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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Exclamation Is That A Warship Or A Yacht?

    I've sailed on warships that are going to be classed as "smaller" than these....


    Grow, grow, grow your boat Shipmakers cash in as yachts continue getting bigger

    The Octopus, anchored off Villefranche, France last year, is the $250 million brainchild of Paul Allen. The 414-foot yacht has seven decks, two helicopter pads, a swimming pool, basketball court and infirmary, among other amenities.
    Dana Jinkins / AP

    Updated: 3:06 p.m. ET Aug. 7, 2005
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - In days of yore, there were only yachts.

    Sleek, noble, with the gleaming purity of pearls, the 40-foot-long sea chariots served as symbols of opulence, style and refinement in America — the ultimate playthings for the ultimate few.

    Until there came superyachts.

    Twice as large as their predecessors, with mid-ocean necessities such as spiral staircases, split-level saloons and flybridge hot tubs, these floating mansions did more than eclipse conventional yachts — they made them appear impish, toy-like.

    And then, along came megayachts.

    These Poseidons possessed not only grandeur, but touches of lavishness that tickled the imaginations of Arab sultans and American tycoons alike.

    By the late ’90s, however, there was talk that the megayacht’s reign was coming to an end. Truly, some yacht-hoppers wondered, why would a gazillionaire suffer the indignity of cruising through a soup of 35-footers aboard a vessel only three times bigger?

    It so happens they were right: In these post 9-11 times, ever bigger yachts are rolling out of shipyards, replacing jets, palaces and Jaguars as the premier demonstrations of wealth among the world’s superrich.

    Consider:

    The largest privately owned boat now spans 525 feet.
    In yachting terminology, “fully loaded” now means boats with on-board helicopters, submarines, full-size movie theaters, missile detection systems, 18-hole golf courses.
    Rafts are stowed nowadays on dingies, which in turn are kept on 36-foot tenders, which in turn sit in the belly of the main yacht — essentially, a boat in a boat in a boat.

    ‘Grow, grow, grow your boat’ The “grow, grow, grow your boat” craze has shipbuilders, brokers and marine architects in a tizzy, as it does most boat enthusiasts in this seaside city, which bills itself as the yachting capital of the world.

    Frank Herhold, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, is ecstatic. Still, the expansion of yachts over the past six years has created something of a quandary.

    “It would be appropriate to coin a new name for these boats,” Herhold says. “We’re going to have to do something soon. If you own a yacht that’s 400 feet long — well, that’s in a class by itself.”

    On the docks, in the shipyards, a new name is already surfacing: The gigayacht.

    At this year’s cruise industry convention in Miami, Barry Gilmour, chairman of Oceanic Investment Corp., had some news for his fellow shipbuilders: His company had designed, on paper, a 630-foot yacht — a private vessel longer than two football fields.

    When eyebrows went up, Gilmour told his colleagues, “Somebody will order one of those, take it from me.”

    That Gilmour was even talking yachts at a gathering of cruise shippers was news; never had the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention included a symposium on anything as puny as a yacht.

    It made perfect sense, though, to Capt. Tom Thomason, director of shipbuilding for the cruise line, Carnival. Except for passenger capacity, he said, “between the largest yachts and the average cruise ships, there’s not a whole lot of difference.”

    Clearly, the gigayacht is rocking the boat industry.

    Though accounting for a relatively small slice of yacht orders, yachts of mega and giga proportions are being built like never before. This year, 651 are under construction, up from 507 last year and 482 in 2003 — a nearly $1 billion increase in sales, industry experts say.

    Americans, the world leaders in the purchase and chartering of big yachts, are largely driving that demand, says Jim Eden, who has been brokering yachts for 35 years. Currently, he works at the venerable International Yacht Collection, in Fort Lauderdale.

    “The bread and butter boats used to be 30, 35 feet long,” Eden says. “Now, it’s hard to get my bosses interested in brokering a yacht under 70.”

    Billionaires fuel the boom
    He attributes the boom to the growing numbers of dot-com and telecom billionaires, and to the Bush administration’s tax breaks for America’s wealthiest. Equally important, he says, is a sea change in attitude among America’s superrich in the wake of Sept. 11.

    “Clients are telling me, ’Hey, I could have been in the Twin Towers. That could have been me jumping out a window.’ The thinking among wealthy people now is, you can die anytime. Nobody can protect you. So you might as well spend your money now and enjoy it.”

    The gigaboom has caught a number of people by surprise, among them Chris Taylor, vice president of International Yachtmaster Training, a school for yachtsmen and crew in Fort Lauderdale.

    This year, Taylor estimates a worldwide shortage of crew in the order of 3,000 deckhands, bosuns, mates, captains, engineers, stewardesses and chefs. “We’re the biggest yacht training institution in the world and we CANNOT find enough qualified crew. It’s enough to blow your mind.”

