“I have more money than you, and a much smaller penis.”
~The owners of the world’s most expensive yachts
It takes a certain kind of person to own a boat. Unless you’re a mountain man with a hand-fashioned canoe, boat ownership tends to require a specific combination of “disposable income”, “access to a large water mass”, and “possessing a desire to spend your time bobbing on said water mass.” That said, among those who meet these criteria, there are still a myriad of reasons that we buy boats. Some like to go fishing, or just appreciate the calmness of the sea. Still others like adventure, and use their boats to compete in thousand-league-long races, or travel the globe. Every one of these individuals feels a deep seated passion for the sea (or their nearest lake) and a sense of oneness with these bodies of water that harkens the very spirit of those who sailed across the endless ocean to find America in the first place. It’s an admirable hobby (or obsession, depending on the level of commitment).
And then, of course, there are the douchebags that buy floating mansions to flaunt their wealth. These people like to spend a few million dollars to buy a boat that they can anchor within view of the nearest beach while surrounded with bikini-clad women who are 30 years younger than them. It’s not exactly the best subset of American culture, but…well, yeah, on the scale of “positive examples of American culture” it’s right between “people who cook meth in 20-ounce plastic soda bottles” and “people who go to fancy restaurants and order a bottle of ‘ka-ber-net sah-vig-none’ unironically.”
Pictured above: could be either group, actually
Thankfully, America tends to stay out of the “trying to prove that you’re totally not impotent by making the largest, most expensive yacht in the nation” race (with one exception) but some people (cough, Saudi princes and Russian billionaires) can’t seem to be satisfied with a measly ten million dollar yacht requiring a permanent crew. So we decided to pool together a semi-definitive list of the most expensive boats to ever grace our oceans (God, we hope they’re at least going on the ocean. A giant multi-million dollar taking up an entire lake seems like the ultimate “fuck you” to poor people). It’s free to look, because you’ll never be able to afford a single one of them.
The World’s Most Expensive Yachts
See that boat up there? The one with a fucking helipad at its front-boat-part (we might not be the best people to write this article as our staffers literally don’t know a single nautical term outside of a handful of buzz words that filtered in while we were watching Speed 2)? That’s the Prince Abdulaziz, and it was the longest and tallest motor yacht in the world when it was made in 1984. And it won’t even make this list because no one seems to know how much it’s worth.
That’s right, there are so many absurdly expensive boats out there that we have to disqualify some boats that literally cost more to make than Iron Man 2. And that’s after we discovered that the story about a $4.5 billion dollar yacht made out of gold and meteor was fake (though it made sense once we finally say it out loud). That also means we can’t include the Streets of Monaco, which is going to cost about $1.1 billion because, despite being a floating replica of a city street, complete with racing track, it hasn’t been made yet. So though some frivolous displays of debauched wealth won’t make this list, we still want you to know that someone out there is going to spend more money on a big-ass boat than Micronesia’s Gross Domestic Product in 2011. While American billionaires like to spend a billion dollars on charity, these assholes are going to make a floating city where they can watch Formula 1 cars go “Vroom” because fuck you.
Seriously, fuck all of these yacht owners. Erm, we mean, below is our completely unbiased look at the ten most expensive yachts in the world.
10. Rising Sun– $200 Million
Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep Americans off this list entirely. Listen, we’re all for blindly spending money just because you’re rich, but there’s something especially douchey about spending twice as much money on a boat than Michael Jordan made in his entire basketball career on a giant boat you’ll use for maybe a few weeks every year. So yeah, you’re not going to exactly see us tripping over ourselves to compliment Oracle Corporation CEO Larry Ellison for buying the 10th largest boat in the world at a reported cost of over $200 million dollars. And you’re definitely not going to see us giving props to David Geffen for deciding that this was something he absolutely had to buy. Granted, it seems that Geffen, who has a net worth of $6 billion and does donate a fair amount to charities and medical research, can afford it without too much difficulty, so we’re going to try to take it easy on him…
Wait what’s that? He owns number seven on our list too? Goddamn it, Geffen, what the fuck are you going to do with two yachts that cost over $200 million!? Stop that, you’re making us look like Russians!
9. Lady Moura- $210 Million
For the rest of this list, the owners of the yachts in question tend to belong to one of two groups. They’re either Russian businessmen who likely did some shady shit during the fall of the Soviet Union to monopolize their own little corner of the economy, or they’re billionaires from Arab states that like to flaunt their wealth. However, Dr. Nasser al Rasheed, the owner of the $210 million Lady Moura, is the one exception to that rule. While many of the following yachts are owned by princes and sultans, al Rasheed is a Saudi Arabian owner of an Engineering company with degrees from the University of Texas and the University of Miami, which means he might very well be one of the few owners on this list to have, you know, earned his fortune somewhat honestly.
This boat has the standard “holy shit keep in mind this is a boat owned by a single person for the hell of it” features like a helipad, a 344-foot length, and a crew of 61, but we’d have to assume that a lot of the cost went into the unnecessarily gaudy detail work, like having the ships name spelled out on three sides of the ship in massive 24 carat gold letters. Of all the boats on this list, this is the only one that has actually gotten into a crash. You’d think $210 million would at least afford a captain who knows the difference between “sea” and “land.” Didn’t we learn anything from the Titanic?
