A new year means a fresh start in meeting goals. A goal for a number of owners is to take the keys, so to speak, of their new yachts. Finally, after three, four, or more years of planning, engineering, design, and construction, their much-anticipated megayachts are ready to head for the horizon. Many of us in the media, and certainly yacht-watchers among you, look forward to seeing these yachts cruising, too. Below, we’ve included a sampling (in alphabetical order) of what’s to come before the clock strikes midnight next December 31.
A few quick notes. First, several significant-size superyachts await hand over this year. In fact, one may be as long as 479 feet (146 meters). The trouble is, few facts are actually known about them. In some cases, a shipyard is mentioned, but nothing else: no stylist, interior designer, or features. In others, not even the builder is known for sure. Rather than include maybes and could-bes, we’re focusing on much-anticipated megayachts where multiple facts are just that, facts.
1. Kleven 370. Also known as U116, a 381-footer (116-meter), this is the second superyacht from Norway-based Kleven. The commercial shipyard is also the builder behind the famed Ulysses, the 351-footer (107-meter) delivered in 2016. No surprise, then, that the Kleven 370/U116 is for the same original owners as Ulysses, Graeme and Robyn Hart. These New Zealanders have enjoyed cruising on a number of craft for well over a decade. However, the 381-footer is their largest to date. She accommodates a party of 66. She’s also a bit behind in construction, initially set for delivery last year.
2. Feadship 1007. Measuring 361 feet (110 meters), this long lady will be the largest Feadship handed over sometime this year. She’ll also be among the largest megayachts from The Netherlands overall, adding to why she’s among the much-anticipated megayachts of this year. Feadship is keeping quiet about her, at least for now. However, we do know that Michael Leach Design is the stylist as well as the interior designer. In addition, the still-to-be-finished hull and superstructure slipped out from Feadship’s subcontractor in December 2016.
3. Spectre, by Benetti. The 226-foot (69-meter) Spectre (at top) is without doubt among the year’s much-anticipated megayachts for a few reasons. She’s the largest for serial yachtsman John Staluppi, an American who names his yachts for James Bond movies. She’s also his third Benetti. On the tech side, Spectre has Mulder Design’s Hi Speed Cruising Hull. This should produce a one-third lower fuel burn on long crossings than comparably equipped displacement yachts. Simultaneously, it should permit a 21-knot top speed, 30 percent faster than the norm for her size. Spectre’s speed at extra efficiency puts her in a category of her own.
4. Palo Alto, by Lürssen. With styling and interior design by Winch Design, the code-named Palo Alto is one of a few 300-foot-plus megayachts reportedly in build at Lürssen. (“Reportedly” because the builder can’t comment on them, at least not yet.) Her LOA: 367’5” (112 meters). Palo Alto will accommodate 22 guests plus the owner, who’ll have a 39-foot-long (12-meter-long) pool at their disposal. They’ll also get to enjoy a sanctuary-like spa and a fleet of toys, including a sub. Nearly a decade of chartering yachts gave the owner a lot of ideas on what to include. Back in June 2016, when a massive aft megayacht section floated out of the builder’s sheds, some suspected it might be a component of Palo Alto. The styling seemed to match renderings of the project.
5. Project Bravo, from Oceanco. Project Bravo, a.k.a. Oceanco Y718, saw her technical launch last February. At 357’6” (109 meters), she’s one to watch surely due to her size. But it’s also due to the mystery surrounding her. Few details are public. Styling is from Nuvolari-Lenard, for example, while naval architecture is from Azure Naval Architects. Interior design, meanwhile, is by Reymond Langton Design.
6. Project Thunder, by Lürssen. Project Thunder (above) is among the few in-build yachts where Lürssen actually can comment. Delivery is toward the end of the year. After that, she’ll cruise mostly in Asian waters. While Lürssen puts LOA at “120 m plus,” or upwards of 394 feet, we’ve confirmed 446’2″ (136 meters) via AIS. Styled by Espen Øino, “Thunder” is a nod to Lei Gong, the mythical god of thunder in traditional Chinese and Taoist beliefs.
7. Seven, from Perini Navi. Being among few big sailing vessels set for 2018 delivery definitely makes Seven one of the most-anticipated megayachts of the year. Even though she debuted at the Monaco Yacht Show in September, she still had work to complete. Seven therefore returned to Italy for finishing touches. She’s the third project in Perini Navi’s 60M series, at 197 feet. All three bear naval architecture by Ron Holland. Seven, however, has a different interior designer, Dante O. Benini Architects and Partners. Light-tone sycamore sets the mood aboard. As for the name, the owner, Italian financial magnate Ennio Doris, has a good story. “We wanted a name that expressed the strong bond with my family: Seven because seven is the number of my grandchildren.” He adds, “With this new yacht, we can all sail together, a passion that unites us and brings us together.”