Week 1: The hisTory of The yachTing indusTry


Week 1: The hisTory of The yachTing indusTry
W e e k 1 : T h e H i s t o r y o f t h e Ya c h t i n g I n d u s t r y
“Throughout time yachting has been an expression of mankind’s biological
relationship with the sea. By reaching out to the oceans we reconnect with our
beginnings, with our souls”.
J i m G i l b e rt, f o u n d i n g e d i to r o f S h ow b oat s I n t e r n at i o n a l .
Introduction: The Origins
The underlying human dimension of yachts, the reasons why they exist in the first
place, somehow becomes trivialised and lost in the simple process of seeing them.
1885 the queen of sailing yachts, the 190 foot Coronet was launched. She is the last
remaining example of the Gilded Age of yachting and in her day was the queen of
sailing yachts.
Our modern compulsion to be on the sea is as old as mankind itself. The sea has
always nourished, inspired, challenged every facet of our being, from the practical
to the aesthetic to the philosophical.
• conspicuous consumption
• comparable eras
• beyond luxury
What is a Yacht?
Do yachts exist because wealthy people can merely afford them, or because people have
the passion to create them? Are yachts mere reflections of a historical time and place or
defining moments in that history?
Yachts are still used solely for pleasure.
Beauty and utility: a yacht designed and built to carry her owner on a voyage of discovery
to the Arctic regions.
Nothing but the best: from Egyptian and Roman times expectations were nothing but the
best and most beautiful for these royal yachts.
Ideas, materials and technology.
Values & Standards
Values: from the Astors in New York to today.
Setting the standards: 213 foot Ambrosia launched in 2006 has: diesel-electric propulsion,
dynamic positioning, night vision navigation, high-powered security searchlight.
Science and art:
• minimum yacht weight vs. maximum speed requirements
• lower weights without reducing beauty
• I want my boat to do this, but I also want it to do that
• fast and comfortable
• operate independently and yet be in constant communications
• maximum guests vs. minimum crew
Yachting Before 1860
Since the dawn of humanity, sailing has played an integral part in the evolution of the
human compulsion for exploration and discovery. As civilisation advanced, so did the
Yachting Before 1860
The first real yachts: the Dutch word “jacht”
Old and new Amsterdam: 17th Century “jachtschip” served their pleasure. The Dutch enjoyed
enjoyed the tidal waters around Long Island a decade before Peter Minuit purchased the
island of Manhatten in 1626.
Cleopatra’s Barge
Classic Dutch Yacht
English Yachting
English yachting: 1660 Yacht slips into the
English language
• Yachting begets Yacht Clubs: by 1840
fewer than 100 yachts over 20 tons.
•1720 the world’s first yacht club “The
Royal Cork Yacht Club”.
•Yacht Clubs beget racing
Royal Thames Yacht Club
Port in Cowes
Design Traditions
Tradition in design:
• Steam: the first great hope for auxiliary yacht power
came when the steam engine burst onto the maritime
• In 1802 the Charlotte Dundas became the first practical
steam-powered workboat towing two 70-ton barges to
• Victoria and Albert: 225 foot launched in 1843
The Victoria and Albert 1
Schooner Coquette
The Victoria and Albert 2
1850: A Pivotal Year
Two scotsmen, Charles Randolph and John Elder patented the first practical compound
marina system engine (high and low pressure cylinders that used steam twice to develop
more power and save on coal consumption). The US saw its first steam yacht, the 270 foot
North Star.
North Star
North Star Sunk, Mississippi River, 1935
The Guilded Age 1860-1915
From sail to steam and from paddles to propellers, the Gilded Age of yachting was
witness to monumental developments, with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution
ushering in the era of the diesel-powered pleasure vessel.
The Guilded Age 1860-1915
• The Excess Era
• Nat Herreshoff’s Columbia
The Glorious Years: 1917-1945
Recession, depression and a world war took their toll on the big boat scene, but
the arrival of sailing’s favorite J-Class, the downsizing of diesel vessels and a grand
farewell to steam ensured that these were yachting’s Glorious Years:
The Glorious Years: 1917-1945
World War II Aftermath
The Enterprise
The Lurssen Effect
J-Class Revival
Sea Cloud II
Sea Cloud II
The Great Revival: 1945-1972
During the post-war era, a wave of innovation and change swept through the
yachting scene. Small-time builders extended their ambitions, while the era’s largerthan-life personalities were overshadowed more by their luxury yachts than they
were by each other:
The Great Revival: 1945-1972
• Sailing to Luxury
• Brittania
• Fortunes made
•Hollywood royalty
•5 Presidents
•The America’s Cup
•Vim & Columbia
Honey Fitz
The Modern Era: 1972-1989
It was a time of instability, as a number of boatyards opened and closed.
Simultaneously the rise of charger and brokerage firms brought a much
needed professionalism to the industry, while new figures emerged who would
metamorphose the superyacht scene forever:
The Modern Era: 1972-1989
•Burger enters the market
•Broker’s broker
•The Benetti Legacy
Perini Navi
The shipbuilding ethic
•The Aga Khan
•Rebirth of the J’s
Shamrock V
The Aga Khan’s Superyacht
Setting new standards
• Niche market
• Emergence of the spec boat
A decade of growth
•A decade of growth
•Modernising construction
•The return of the wooden boat
White Cloud
The New Wave: the new millenium
Birth of the Mega-yacht
As the new millennium approached, a new generation of gung-ho eastern oligarchs
and western technology tycoons entered a power struggle for the biggest boat
around. Meanwhile the next generation of innovators began to make their mark on
the previously conservative realm of superyacht design.
The New Wave: the new millenium
Birth of the Mega-yacht
Lady Moura
Wallypower 118