Here we are at Volume 30 of the Superyachts. So what? Symbolically, is that a milestone? Is it any different in relevance from volumes 29 or 17 or 5 before it?
By most measures, 30 years is equal to a generation, the passage of time during which a child is born, grows to adulthood and begins having children of his or her own. We have become used to that cycle of life … of change.
Generation comes from the Latin verb generare, from genus referring to “stock” or “race”. So, what can we make of this past generation of the race of superyachts? Including Volume 30, we have presented an amazing collection of more than 660 yachts that Founding Editor Roger Lean-Vercoe and I considered noteworthy.
Some were game changers, most were state-of-the-art and some were particularly beautiful – so much so that they needed to be captured and preserved in the permanence of a book. What they have in common is their uncommon size and their specialness. Even the few representatives of production boat lines appearing in these volumes are spirited examples honed and polished into gems.
Volume 30 began with a lot of research, for that is what the initial walk down memory lane turned into. In the early days of this series – before superyachts were popping out at the rate of more than 100 a year – Roger included classics. Many of the great ladies of the golden era of yachting have graced these pages.
They are such fabulous yachts that their owners – perhaps stewards is a better word – part with unreasonable sums of money to preserve them through many generations. How else would we have at our fingertips the stories of a Creole (Volume 8) or a Mariette (Volume 10), the yachts that sailed on to spark the new creations Eleanor, Windrose of Amsterdam or even Athena? Without the stories of the refits of the fantastic J Class yachts Endeavour (Volume 3) and Shamrock (Volume 15) would there have been a Hanuman in Volume 24 or a Rainbow in Volume 26? Seventeen years ago, Boat International Media began collecting the stories of refitted yachts into a separate volume. But in honour of the past, we include in this volume two very interesting current refits, one a remarkably visionary transformation of a modern racing yacht into the cruiser Samurai.
And with a nod to the classics, the total rebuild of Malahne, a Nicholson design of 1937. No parent will choose a favourite child amongst his or her children, but pressured, Roger and I selected our top tier yachts from each of the past 29 volumes and then invited some guests to join us on our walk down memory lane to pick favourites.
Some of the yachts chosen are examples of the audaciousness of owners, some have stood the test of time and are becoming classics in their own right. I leave it to you to decided which is which. So there you have it, the highlights of a generation of reporting about superyachts and their owners, plus the standouts among the latest launches all wrapped up in one package tied with a bow.