It seems hard to believe that the Monaco Yacht Show wrapped up only one short month ago. Following the conclusion of the show, brokers, owners, and yachting industry professionals reviewed all that took place, and reported that despite the economic hardships that many overcame in 2009, the society of superyacht owners is still a thriving one.
Bloomberg media delved into the culture that surrounds owners of superyachts and got several industry insiders to expound on the mentality that supports such extravagant displays of social status. “This business is based on clients who care little about economic recessions and are passionate about proving that they have more money than you,” said Monte Carlo Luxury Yachts broker George Fortune. “Super yachts are a particularly male-driven thing…Somebody always has one bigger than yours.”
Take Mexican cell phone magnate Carlos Peralta, for example. Working with Fraser Yachts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he docked his 257-foot Princess Mariana to Monaco’s biggest pier. And though she is larger than the “Queen of the Show” that will be on display at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (Oct. 29 – Nov. 2), a 214-foot Feadship superyacht called Trident, Peralta is ready for an upgrade.
A broker from Fraser reported that there are about 50 people in the world who are interested in the $143 million ship. With six decks, a seven-passenger helicopter, indoor pool, a 35-foot tender and a ship-wide outdoor sprinkling system that sprays guests with chilled mist, a beauty shop, massage parlor, and a 13-seat movie theater, this superyacht is a physical example of brokers comparing these size ships to individual city states.
It’s not just the price tag of the ships that demonstrate the depth of one’s bank account, the cost of upkeep, berthing fees, insurance, fuel, and crew costs must also be factored in. Princess Mariana usually runs in the $200,000 range, in docking costs alone. Owners can often expect to spend 10 percent of the ship’s initial cost in additional annual fees, leaving one to question “what recession?”