The biggest news stories that shaped the yachting industry in 2023

2023 was a busy year for the yachting sector, with new launches sailing out of the construction sheds and innovations in the path towards more sustainable yachting really taking shape this year. BOAT looks back at the top news stories you may have missed...

Oceanco completes first-of-its-kind rebuild of H3

Dutch shipyard Oceanco made waves with the never-before-seen rebuild of H3. Formerly the 95-metre Indian Empress, the rebuild saw the yacht extended, restyled and completely transformed from the hull up. The yacht’s completely modern new look and the scope of the work involved was revealed for the first time in the November 2023 edition of BOAT International.

Read More/A sea change: The epic rebuild that created the 105m Oceanco H

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Oceanco   105 m •   2000

Savannah hits the market

Feadship's 2015-built 83.5-metre Savannah, one of the most iconic yachts in the fleet, was officially announced for sale in September with Edmiston. The yacht is famous for her glossy metallic silhouette and long list of amenities, including a semi-submerged Neptune lounge and an intimate dance room in the bow. Her asking price is undisclosed. 

Read More/84m Feadship superyacht Savannah for sale for the first time

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Feadship   83.5 m •   2015

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Feadship   83.5 m •   12 guests • Price from €1,000,000 p/w

Lammouche and Obsidian pioneer use of biofuel

The 44-metre Sanlorenzo yacht Lammouche marked one of the first yachts to trial HVO (hydrogenated vegetable oil) in a high-profile experiment that saw the yacht take delivery of 15,000 litres of HVO. Later in the year, it was announced that the brand new 84.2-metre Feadship yacht Obsidian was also switching to biofuel in her generators, making her the first new yacht to trial the alternative fuel source.

Read More/Record number of yachts express interest in switching to biofuel after successful initial trials

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Feadship   84.2 m •   2023

US Justice Department seeks to take ownership of 106m Amadea

The saga of arrested Russian yachts continued with 106-metre Amadea this year, when the US Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture complaint that would allow the yacht's ownership to be transferred to US authorities. It came after the yacht was arrested in Fiji and moved to US territory last year. She remains caught in a battle between her owner and the authorities, prompting questions over what will happen to other allegedly Russian-owned superyachts. 

Read More/US Justice Department calls for auction of 106m yacht Amadea amid "excessive" maintenance costs

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Lurssen   106.1 m •   2017

The world’s first fuel-cell superyacht hits the water

Credit: Finn Karstens

German shipbuilding giant Lürssen marked a significant milestone in the path towards sustainable yachting with the launch of 114.2-metre Project Cosmos, the first superyacht fitted with fuel cell technology. Once complete, the yacht will be able to create electricity to power its propulsion through a chemical reaction instead of combustion. The yacht has a huge float-in tender well – similar to the one on Octopus – and her exterior design is by Australian industrialist designer Marc Newson, who also designed the Apple Watch.

Read More/114m Project Cosmos spotted in transit from Lürssen

Jeff Bezos takes delivery of two yachts

Credit: Bjorn Mierop

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos made international headlines when he took delivery of his superyacht earlier in 2023 (with no bridge dismantling). The 125.9-metre Koru (a word meaning new life, growth and peace in Māori culture) is now the largest sailing yacht in the world (excluding Sailing Yacht A), as well as the flagship yacht of the Oceanco fleet. The classically-styled schooner was a radical departure from the modern, stealthy-looking superyacht that was expected from the billionaire, with Lateral Naval Architects and Dykstra Naval Architects taking care of her naval architecture and old-school look. Koru is shadowed by the 75-metre Abeona from Damen Yachting. 

Read More/127m Oceanco superyacht Koru spotted in Mallorca

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Oceanco   125.82 m •   2023

93m Mayan Queen rescues migrants from sinking boat

When a migrant boat capsized off Greece's southern Peloponnese peninsula, the 93.5-metre Mayan Queen IV was quick to step in to rescue survivors from the water. Around 100 people were brought to shore and treated for their injuries, although authorities reported at least 78 people drowned in the incident.

Read More/93m Mayan Queen IV rescues at least 100 migrants after boat sinks in Greece

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Blohm & Voss   96.75 m •   2008

€330M Ahpo becomes one of the biggest brokerage deals in history

The 115.1-metre Lürssen superyacht Ahpo changed hands just three months after coming to market. Moran Yacht & Ship represented both parties in the deal, which is believed to be the biggest sale in yachting history. Delivered in 2021, the yacht was asking €330,000,000 at the time of her sale, and was supremely private when she launched. Her new name, Lady Jorgia, was announced during the sale, but is yet to be implemented.

Read More/€330M Lürssen Ahpo sold in three months and renamed Lady Jorgia

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Lurssen   115.1 m •   2021

The OceanGate submersible implosion sparks commentary from the industry

The impact of the OceanGate submersible, which imploded in June on a descent to the Titanic killing all five passengers, was felt across the industry. Patrick Lahey, co-founder of Triton Submarines, said he tried to convince his long-time friend and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, who was killed in the incident, not to dive with OceanGate. "I tried to do everything I could to discourage him from going out there. I know many people that knew him did the same thing," he said. Rob McCallum, co-founder of EYOS Expeditions, agreed, recalling a dinner with OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush when "I told him in no uncertain terms that he was doing the wrong thing."

Read More/OceanGate submarine a "monstrosity" say industry experts

Two arrested following vandalism of Kaos

Two people were arrested following the deliberate vandalism of 110-metre Kaos while she was docked in the Balearic islands. A video posted on social media shows two climate activists spray painting the yacht’s stern until port authorities intervened. Kaos sustained no lasting damage, but the incident sent shockwaves through the industry, along with concerns about incidents like these becoming more commonplace.

Read More/Two arrested following Kaos vandalism in Ibiza

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Oceanco   110 m •   2017

Abeking & Rasmussen crowns new flagship

One of the most exciting yachts to be delivered in 2023 was Liva O, Abeking’s new flagship. At 118.2 metres, the inky black yacht underwent specialised laser welding to create her smooth, unbroken, high-gloss finish. Her designer described her as a “monolith” on the water.

Read More/118m Abeking & Rasmussen flagship Liva O delivered

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Abeking & Rasmussen   118.2 m •   2023

Kismet finds new owner and is renamed Whisper

After changing central agencies, the 95-metre Kismet sold in just three months in a deal between Cecil Wright & Partners and Christie Yachts. She was asking €149,000,000 at the time of her sale and has now been renamed Whisper. She was famously built for Shahid Khan, a Pakistani-American businessman and owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and his new yacht, still known as Project Jag, is moving closer to completion.

Read More/95m Lürssen motor yacht Kismet sold

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Lurssen   95.2 m •   2014

Kalizma comes under fire

Credit: Cory Michael Goldberg

The 50.2-metre superyacht Kalizma came under heavy fire in the Gulf of Aden, with pictures shared with BOAT International showing heavy bullet damage to the interior and exterior of the yacht. The incident was described as a pirate attack by eyewitnesses on board the boat, but a statement by officials claimed the “pirates” were actually Yemeni Coastguard vessels.

Read More/Kalizma: New details emerge following shooting off Yemeni coast

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Ramage & Ferguson   50.29 m •   1906

Fraser gets new CEO

Anders Kurtén was appointed CEO of leading brokerage firm Fraser in August.  The former CEO of Finnish shipyard Baltic Yachts brings 25 years of experience to his new role.

Read More/Fraser appoints Anders Kurtén as CEO

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