    Eden, the yacht broker, is hardly fazed.

    He explains: “The Fortunate 4,000 of this world just want to take their family and friends to places that ordinary people like you and me can’t go. They want to be able to go off to Alaska, or to the Galapagos Islands, on their own yacht — and do it in style.”

    In the race to build the world’s yachts, the United States presently places second to Italy among the world’s Top 10 “yacht builder nations.”

    German shipbuilders, however, are squarely at the forefront of the gigayacht revolution.

    Lurssen, of Bremen, Germany, is the quintessential gigabuilder. The average length of its creations is 277 feet — 51 feet longer than its closest competitor, according to the Global Build Report, published by Yachts International Magazine.

    It builds boats like Octopus — the $250 million aqua-palace of Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.

    At 414 feet, with a crew of 60, which includes former Navy Seals, Octopus became on its maiden voyage in 2003 the world’s largest, priciest, privately owned yacht.

    Octopus has seven decks. It has two helicopter landing pads. It has a swimming pool, basketball court, infirmary, a garage for Land Rovers, a movie theater, a concert space for 260, and a recording studio.

    Octopus also features an underwater viewing salon — with a glass bottom and stadium-strength lighting — to allow passengers to gaze for hours at sea varmints. (The engineer also suggested adding torpedo launchers, for added security, but Allen considered that excessive.)

    Size definitely matters
    All great yachtsmen have great rivals, though, and Allen was soon to be out-giga-d by Larry Ellison, titan of California software giant Oracle.

    At the time Octopus was launched, Lurssen was secretly crafting Ellison’s “Rising Sun,” a 393-foot behemoth which the owner would later describe as a “sculpture made of metal and glass.”

    However, when it became apparent that Octopus was 21 feet longer than his yacht, Ellison ordered the German shipbuilder to extend Rising Sun to 452 feet — thereby wresting the title from Allen.

    Upon completion, Ellison’s floating skyscraper had five stories, 82 rooms, a wine cellar the size of most beach bungalows, a dozen yacht-length tenders, and a generator capable of providing enough electricity for a small town in Idaho or Maine.

    Rising Sun was outfitted with a $50,000 satellite, radar systems with “intelligent” anti-collision warning features, and anchor stabilizers — great fins that tricked the waves and kept the monolith from rocking. Final cost: $377 million.

    “I say thank God for people who can afford to do this,” says Mike Kelsey, president and CEO of Palmer Johnson, a Fort Lauderdale yacht company. In his opinion, the giga-buyer is doing everyone a great service.

    “These boats are absolutely stunning. They’re monuments. And they really, REALLY create a better life for anyone who comes in contact with them.”

    In addition to luxury and size, the gigayachtsman frequently yearns for toys on the high seas — the extras that help personalize a gigayacht, make a sea voyage that much more memorable.

    To some, toys are helicopters, Jet Skis, speedboats, torpedoes and submarines. But the giga-toy chest is a full of other playthings:

    Saudi billionaire Nassar al-Rashid keeps a sand beach on the deck of his 344-foot “Lady Moura.” The boat also has a 78-foot dining table and a bar crafted by Viscount Linley, nephew to Queen Elizabeth II.

    New Zealand telecommunications mogul Alan Gibbs, 65, often drops the anchor of his $40 million boat, “Senses,” so that he may launch a sports car that transforms itself into a speedboat, a la 007.

    Russian oil tycoon Roman Abramovich has outfitted his 375-foot “Pelorus” with bulletproof transoms, a missile-detection system, two helicopters, a submarine and “paparazzi lights” (to obliterate the film of pesky photographers from several hundred yards).

    Mexico City industrialist Carlos Peralta has on his seventh yacht, the “Princess Mariana,” six bars, a master stateroom with a wall that opens to turn the bedroom into a terrace, a music library with 16,000 preprogrammed songs, and 1,600 movies.

    Like most giga-vessels, they have many of the latest trappings: granite counters, gold taps, hardwood flooring, butter-soft leather chaises, mahogany showcases, marble floors in the baths and foyers.

    And yet the limits of extravagance are far from being reached.

    In April, the Lurssen yard rolled out its latest masterpiece: a 525-footer for Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. “Platinum,” with two master staterooms, four 9,000-horsepower diesel engines, a 70-foot-wide atrium, cinema, disco, gym, squash court, submarine and helipad (for the prince’s Blackhawk helicopter), topped Rising Sun by 73 feet — thereby becoming the biggest of the big boats.

    For now.

