It is hard to believe that the first Monaco Yacht show took place as long as 25 years ago. Back in the 1990’s, you only needed a 46 metre boat for it to be ranked amongst the top 100 largest yachts in the world. Of course I use the word ‘only’ in the loosest possible terms. But how times have changed. At the first show there were just 30 yachts in the harbour with an average length of 32m. Exhibitors were mostly local and there were a mere 50 stands. This year there were over 500 exhibitors from 38 different countries, promoting goods and services that seem to be becoming more bespoke and opulent with every new show.
The largest yacht at the 2015 show was Solandge, with a length of 85 metres and accommodation that extends over six decks. There is a cinema, swimming pool, 2 jacuzzis and a lift to whisk guests up and down between levels. Onboard you will find more than 33 different exotic woods incorporated into her interior as well as 49 different types of marble and granite surfaces and floors. She is of course an incredible sight but will be dwarfed by a new 222 metre mega yacht currently in the latter phases of completion at a cost of approximately $1 billion USD. And yes, the owner of this behemoth is Russian.
At a somewhat smaller 66 metres, Esther III was stunning with a swimming pool incorporated into the stern deck for that instant ‘wow’ factor. Twizzle also featured at the show, an accomplished luxury global sail cruiser which has also taken part in regattas. She has the world’s largest mizzen mast which at 58 metres dominated the classic Monte Carlo backdrop.
Environmentally progressive yachts continue to feature at the show. The “eco” yacht Suerte, has been awarded Green Plus certification by the Royal Institute of Naval Architects. She still manages to pack in accommodation for 12 guests in six cabins, a sauna with sea views, a waterfall leading into a glass-bottomed swimming pool and 900-litre aquarium. The Green Plus accreditation is as a result of carbon filters having been fitted to the engine exhaust stacks which considerably reduces emissions. Continuing the theme, an emissions-free motor yacht is set to be launched later this year. The 62ft Solarwave will also feature a retractable sky roof, 6.5m tender garage, three to five guest cabins and crew accommodation.
Perhaps the most audacious plans unveiled at the show come from the design outfit, Migaloo. Their designs for Kokomo Ailand are a world first and centre around an 80 metre tall artificial floating island which incorporates a shark feeding station and waterfall. The creators of the Bond film Dr No must surely now be scratching their heads and wondering whether they missed a trick.
The layout of the show this year had to be changed as a result of the Monaco Government’s decision to start work on renewing Port Hercules with the construction of new underground car parks. The historical exhibition area of Darse Nord was moved to Quai Antoine 1er with two new tents providing a large air conditioned exhibition area. Additionally, three extra berths were created alongside Quai Rainier III to accommodate very large yachts in excess of 100 metres in length.
It was great to see so much activity on the Superyacht UK and Yachting Pages stands. The drinks reception was also very well attended – a real testament to the fresh vein of enthusiastic optimism currently coursing through the industry. I was certainly struck by the number of serious prospective purchasers at the show this year and increased levels of activity on all major stands. I hope this sets the trend for the next 12 months and that MYS 2016 will be bigger and more exciting than ever. We will see you on Kokomo Ailand.
Show report by Insurance and Marine Consultant Solicitor, Alex Penberthy – www.keystonelaw.co.uk