Still the ultimate status symbol, yachts today are more luxurious than ever before. Alana Lynott takes a look at some of the latest trends making a splash on the high seas.
Swimming pools and cinema screens are now the norm on your average billionaire’s yacht. And it’s no longer a question of whether you have a helipad; it’s more a question of how many you have. So with yachts becoming more elaborate than ever, how do you stay ahead of the pack?
Firstly, security concerns are a priority. Mindful of a recent rise in piracy, yachts are being fitted with increasingly sophisticated security measures including missile defence systems, a hull and windows capable of withstanding a missile attack. In some circumstances, boats are equipped with mini-submarines in the event of an emergency escape.
Pirates aren’t the only people yacht owners are keen to evade. The paparazzi are a notorious pain. Armed with long lenses and lucrative magazine deals, photographers know how easy, and how worthwhile it is to snap a billionaire playboy frolicking on the deck of a yacht with his supermodel girlfriend. Mindful of this, Roman Abramovich’s latest yacht, the £724 million Eclipse, incorporates an anti-paparazzi infrared laser “shield”.
When the Eclipse made its first test voyage in September of last year, the technology was revolutionary and now every yacht owner who values his privacy is clamouring for the same gadget. The yacht, the fourth in Abramovich’s private fleet, is set to “be the largest private yacht of all time,” and has all the luxurious extras you might expect, as well as some you might not: the master suite has a retractable roof so that the Chelsea boss can fall asleep under the stars.
Of course today, whether you’re travelling by air or sea, it’s all about being eco-friendly. With this in mind, more yachts than ever before offer maximum luxury, with minimum carbon footprint. Solar panels, hybrid engines, recycled materials and specially designed hulls that allow high cruising speed with low fuel consumption are all on the menu. So set sail in luxury and with none of the guilt.
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