For most of us, ‘giga’ is a prefix almost exclusively reserved for words related to the Internet or, if we’re really digging in, light bulb wattage. However, in a world where smaller seems better, the rise of the giga-yacht is an opulent exception. Massive luxury boats decked with multi-million dollar living equipment, helicopter ports and miniature racetracks are an increasingly common sight on the high seas today, but for those who aren’t quite as intimately connected to the giga-yacht scene, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Yachting as recreation is commonly credited to the rise of 20th century commercialism. An excellent case study is Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate and suitor to Jackie Kennedy, and his Canadian frigate – a 300-plus foot multi-million dollar renovation project that later became the favorite floating haven for moguls, millionaires, and movie stars.
Onassis’ monopoly on all things luxury-boating is now no longer impressive, thanks to the modern-day elite. Russian oligarchs, Saudi monarchs, and sporting club owners commonly shell out for price-tags approximating one million dollars per meter. In a world where the giga-yacht yardage minimum is 220 feet, the price-per-foot is about $330,000 and the price per inch around $27,500 – and that’s just the base line.
As one might imagine, these inches are a precious commodity to their owners, who take the opportunity to retrofit their floating kingdom with all things luxury, delicacy, and cutting edge technology. After all, even multi-billionaires need to eat, and most prefer to do so in style. Five-star restaurants and multiple chefs are often housed between private cinemas, helicopter hangers, hair salons, and more than one (or two, or three) swimming pools.
Whether they’re named after women, natural phenomena, or just “My World”, giga-yachts like the Lady Moura and Eclipse have left quite a legacy – and one that constantly provokes one-uppers, despite changing economic conditions. Sometimes you have to go big (literally) to go home; after all, what better way to prove you’re better than everyone else than by dumping a boatloads of cash into one of the biggest transportation devices known to man? You tell me, and then let’s go for a ride.