Robb Report


As day-to-day lives become busier and busier, the desire to obtain greater quality time and connection with family, friends and business associates is considered true luxury. We eke out our getaway time, spending a week in one resort or vacation home or another, a place where each family member takes off on their own for the day and may join the rest of the group for dinner. What if you changed up the paradigm? Instead of a holiday where guests meet up for breakfast or dinner, how about an adventure where everyone enjoys a variety of activities selected and arranged in advance for each guest’s wish list? And the actual location of this holiday could even reflect one of your favorite homes or resorts! Envision working with a designer to build a yacht that mirrors your favorite house or destination—your dream home, floating on beautiful seas that change from season to season. Or, if chartering, you can enjoy an expedition-style yacht one week and a sailing vessel another. Accommodations for 12 guests or just four can all be managed. There are no limits to creating your perfect vacation or destination to share with others or enjoy on your own.

A private yacht is the ultimate solution—from gigayachts and superyachts to sport yachts and day boats. Whether designing a bespoke superyacht that you build with shipyards such as Oceanco or Benetti or opting for a proven platform to personalize, such as a yacht from Azimut, Riva, Sunseeker, Sirena Yachts, Sunreef Yachts or Westport, you can create your own personal space to be enjoyed in so many ways.

Does the idea of building or commissioning a new yacht seem overwhelming? Companies like Burgess can help you buy, build, manage, charter and even sell your yacht when you’re ready for a new space on the water. The company can even work with the designer of your choice, such as Pininfarina (a studio best known for designing Italian sports cars), whose sleek yacht designs (both interior and exterior) are showcased on its site.

If you’re ready to experience crystal-blue water, nature and local delicacies, the British Virgin Islands are an ideal location for true inspiration of every kind, offering quaint coves, transparent waters, snorkeling and diving, dining, shopping and exploration adventures. International Superyacht Society (ISS) is an organization that stands for excellence in yachting, known particularly for helping the marine industry move the needle forward. Yacht owners can rest assured that industry members are working together to stay up-to-date on new technology; encourage design perfection; and inspire crew excellence, diplomatic leadership and charitable work around the globe. Join the yachting lifestyle and create unforgettable memories and connections that will shape the journeys ahead.

Building a Dream

The first question is: Do you want to enjoy entertaining with extended family and friends or do you prefer just a few? Benetti has a range to fill either need. This is your opportunity to run with your dreams, no holds barred. From fitness rooms and multiple dining areas to swim and sunning spaces.

Livorno, Italy-based Benetti celebrates its 50th anniversary this year along with sibling Azimut Yachts. Recently, they reached new records in building and launching several gigayachts greater than 300 feet in length. This size of yacht allows for amenities such as a touch-and-go helipad, swimming pool, accommodations for 20-plus guests and 29 crew, and the ability to travel 6,500 nautical miles (or across the Atlantic and then some). Do you want to be perfectly styled in your own beauty salon? Need to ensure a dining area that seats all 20-plus people on board? Or perhaps you foresee time in the spa with the amenities of your choice—massage, yoga studio, gym and hammam. One of Benetti’s 100-plus-meter gigayachts features hybrid propulsion, which lowers emissions and makes for a more efficient, vibration-free cruise. Yours can too. However you envision your home away from home, a gigayacht will ensure you have the space to check off your wish list of features.

Dutch shipyard Oceanco, a world-class builder of custom superyachts up to the 459-foot range, recently delivered DreAMBoat to its owners, who accomplished building their dream yacht with custom features that perfectly reflect their lifestyle. The owners of this 295-foot yacht used the services of famous yacht designers Espen Øino (exterior) and Terence Disdale (interior). Built specifically for a multigenerational cruising family, DreAMBoat has staterooms for 23 guests and 33 crew members who will ensure that your every need is taken care of. Custom cocktail? No problem. Need a snack? No problem. You name it; there is someone to take care of it for you. Talk about service! The owners of DreAMBoat can enjoy relaxing time in the pool and hot tubs, numerous conversation areas, special movie nights under the stars and expansive, unspoiled views both inside and out.

Building your yacht from the ground up also allows for accommodation of environmental and safety concerns. Oceanco’s DreAMBoat and has achieved the ECO-IHM (inventory of hazardous materials) notation, which shows the owners’ commitment to operating the vessel on an environmentally sound basis beyond statutory compliance. What’s your dream boat?