    © 2005 The Associated Press.
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  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    missile detection systems
    Anyone have any stats on how often (if EVER) one of these has actually been used on a private yacht?
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  3. #3
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    I could have a yacht like that - but I don't want to show off, ya know? Plus I don't have the money.
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    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
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    The US Navy is looking to shift it's fleet in a different direction than in the past. This thing will absolutely scoot in open water with speeds exceeding 50 knots, and capable of operation in less than 12 feet of water. MAde of aluminum, it resembles a catamaran, is mostly vacant space, and weighs about 1,000 tons. Used for anti-submarine, mine detection, and humanitarian missions, it can be reconfigured by installing specific "crates" into the vacant space for whatever mission it may be tasked. The idea is to have a fleet by 2035 of 82 smaller, more agile vessels, making up about a quarter of the fleet at that time.

    That could make a nice fleet of "yachts".
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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer
    The US Navy is looking to shift it's fleet in a different direction than in the past. This thing will absolutely scoot in open water with speeds exceeding 50 knots, and capable of operation in less than 12 feet of water. MAde of aluminum, it resembles a catamaran, is mostly vacant space, and weighs about 1,000 tons. Used for anti-submarine, mine detection, and humanitarian missions, it can be reconfigured by installing specific "crates" into the vacant space for whatever mission it may be tasked. The idea is to have a fleet by 2035 of 82 smaller, more agile vessels, making up about a quarter of the fleet at that time.

    That could make a nice fleet of "yachts".
    Wow thats cool, but were are the sails?
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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    From watching 30 years worth of powerboat racing in the ocean, they have found 1 thing that does not work well in the open seas....catamaran type hulls. With a flat sea, the cat hulled boats would easily cruise to victory, but put 3 or 4 foot waves and they stunk. The deep vee's would win every time there was a "less than flat" sea.
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    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    the sequel to Titanic....
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  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    From watching 30 years worth of powerboat racing in the ocean, they have found 1 thing that does not work well in the open seas....catamaran type hulls. With a flat sea, the cat hulled boats would easily cruise to victory, but put 3 or 4 foot waves and they stunk. The deep vee's would win every time there was a "less than flat" sea.
    The trend with most big navies recently is to expand thier litoral capabilities. There are just not enough big players at sea anymore, so blue water navies don't get all the focus. That cat pictured above, and the newer stealth frigates and diesel subs regaining popularity in Europe are a perfect example.

    There is also a Canadian catamaran technology made for the open seas that puts all other boats to shame. There are a few of our coast guard vessels built on it, and it is gaining popularity for just the vessels shown above. I'll try to find a link for it.
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    Bones, these vessels are a special type of cat. called a SWATH vessel. Small Waterplane And Twin Hulls or something like that. They actually have a large pontoon shaped hull at the base of each hull. Many have wings and other stablizing devices. My union operates several SWATH hull research vessels for the gov. and from what I've heard they are incredibly fast and stable. speed=stablity, and they can maintain that speed in considerable seeways.

    The largest US flagged yatch is the LIMITLESS. Owned by the lucky dude who owns Victoria's Secret and several other store lines. Somewhere over 300'. A masterful creation. And I'd bet he doesn't go anywhere without some of his lingerie models!
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    Default Would a "gigayaght" be a terrorist/kidnapper target?

    That's all I could think of when I read about these vessels. A very expensive ship full of rich, famous, and probably politically important people, served by a civilian and probably unarmed crew. If terrorists could take over an entire cruise liner like the Achilli Lauro (spelling?), how easy would it be for them to take over one of these?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell
    The trend with most big navies recently is to expand thier litoral capabilities. There are just not enough big players at sea anymore, so blue water navies don't get all the focus. That cat pictured above, and the newer stealth frigates and diesel subs regaining popularity in Europe are a perfect example.

    There is also a Canadian catamaran technology made for the open seas that puts all other boats to shame. There are a few of our coast guard vessels built on it, and it is gaining popularity for just the vessels shown above. I'll try to find a link for it.
    Easy Mcaldwell - dont let the secret out about our canoe technology!
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    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave404
    Easy Mcaldwell - dont let the secret out about our canoe technology!
    State of the art! They hold three muskets and a case of beer eh!

    And further to Drkblram's post, here is a link to some info and history of SWATH technology. Canadians do come up with a good idea every now and again.

    SWATH.com
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    My old destroyer,USS Mahan DDG 42,was 513 feet long,displaced 6,000 tons and had a crew of 430 guys.
    The hull was steel,the superstructure was aluminum,and a bear to maintain.
    The newer Arleigh Burke class of cans is about the last thing I've seen in the Navy inventory that looks like a ship.
    http://www.ussmahan.org


    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer
    The US Navy is looking to shift it's fleet in a different direction than in the past. This thing will absolutely scoot in open water with speeds exceeding 50 knots, and capable of operation in less than 12 feet of water. MAde of aluminum, it resembles a catamaran, is mostly vacant space, and weighs about 1,000 tons. Used for anti-submarine, mine detection, and humanitarian missions, it can be reconfigured by installing specific "crates" into the vacant space for whatever mission it may be tasked. The idea is to have a fleet by 2035 of 82 smaller, more agile vessels, making up about a quarter of the fleet at that time.