8. Al Mirqab- $250 Million
Pardon us for our ignorance, but is there a viable reason why so many of these fucking things have helipads on them? Apart from making them look like they belong to a villain in a James Bond movie? Because yes, we assume that the billionaires who buy such large fancy toys own helicopters too, but wouldn’t it be a pain in the ass to helicopter onto your boat? You can just…go to where it’s docked, right? Or do these boats stay out in the ocean at all times and are only accessible via helicopter, like some sort of rich person Noah’s ark filled with contracted escorts and mercenary crewmen instead of two of every animal?
Anyway, this is Al Mirqab. It cost about $250 million and is owned by Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, which just rolls off the tongue once you’ve spent five minutes practicing saying it in a mirror. Earlier this year it was in Gibraltar, a fact that we bring up only as an excuse to point out that there are totally websites that track that shit. This boat can accommodate 24 guests and has a crew of 55, which to us seems like it’s just begging for its crew to snap, mutiny, take over the entire yacht, and leave the boat’s guests stranded on some godforsaken island. Not that any of our staff members has applied for a position on the boat with that specific intention. That’d be ridiculous. It’s not like you could clear $100 million with ransom demands alone in such a situation. Nonsense. Let us not speak of this anymore. Moving on.
7. Dilbar- $256 Million
Glad to see the Ruskies have finally come out to play. The Dilbar, owned by Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, cost about $256 million (depending on currency rates). It was launched in 2008, and is 110 meters long, which, converting from Metric to America, means the boat is roughly one football field plus about sixty feet. We’re not sure what it is about this boat in particular that reminds us of an episode of Miami Vice but we have to imagine that at some point all of the coke and women under the age of 25 skinnier than 115 pounds in Russia were on this boat. Which is actually a terrifying thought, since it’s owner looks like this.
“My milkshake brings all the girls to the yacht.”
While some might look at this man and go, “this person owns a boat larger than most houses, more expensive than most luxury hotels, and is worth over 17 billion dollars, I am envious of him and his wealth” most of us know better and say, “Well, if you’re going to look like a squat toad with glasses that are most commonly found on grandmothers who shop at Wal-Mart, you’d better have a giant boat and 17 billion dollars to make up for that fact. And besides, at least I’ve spent roughly eight years less of my life in Russian jail than this guy has.” Because as nice as that boat looks, it doesn’t strike us as “eight years in a Russian prison” nice. But maybe we’re just spoiled like that.
6. Pelorus- $300 Million
As we mentioned before, this particular boat is also owned by the lone American to grace this list, David Geffin, who apparently has spent at least 5% of his total wealth to acquire giant boats that require a year-round crew. This one at least owes its existence to a combination of Saudis trying too hard to impress people, Russians overcompensating for the lack of capitalism before the fall of the Soviet Union, and, well, divorce. Originally commissioned by a Saudi businessman, it was sold after one year to Roman Abramovich, who we’ll talk about later on in this list, who lost it to his ex-wife as part of their divorce settlement. Irina Abromavich proceeded to sell it for $300 million to David Geffen in 2011, who probably forgot that he had just finished his last payment on his other $200 million plus yacht.
The Pelorus boasts two helipads, because if you have only one helicopter to go with your 9-figure boat, you’re a plebeian. There are also two separate swimming pools on the main deck, since it’s not like there’s any water nearby that you can swim in, SARCASM RIGHT GUYS!? (ha ha, but seriously if you ever decided to go swimming in the ocean off the side of a 50 foot tall, 375 foot long super yacht, you’d probably end up doing a very convincing impression of Natalie Wood.) That all being said, the simple fact remains that David Geffen owns two giant boats with a full service staff, and landing spaces for at least three personal helicopters. It might be a bit alarmist to make a claim that he’s starting his own naval force in a plan to take over a small country, but did you know that Costa Rica doesn’t have a standing military and is accessible from the sea?
5. Al Said- $300 Million (or so we can best tell)
We’ll admit that the $300 million price tag is fairly speculative, as we’ve found at least one site declaring that it costs a mysterious “Nobody’s Talking.” However, we’re inclined to go with the realistic-seeming “$200 million to $300 million” estimate, considering that, at 500 feet in length and 78 feet in height, this is the foruth largest yacht in the world, and, oh right, it has its own fucking concert hall large enough to fit a 50 person orchestra. Sultan Qaboos of Oman, who sounds like he’s a member of the Trade Federation of the Star Wars prequels, owns the boat, which houses a crew of 154 while having accommodations for up to 70 “pampered” guests (and considering the price tag of this little vessel, you’d damn well hope the guests would all be pampered).
And for those of you wondering, we’re almost certain that Al Said was not in fact named after the character from Lost. Wait, what’s that? Oh okay so we’ve officially crossed the line into full-fledged cultural insensitivity? Yeah, you probably have a fair point. Sorry about that. We’ll try to back off.
