Too Big to Sail: Super Yachts and the “Fabulous Gold Shit”


Alternately appalling and fascinating piece in the latest Vanity Fair about the very largest private yachts in the world: [-]

I had become curious about the current market for big boats after spending an afternoon on one called Predator this past summer. At 238 feet, Predator is a marvel of engineering and naval architecture that seems to fly in the face of the recession. To underscore its name, it is decorated with sculptures and depictions of sharks and other predatory creatures. The owner had ripped out most of the standard staterooms to enlarge the master suite, which is now one of the largest in the world. The boat features a massive dive room, equipped with the latest scuba gear, so the owner and his guests can literally swim with the sharks.

The aggressive look is equally prevalent on the most audacious yacht afloat: the 390-foot A, created by the French architect and designer Philippe Starck for a Russian client he calls “a genius of mathematics.” Starck tells me A is a monolith, an artifact from the future, a line in the sand that makes every boat that came before it obsolete. His intention was to design a yacht that was “organic, in harmony with the sea,” as opposed to most super-yachts, which he feels treat the ocean with arrogance. “The fabulous gold shit,” he calls them. “Just showing the money, the power of the money, the vulgarity of the money.

Read it all here.