yacht

Mooring a super yacht, especially in the more prestigious ports and harbours such as in the Mediterranean, is costly. It is advisable to purchase moorings, but it is vital to get expert advice to check exactly what you are buying, what charges may still be levied by the marina managers and what the tax implications are.

Despite a looming recession, the rich are getting richer and super yachts are getting bigger. For those of us with a passion for the world of yachting, we will continue to be excited and overwhelmed by the ever bigger and better super yachts sailing onto our waters.