10 of the best British superyachts

Vava II

Britain has a strong boatbuilding heritage, launching some beautiful and historically important yachts. Today, British superyacht building is unassuming in its dominance – you might be surprised to learn Britain holds the number four ranking on the 2015 Global Order Book, claiming 2,216 metres of yachts more than 24 metres LOA in build.

Vava II

One of the best British superyachts launched in recent years was also one of the most secretive, and Boat International is the only magazine to have featured her. At 96 metres, Vava II is the largest on this list. Designed by Redman Whiteley Dixon with interior styling Remi Tessier, she was built by Devonport, which was acquired and renamed Pendennis Plus.

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Devonport   96 m •   2012


The sixth largest classic yacht in the world, Nahlin was designed by GL Watson and built by Brown J in the UK in 1930 for the British aristocrat Lady Yule. She’s certainly earned her best British superyacht badge, having ferried none other than Britain’s King Edward VIII with his American mistress and soon wife-to-be Wallis Simpson before his abdication from the throne.


Perhaps this British-built yacht should be know as the first superyacht support vessel. Sir Thomas Sopwith commissioned the 80 metre Philante, later re-named  Norge, to be a support yacht to his America’s Cup Challenger, the J Class yacht Endeavour ( currently for sale). Launched by Camper & Nicholsons in 1937, Norge – one of the best British superyachts of all time – ferried the sailing yacht’s rig across the Atlantic for racing. She was named Norge after WWII, when she became the royal yacht of Norway.


First launched by Vosper Thornycraft in 2004, M5 emerged from an extensive refit at Pendennis last year sporting a brand new backside and carbon fibre rigging. Her original designer, Ron Holland, oversaw the refit of the 78 metre sailing superyacht, which is widely regarded as one of the best British superyachts, whilst UK firm Redman, Whiteley, Dixon refreshed her interior.


The iconic Shemara was reborn after a recent refit that restored her to her former glory, putting this classic beauty on the list of best British superyachts. Originally launched by JL Thornycroft in 1938, a loving, seven-year restoration breathed new life into Shemara. The refit maintained her character while updating the yacht with all necessary modern conveniences.

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Thornycroft   64.41 m •   1938


Another British classic revived – Malahne’s 30-month refit has been called one of the most ambitious of all time. The hard work paid off, as she easily grabs a spot on the list of best British superyachts after Malahne was painstakingly refitted to look as if she had been in service since her launch in 1937. Built by Camper & Nicholsons, Malahne’s epic history includes service in WWII.

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Camper & Nicholsons   50.29 m •   1937

Yachts for charter


Camper & Nicholsons   50.29 m •   10 guests • Price from €145,000 p/w


Launched in 2014, the newest on this list of best British luxury yachts is Sunseeker's  Blush, owned by former F1 team principal Eddie Jordan. Blush stands out with her trendy light blue hull colour and recognisable Sunseeker styling. The Sunseeker 155 is also the largest yacht to emerge from the yard, that is until the new flagship, the  Sunseeker 168, launches.

Imperial Princess

In 2012, semi-custom builder Princess entered the custom yacht market with its M Class yacht, Imperial Princess, and hasn’t looked back. After the Princess 40M, Princess introduced its 30M, 32M and 35M as well. Built for an existing Princess owner, the first of the pack, award-winning Imperial Princess, earns a spot on the best British superyachts list.

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Princess   40.16 m •   2012

Shamrock V

Built by Camper & Nicholsons in 1930, the legendary Shamrock V is the only wooden J Class yacht in existence. The 36 metre sailing yacht Shamrock V is currently for sale, allowing an owner to scoop her up in time for the J Class regatta during the America’s Cup in 2017.


Another yacht currently owned by Eddie Jordan to earn a space in this list of the best of British-built yachts list is 27 metre Lush. The Oyster yacht is nimble on the water and an adept racer. A popular charter yacht, Lush was chased by whales during the St Barths Bucket this year, as Eddie Jordan recounted. Sailing yacht  Lush is currently for sale.

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