In our series of year-end-look-back features, we’d be remiss if we didn’t tip our hats to you, our readers. Whether you visit our site every day or every few days, you provide valuable feedback. In addition, even after 11 years of publishing, we still are surprised sometimes by what captivates you. You might be as well: These are the most-read megayacht stories over this past year. We list them in ascending order of popularity. Since some of the articles are about massive megayachts, their popularity isn’t entirely unexpected. Others, however, are about projects and developments that far more of you follow than we initially realized. Here’s to more learning for all of us in 2019.
Jaruco Jetting Off From Jarrett Bay Boatworks. You started 2018 off with a bang, as this was published on January 1. Jaruco is the biggest build in Jarrett Bay Boatworks’ history, and arguably the highest-tech one at that, in terms of engineering and construction. And, that’s what made her so newsworthy. The 90-foot (27.4-meter) Jaruco, a.k.a. Project Ireland, is the first sportfishing yacht to use carbon fiber. Yet, she still employs time-honored cold-molded construction methods, too.
Bitter End Yacht Club Rebuild Ongoing From Hatteras 80 Barnacle. Following the devastating hurricane season of 2017, this was among the feel-good stories of the year. The beloved Bitter End Yacht Club, destroyed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, is starting to rebuild. A favorite among many megayacht owners and guests, the resort is using the Hatteras megayacht Barnacle (above) as its command center. “Fitting that this process will emanate from a boat, parked dockside at B-dock at BEYC,” the resort operators say. Fitting, too, that so many of you eagerly await the rebuild’s completion.
U116’s Amazing Armada of Toys: Your First Look. When we posted this article in March, Ulysses, a.k.a. U116, was nearing delivery. Her crew was uncovering and loading her eye-popping assortment of tenders and toys. MegayachtNews.com was the first media outlet to publish photos. Ranging from a Princess 68 and a VanDutch 40 to a quadruple-engine center console, the toys gave great perspective on just how massive Ulysses was, and how adventurous she would be.
Superyacht Luna Belongs to Ex-Wife, Shariah Court Decides. Dubai Courts, which follow Islamic law (known as Shariah), denied an appeal from the owner of Luna (top), concerning the yacht’s seizure. Farkhad Akhmedov had appealed to the court to lift the seizure, granted on behalf of his ex-wife. The Shariah court’s decision surprised many, since Islamic law favors husbands over wives. Of course, Akhmedov wasted no time in appealing this decision as well. The same court then ruled in his favor in November. Despite this, though, the Luna divorce battle is far from over. The yacht remains under arrest, and the exes remain in court, in multiple countries.
Yacht Aspen Alternative Stars in Overboard Movie Remake. Since a superyacht starred in the original Overboard, naturally one needed a role in the remake. Our exclusive interviews with the individuals instrumental in securing Aspen Alternative shed light on the complexity of filmmaking, as well as the fun. (Witness the photo bomb in the photo above by actress Anna Faris.)
Talisman Maiton: TV’s New Star, and How to Charter Her. When Below Deck Mediterranean returned to TV in the spring, the megayacht at the center of the action (and drama) was Talisman Maiton. At 178 feet (54.2 meters), she became the largest megayacht to appear on the show. We gave you an inside look at her rooms and amenities, as well as details on where she charters. We did so because brokers and captains involved with the Below Deck series report increased interest in yacht charter as a result of the programs. Considering the owners of the yachts each season no longer want faux nameboards on their vessels, they value the publicity.
PJ World to Restart Build, Decade After Start. It’s no surprise that this is among the most-read megayacht stories. The 267-foot (81.4-meter) PJ World grabbed headlines in 2008 when Palmer Johnson declared it would build her, on spec, in Norway. She was the American yard’s first step into ice-laden expedition cruising. However, troubles ensued, including the bankruptcy of the Norwegian shipyard. PJ World sat, rusting (above) but structurally sound, for years. Seemingly out of the blue, an American acquired her earlier this year and is completing her.
Finally, number one among our most-read megayacht stories this year:
My Seanna Megayacht in Below Deck Season in Tahiti. With nearly 5,500 views so far, and counting, My Seanna doesn’t just outrank Talisman Maiton in interest. She does in LOA as well: 185 feet (56.4 meters). But, the frightening accident that occurred onboard is surely a major reason for the clicks. The season previews showed a deckhand going overboard while caught in a rope. Of course, positive things occurred, too, including showing off Tahiti, a first for the show. Referring to the full season, Capt. Lee Rosbach tweeted, “Best season ever, and almost my own personal worst.”