Superyachts are well known for their incredible luxury and grand sizes. However, that doesn’t mean these large vessels can’t be fast on the water too.
The fastest superyachts in the world reach speeds of over 50 knots, with the fastest achieving speeds of 70 knots. Though significantly slower, the longest superyacht in the world still achieves top speeds of over 30 knots.
There’s no denying that superyachts are incredibly expensive vessels, but superyacht owners are willing to pay for more than elevated levels of luxury. The use of cutting-edge technology and years of experience from the world’s top yacht builders allows superyachts to excel in performance as well, allowing them to achieve impressive speeds.
Vessels that achieve over 50 knots
Creating a fast superyacht is no easy task, but the best yacht builders in the world are up to the challenge. While you may think the fastest boats will be newer vessels that benefit from the latest technology, there’s much to be said for clever designs that are over a decade old but still offer impressive performance.
One such design is the Moon Goddess, a superyacht created by Danish Yachts in 2006. Moon Goddess can reach a speed of up to 53 knots and while not the largest vessel at 35 meters in length, it’s still an impressive speed for a yacht of this size.
The vessel Why Not U (previously known as Nobody) is another yacht that proves older age doesn’t necessarily mean a slower speed. The vessel was made in 2001 by Overmarine and reaches top speeds of 55 knots.
The Ermis² was built by McMullen & Wing in 2008 and achieves up to 57 knots. The vessel is 37.5 meters long and is made with a carbon/epoxy hull and superstructure, providing a great balance of light weight and durability.
Vessels that achieve over 60 knots
While the vessels above are impressive in their top speeds, there are even faster vessels gracing the oceans. One such vessel with an enduring history behind it is Brave Challenger.
Brave Challenger was constructed in 1960 and was previously known as Mercury. At the time of its construction, it was believed to be the world’s fastest yacht.
The 31-meter vessel was constructed by Vosper Thornycroft and had major refit work done in the ‘80s. Its top speed is around 60 knots.
The Galeocerdo was constructed in 2003 by WallyPower. Striking in its distinct aesthetics, the 36-meter vessel achieves top speeds of 60 knots.
Clocking in at speeds of up to 70 knots is the vessel World Is Not Enough. It was constructed in 2004 by Millennium Super Yachts and comes in at slightly over 42 meters in length.
A vessel worthy of James Bond himself, it utilizes two Paxman diesel engines as well as two Lycoming gas turbines in order to produce 20,600hp.
The fastest yacht in the world is the Foners (previously known as Fortuna). This 41.5-meter vessel was built in 2000 as the royal yacht for the King of Spain.
The luxurious vessel makes use of two 1,280hp MAN engines along with three 6,700hp Rolls Royce gas turbines to achieve a maximum speed of 70.1 knots. When running at a much more modest 12 knots, Foners is capable of cruising up to 1,800 nautical miles.
How fast are the largest superyachts?
Superyachts vary in size and while the vessels above are certainly not small, they aren’t the largest superyachts in the world. So how do the largest compare in terms of speed?
It’s not surprising that they aren’t as quick as the vessels above, but this is understandable considering they are significantly larger and heavier. However, they still manage to obtain impressive speeds in comparison to their massive scale.
Consider the Eclipse, constructed by Blohm+Voss in 2009 for Roman Abramovich. At the time of its launch, it was the largest superyacht in the world, measuring 162.5 meters in length.
The Eclipse achieves a top speed of 25 knots. Traveling at 21 knots, it has a range of 6,000 nautical miles.
The Eclipse was overtaken as the largest superyacht in the world by Azzam. Completed in 2013 by Lürssen, the superyacht was constructed for the President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Azzam measures an extraordinary 180 meters in length and can achieve speeds of over 30 knots.