4. A- $323 Million
This particular yacht looks deceptively small, and also sort of submarine-y. It is neither, since the boat is over 390 feet long, 61 feet tall, and probably incredibly sinkable if you tried to submerge the fucker. The sleek, stealthy design, combined with the cryptic name of A makes this boat look less a cruise liner like the other entries on this list, and more like the mobile headquarters of a Saturday morning cartoon supervillain.
Speaking of former enemies, this is a German built yacht owned by a Russian billionaire. It has a surprisingly unsecured-looking helipad at its front (are we the only ones who are looking at that and imagining a helicopter sliding off as soon as this thing’s hit by a moderately big wave?) and two swimming areas, including a giant hot tub taking up the open space in the back of the ship. Since the design minimizes the amount of non-interior space on the yacht, it does seem surprising that this is so much more expensive than the vessels listed above. Of course, the $40,000 bath faucets and $60,000 stair banisters in the interior make us think that a lot of the cost went into making everything inside the damn ship unnecessarily expensive.
For whatever reason (cough, the owners want to brag, cough) a lot of information regarding the costs of this boat are readily available, so we know that it costs $500,000 just to fill the gas tank. We also know that with a 37 person crew with a passenger capacity of 14, it costs roughly $20 million a year just to run this boat. So the next time you have to scrape together the insurance payment to cover your 1996 Buick, just take solace in knowing that these Russian assholes sneeze away $20 million dollars a year on a boat just because they can. Ha ha! Get a job! Or, you know, have the means and timing to take advantage of an economic vacuum in Russia directly after the fall of the Soviet Union. Loser.
3. Dubai (Previously Platinum 525)- $350 Million
Here we have the Dubai, which at 524 feet long, was the largest yacht in the world when it was constructed. If not for the helicopter in the picture, you wouldn’t be particularly out of place for confusing it with a Carnival cruise ship, but no, this is a boat owned entirely by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, which some of you might remember as the setting for Sex in the City 2.
Easily our favorite thing about this boat is this website we’ve found flaunting it. Someone spent $350 million to make this yacht, and this website spent, what appears to be, 35 cents to set up a geocities account to talk about it. Even better, the site has pictures of the interior of Dubai, and while A’s interior shots prove it to be expensive, but understated, Dubai has rooms that look like Pee-Wee Herman’s hookah lounge.
Today’s secret word is: Excessive Opulence! AHHHHHH!
Granted, this might be just a difference in cultures, but we’d have to think a smorgasbord-looking combination of brightly colored carpets doesn’t exactly scream “I have billions of dollars of disposable wealth at my fingertips.” However, the giant 500 foot boat probably does, so it’s a bit of a wash.
2. Azzam- $620 Million
Okay, to get the boring details out of the way. This boat is 590 feet long, making it the longest boat ever made. It just recently made its inaugural trip out to sea. No one knows who the owner is, but they all speculate it belongs to Saudi royalty. All of that is well and good, but by far our favorite thing about this book is the sentence from this article that it inspired when TheYachtPhoto’s Peter Seyfferth said, “I have never seen an Arab-owned yacht with big parties and girls round the pool like the Russians have.”
We don’t have anything more to add to that. Apparently rich Russians and rich Arabs titter behind each other’s backs about who uses their multi-million dollar yachts correctly or not. You know, like gossiping girls in Junior High School. We don’t know why we love the schadenfreude of that so much, but we absolutely do.
1. Eclipse- $1.5 Billion (Yes. Billion)
Roman Abramovich, who you might remember as “the guy you just read about who lost one of his super yachts in a divorce settlement” likes his yachts like he likes his women. Divorcing him White, over-sized, and intimidatingly secure. At one time both the largest and most expensive yacht in existence, it’s something of a celebrity in the douchebag yacht world. It also is the one boat that absolutely confirms that its owner is up to no good. Along with its two helipads, it has a mini-submarine, three landing boats, a crew of 70, and the whole thing is rigged with security cameras and sensors. No word on if there’s a shark tank for dissidents, but since Abromovich has been notoriously tight lipped about the interior of his floating fortress due to “security concerns” we can safely assume he does.
Oh that’s right, it also has a fucking missile defense system! And an anti-paparazzi shield that prevents you from being able to take a picture of people on it! Okay, seriously, is Roman Abramovich the bad guy from “The World Is Not Enough”?
Since Abramovich is so obsessed with security, a lot of details remain unknown about this boat, which is why it is valued anywhere between $800 million and $1.5 billion, both of which make easily make it the most expensive yacht in the world. But if you’re dealing with a man who put a goddamn missile defense system on his boat, do you think he’d stop before he could say “this boat coast one billion dollars” doing his best Russian Dr. Evil impression? Of course not. If Roman Abramovich was told his boat only cost $800 million, we can guarantee he’d put in a $200 million dungeon filled with caviar and sharks or something.
Anyway, if you’ll excuse us, we got an email saying that if we wrap ourselves in tin foil and pretend we’re a burrito we get free tacos from Chipotle. Fingers crossed that’ll save us enough money to afford rent this month.