Amazon boss and multibillionaire Jeff Bezos recently moved his yacht Koru from the Mediterranean to Florida. That’s not unusual, but Bezos’ triple-mast yacht is one of the biggest of its type in the world and cost about $500m. It’s so large that it couldn’t be moored in any of the marinas and had to anchor alongside the cruise ships.
That’s no big deal for Bezos, because he has a spare yacht. Officially called a support vessel, the Abeona measures 75m and cost $75m. These yachts are used to carry all the fun stuff such as jet skis, inflatables and, in most cases, a helicopter. Some are used as welcome areas for guests, a bit like an airport executive lounge. With the superyacht anchored out at sea, they arrive on the support vessel by chopper, sit and relax, and enjoy a glass of bubbly or two and then transfer to the main yacht. Yes there’s wealth and then there’s mega-wealth.
But what do you do if even your support vessel isn’t enough? Abeona also carries a number of other boats on board, from transfer tenders to dinghies. It takes things to another level, but some prefer to just get all of this onto one yacht.
The recently launched Flexplorer 146 from Italian shipyard, Cantiere delle Marche has been named Maverick by its wealthy owner, investor and entrepreneur, Tom Schröder. It’s the latest to follow the trend in explorer yachts — vessels that can go way beyond just cruising between exotic island ports. Instead, it has been designed and engineered to travel the world, to access difficult areas such as the Arctic. It’s for those seeking adventure, like a luxury 4x4 on the water, but a lot more expensive and spacious.
That space includes four decks, one dedicated entirely to the owner. There are an additional six cabins for up to 13 guests and room for six crew. The beach club deck at the stern has a pool and there are a number of entertainment areas. Large glass panels ensure there is plenty of light for those onboard and the owner and his family have chosen the most luxurious materials with neutral colours to make it all feel homely.
Even with all that, Maverick is still not spacious enough and while its owner might be a different Tom to Tom Cruise, he still needed to call in Iceman. That’s the name given to the 10m-long aluminium and carbon fibre tender that can be stowed on the stern of the Maverick. But that’s not all, because Iceman carries a 4m rib tender on its stern. A boat on a boat on a boat, because you never know when you might need it.
Unlike superyachts that are all about cruising tropical locations and entertaining guests, the Maverick is set to embark on some tricky journeys that make its extra transportation options seem useful.
Schröder and his family are planning to explore Iceland, Greenland and the northern Canadian coastline. There will be ice, rocks and other things that could be tricky for the larger Maverick so its wingman, Iceman, will be called on to venture into narrow estuaries and its rib will help get them to land where possible.
Both Maverick and Iceman have been engineered to cope with thick ice ensuring that they won’t get stuck wherever the family’s adventures take them. So you’d think that two yachts and a dinghy will be enough? Still no, because Iceman will also have two underwater seabobs, two six-metre canoes, four aerofoil boards and diving equipment for six people.
If at this point you are feeling a little envious, then you probably don’t want to know that there are some seriously big support vessels out there. Some have below-deck helicopter storage, another can accommodate various vessels, helicopters and a seaplane on its deck. There are support yachts that have the kind of luxury that makes you wonder why an owner even needs another yacht. Even more have garaging for their owner’s favourite cars to drive when they are on land and some are simply to accommodate the crew who look after the toys that the owner doesn’t want cluttering up their bigger yacht.
In the world of the super-wealthy, as long as someone has a bigger or better yacht than you, there will always be a desire to go one better, but even the richest of individuals seem to need a bit of support.