As we slowly move further from the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, it becomes clearer what successes, if any, we will take away from this year’s show. The quantity on the docks was certainly there, as it is every year. But this year there was good quality prospects walking the docks. 

My experience, and obviously opinions, will vary as certain parts of the show are busier than others. Last year most of our clients at the show had boats, but were unable to or were not interested in trading up to another vessel. This year proved much different.  Boat owners were eager to move into another model and are more in a financial position to do so. They “owed” less on their current boat or have sold their boat and are ready for their next vessel. Last year most people could not get out of their current vessel for what they owed to the bank and wouldn’t dream of moving up. I am confident we will see some units move between now and the Miami Show in mid-February. We had a very solid clientele through our Marquis Yachts display over the course of the five days. We had people interested in our inventory at the show, our brokerage boats and we had a handful of people that are interested in building boats as well. Again, over the next few months, it is this writer’s opinion that we will see a handful of boat transactions. 

If you are a resident of Ft. Lauderdale or have crossed over the 17th Street Bridge lately, you have noticed some of the “super yachts” that are currently occupying our local docks. That has inspired me to talk about some of the largest yachts in the world. Currently the largest yacht in use in the world is “Dubai” at 531’. She was built by Blohm and Voss and Lurssen and was built for the ruler of Dubai.  With a rumored estimated cost to build around $600,000,000, some of her amenities include three elevators, accommodations for over 115 guests and the capacity to carry and refuel a 9.5 ton helicopter. She took close to just under a decade to finish but was finally completed at the United Arab Emirates yard. 

Another notable super yacht is the 452’ yacht, “Rising Sun.” She is owned by the founder and CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison. She is the third largest yacht in the world and includes a large swimming pool, extensive wine cellar, a cinema, a basketball court that doubles as a helicopter pad and four massive diesel engines that produce over 48,000 horsepower giving her a cruise in excess 28 knots. Yearly costs for this magnificent vessel rumor to be over 13 million dollars. When he is not spending time on his boat, Larry Ellison also owns the American Cup Sailing team, BMW Oracle. A true yachtsman. 

One of the founders of Microsoft is Paul Allen. His boat occupies the 4th spot in overall length in the world.  At 414’ and with her high bow and expedition style hull, she is hard to miss. She has all the regular water toys including a submarine stored in the transom of the boat. In addition to the submarine, she has two TWO helicopter decks, one on the stern, and one on the bow. Just one helicopter deck would not cut it.  The yacht is believed to be valued well over 200 million and comes with her own small Navy Seal team. 

And finally, Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire, will soon be launching his new toy, “Eclipse.” When finished she will be 557’ long. Abramovich’s new vessel is to be delivered late in 2010 in Germany and will join the rest of his fleet. None of his ships – “Pelorus” (377’), “Ecstasea” (282’), and “Sussurro” (161’) are insubstantial but the “Eclipse” will certainly dwarf them all. Little is known about “Eclipse” but she is rumored to have her own missile detection system, two helipads, luxury spa and swimming pool as well as her own submarine. Can you imagine the combined fuel bill on all four yachts?

If you ever have any questions or comments, feel free to call or email me anytime. Grant@yachtblue.net 786.390.2782.  Have fun! And happy and safe boating!! Keep it between the channel markers!