    That could make a nice fleet of "yachts".

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson
    My old destroyer,USS Mahan DDG 42,was 513 feet long,displaced 6,000 tons and had a crew of 430 guys.
    The hull was steel,the superstructure was aluminum,and a bear to maintain.
    The newer Arleigh Burke class of cans is about the last thing I've seen in the Navy inventory that looks like a ship.
    http://www.ussmahan.org
    I kinda like the Ticonderoga class myself. The Arlei's give me the impression of a squashed frog, with their low profile. O'course if you're looking for size cuz for some folks "size does matter", the carriers are pretty impressive. But I'm still a cruiser/frigate kinda guy.

    Being a Canuck sailor, we only get to look at toys like these.
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    Since my ship's entire class has been scrapped and the names given to new construction,guess there's not much I can do about that except cry in my beer.
    What I want to know most about the SWATH ships is where the 5" guns go.How can you have a destroyer that doesn't have a five incher?
    Inport in Charleston during the winter,we often had a couple Canadian ships moored outboard of us while they came south for training and of course to paint the ship since it was much nicer down there.
    Trading stuff with the Canucks involved a visit to their beer mess.Why is it the USN never hit on that brilliant scheme.Get the Americans over,get a couple drinks in them and let the games begin.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7
    I kinda like the Ticonderoga class myself. The Arlei's give me the impression of a squashed frog, with their low profile. O'course if you're looking for size cuz for some folks "size does matter", the carriers are pretty impressive. But I'm still a cruiser/frigate kinda guy.

    Being a Canuck sailor, we only get to look at toys like these.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    LOL
    Trading stuff with the Canucks involved a visit to their beer mess.Why is it the USN never hit on that brilliant scheme.Get the Americans over,get a couple drinks in them and let the games begin.
    How true it is. I've often wondered why you guys never had a 'wet mess' while at sea or even alongside. Of course our stuff is duty free too
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    Something about what do you do with a drunken sailor.
    Unless you want to find someone who knows about how to make bilge whiskey from fruit juice,yeast and a clean oil sample bottle.I have heard that you get the newest guy in the division to take the first sip because you never knew if you were getting 10 proof or 100 proof.Yow!


    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7
    LOL

    How true it is. I've often wondered why you guys never had a 'wet mess' while at sea or even alongside. Of course our stuff is duty free too
    Last edited by doughesson; 08-10-2005 at 11:14 AM.

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    ROTF Malahat

    Back in the late 70's one of our old Leander class Frigates from RNZN was floundering around in the Indian ocean,a US helicopter of rather largish size was in a wee spot of bother in the rough weather. it was running out of fuel, and couldn't stay up all day.

    With a bit of skill and planning it was bought onboard the Frigates deck in rough conditions with 4 inches of clearance between the rotors and hanger superstructure, guys dove underneath with chains to secure it while the pilot held full power to keep it on the deck.

    To say thanks the crew later went to the seamans wet bar, and plonked $100.00 US dollars on the bar as a compliment. The guys thought they were kinda silly, as at the time that equaled $ 200.00 NZ, and with the price of beer (no duty or excise for the military bars) at that time it was worth 1000 1.2 pint bottles.
    (20 cents NZ a bottle)

    The guys were kept happy for MONTHS. And it became legend around the Forces.
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    Y'all saved their collective keisters,mate.That makes any sailor grateful as Hell.



    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingKiwi
    ROTF Malahat

    Back in the late 70's one of our old Leander class Frigates from RNZN was floundering around in the Indian ocean,a US helicopter of rather largish size was in a wee spot of bother in the rough weather. it was running out of fuel, and couldn't stay up all day.

    With a bit of skill and planning it was bought onboard the Frigates deck in rough conditions with 4 inches of clearance between the rotors and hanger superstructure, guys dove underneath with chains to secure it while the pilot held full power to keep it on the deck.

    To say thanks the crew later went to the seamans wet bar, and plonked $100.00 US dollars on the bar as a compliment. The guys thought they were kinda silly, as at the time that equaled $ 200.00 NZ, and with the price of beer (no duty or excise for the military bars) at that time it was worth 1000 1.2 pint bottles.
    (20 cents NZ a bottle)

    The guys were kept happy for MONTHS. And it became legend around the Forces.

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    Being a Canuck sailor, we only get to look at toys like these.
    I only get to look too, but the time an Burke class turned across my bow, not once, but twice at high speed inside of 5 minutes, I saw more than I needed to.

    As for shipboard moonshine, I've lost count how many navy guys have told me stories about stills onboard ships, either hidden in some low profile locker or hidden in plain sight in the E/R, as it's made to look like part of the ship's systems.
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