When It Comes to Yachts, Size Does Matter

Wealthy owners compete for 'bragging rights' with superyachts
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 16, 2008 2:40 PM CDT
The 270-foot Ocean Breeze, built in 1981 by Danish shipyard Helsingor Vaerft for former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, is seen docked in the harbour at Nice, France, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
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(Newser) – Billionaires have a new way to one-up wealthy neighbors: Buy a bigger yacht. Such jumbo boats confer "bragging rights,” one expert says. "No question, that’s a very strong part of the motivation.” And competition is riding a new crest: Four times as many superyachts, all more than 80 feet long, were being built last year than 10 years ago, the New York Times reports. 

“People want more toys to play with," one builder said. "That’s something that drives it." A 328-foot yacht costs $230 million, while a 500-footer can run you $650 million. The world’s longest yacht is now under construction for a secret owner. Insiders say the boat will run 531.5 feet, beating out the ruler of Dubai's 525-foot, 11,600-ton giant. (Read more yachts stories.)