If you think parking outside your favourite Woolies or boutique store can be a problem, imagine trying to park 117 superyachts. That’s exactly what happened at the Monaco Yacht Show, the jewel in the annual calendar for the yacht industry and its wealthy clients.
Not all of them were brand new though, with brokers displaying pre-owned and refitted vessels alongside 45 new yachts launched so far in 2023. Then there were tenders, water toys, helicopters and more than 30 new cars and motorcycles, many of which will easily fit in the garages on board some of the larger yachts, after all you have to be able to get around when you reach port.
There was one that really stole the show though. Looking unlike anything else in the famous Port Hercule harbour, the Tecnomar This Is It catamaran has been created by The Italian Sea Group for a client with Lateral Naval Architects of the UK providing the naval architecture. The design is dominated by 600m2 of curved glass running floor to ceiling over a superstructure that is more science fiction than traditional luxury yacht. The interior is a combination of luxury and modern design, with elegant surfaces, sensual curves and plenty of natural light from the glass and high ceilings. It features the latest in technology and entertainment, including a poll and vertical garden. Due to be delivered to the client in 2024, This Is It is the kind of vessel you expect to see in a movie rather than in real life, but do not be surprised if it generated sufficient interest in Monaco to radially change the way yachts are designed in the years to come.
While This Is It grabbed the attention, at 44m long she was still in the shadow of many much larger yachts on show.
Dubai-based Gulf Craft showed its Majesty 111, a vessel that has already received a World Yacht Trophy for the best interior design. Its five guest cabins and large master suite are reminiscent of the best luxury hotels, with plenty of outdoor entertainment available too, courtesy of a jacuzzi, pool and a number of water toys.
Damen Yachts debuted its new 60m Entourage, already delivered to its owner and capable of accommodating up to 12 guests and 13 crew. Baglietto had its 52m T52, complete with a hybrid propulsion system. Tankoa Yachts showed its new 50m superyacht, which its owner has rather unexcitingly called, Grey.
Not all the yachts were physically present at the show. Superyachts aren’t like cars, in that you can build a concept and gain interest, the costs are somewhat higher. Instead, many of the shipyards and naval architects showcased their vision for new vessels and future designs through traditional models, CGI renderings and even virtual reality showcases. One was the latest concept design from Feadship, Dunes. It has been designed to showcase interior and exterior styling, but it also has sustainability at its core, reflecting the need for the yachting industry to reduce its impact on the environment.
Benetti showed its new 85m Project Life, the latest vessel to feature the design of renowned yacht designer Espen Øino. It not only features the latest in luxury, but also has a diesel-electric propulsion system that can use synthetic fuels, again showing a move to slightly more environmentally friendly yachting.
It wasn’t all about the big yachts though, and sometimes not about yachts at all. Car companies such as Bentley and Brabus were in attendance, and there were automotive names on yachts too, including the new BMW Tyde that was revealed earlier this year.
With everything that is going on around the world at the moment, you might think that parading the biggest and best superyachts is not really on anyone’s minds. Admittedly, the industry has dipped slightly this year after a big increase in demand post-pandemic, but again the Monaco Yacht Show displayed the kind of yachts many of us can only dream of, and only the most wealthy can afford.
It was also a chance for all those involved in the yachting industry to show they are heading in new directions when it comes to design, materials and sustainability. If vessels like the This Is It are anything to go by, then that new direction is going to be very exciting.