Privately-owned yachts over 30 metres in length are often interchangeably referred to as either superyachts or mega yachts. Although exact definitions vary, many consider superyachts to be vessels over 30 metres in length, with mega yachts considered to be over 60 metres in length. As of 2020, there are over 5,000 superyachts longer than 30 metres in the world, with two-thirds of those over 40 metres having been built in the past 15 years. There are few marinas in the world that are able to accommodate such large vessels, which means these extravagant boats spend much of their time at anchor.
How are Superyachts and Mega Yachts built?
The average superyacht takes 3-4 years to design, engineer and build. Superyacht designers and mega yacht builders are creating new benchmarks in the creation of these types of huge vessels with innovation and advanced technologies. These vessels are feats of design and engineering, which is why there are only a handful of shipyards, naval architects and designers around the world that are up to the challenge.
Types of engines
Superyachts and mega yachts can be powered by various custom-built propulsion systems, ranging from diesel/electric engines to gas turbine engines, although they are most commonly powered by marine diesel engines. The world's largest marine diesel engine is the Wartsila Sulzer propulsion engine which outputs over 113,000 horsepower!
Superyachts and mega yachts vary greatly in size, amenities, equipment and performance. Most have extensive entertainment features, and luxurious accommodations. Some examples of these features are helipads, submarine garages, support vessels, movie theaters, pools, hot tubs, spas and more. These impressive vessels require highly-trained, experienced crews, including a ship captain, engineers and deck staff (who take care of the exterior) to the chefs, purser and stewardess (who oversee the interior). Each vessel employs a small army to keep them running safe and efficiently.