Personalizing the Proven

If building a yacht from concept to completion is too daunting, how about a proven platform upon which you personalize the yacht of your dreams? Get to know the brand whose style feels most in tune with yours and let your selections expand from there. Picture yourself on board. Here are a few, among many, to choose from: Part of the Azimut Benetti group, Azimut Yachts (currently celebrating its 50th anniversary) offers many award-winning boats. The Azimut S8 made a surprise appearance at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September, where it was unveiled for the public. The almost-81-foot yacht features accommodations for eight guests and two crew members in a hull designed by Alberto Mancini and a contemporary interior by Francesco Guida. Propelled by three Volvo IPS 1350 drives, the yacht hits a top speed of 34 knots.

For many yacht lovers, UK-based Sunseeker brings to mind the exhilaration of skimming along the water in a sporty yacht with the freedom to roam and the amenities to make roaming comfortable. Recent models from the builder make the most use of natural light, with retractable glass skylights and huge windows throughout the yacht. Whether hanging out on the flybridge with the bar and hot tub or on the foredeck with ample seating and optional shading, the whole line offers speedy yachts with plenty of space to spend quality time. Sunseeker has now expanded its bespoke service in partnership with Icon Yachts, which will be seen with the Sunseeker 161, the shipyard’s largest vessel to date.

Riva, a Ferretti Group brand rich in history, presents the Riva 90’ Argo model, a new generation of Riva flybridges with two master suites—one on the main deck and one down below. From the Ferretti Group Superyacht Yard, Riva recently launched its 164-foot model, which takes the recognizable Riva traits—like mahogany details—and kicks it up a notch. The larger Riva 50METRI model hits a top speed of 15 knots.

Sirena Yachts, a Turkish shipyard, presented the world debut of Sirena 88 at the Cannes Yachting Festival this September. This new member to the Sirena Yachts fleet is noted as a “true expedition-go-anywhere” small yacht with a five-cabin layout for up to 12 people, including a main-deck master suite. Sirena enlisted noted designer Germán Frers for the yacht’s fuel-efficient lines and Cor D. Rover for the interior. Other attention-grabbing features include all kinds of outdoor lounging space, two formal dining areas and an optional Jacuzzi on the sundeck.

If catamarans fit a little better in your dream category,

Sunreef Yachts is an established brand that just might check everything off your wish list, whether you prefer a sailing yacht or a motor yacht. The Polish yard’s most recent release is the 80 Sunreef Power catamaran, unveiled at this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival. If you love this power cat that accommodates up to 12 guests, you are not alone: Tennis star Rafael Nadal has already ordered his.

Westport Yachts, the largest US-based shipyard, is a tried-and-true yacht builder with a history of building a wide variety of vessels that consistently please owners. From 112 to 164 feet, the composite-built yachts accommodate from eight to 12 guests in four to six staterooms. Westport also has its own charter division. Choose from a raised-pilothouse design or a tri-deck with space for 12 crew and 20-plus-knot cruising speeds (26-knot max). Westport’s design and engineering teams worked with designer Donald Starkey and naval architect William Garden to develop a hull form with solid ocean-going performance, a configuration that balances interior and on-deck spaces and contemporary styling to stay relevant over the years.

Where Do You Start?

If building a customized yacht is beyond your time and wheelhouse, enlist a company such as Burgess to help you through the whole process. Burgess will help you find a yacht designer, a builder to manufacture that design, an interior designer, management to help you find and maintain crew, oversee vessel maintenance and arrange charters, if you choose, when it’s not in use.

In the Details

Design firm Pininfarina, known for its 90 years of historical designs for custom automobiles, yachts, jets, architecture, technology and, well, almost anything in the refined luxury sector, has recently shown two of its yachts at the Monaco Yacht Show last September. Showing its breadth of nautical experience, the studio showcased sailing yacht Wally 101 and motor yacht Princess Y95. Fincantieri and Rossinavi are two other shipyards that collaborated with Pininfarina.

If you want to see more of Pininfarina’s history and creations, tour the studio’s design center in Italy, where its many masterpieces are on display.

The World Is Yours

Where to begin exploration? Most of the world’s yachts spend time in the Mediterranean in the summer and head to the Caribbean for the winter months. Some daring few veer off to chase glaciers in Alaska or Greenland, while others aim to discover sea turtles and other wildlife in Central and South America.

If you picture yourself snorkeling, paddle-boarding and swimming in clear waters without a wet suit, check out the British Virgin Islands. Nearly 60 islands provide serene anchorages, choice beaches, snorkeling and dive sites, grottos, caves, tropical flowers, Caribbean dining splendor and cocktail creations, and much more. Explore in the style and comfort of your choice.

Striving Beyond Excellence

The yachting industry constantly strives to excel in every way. Founded to represent the superyacht industry, ISS works with members to advocate for industry-wide issues, such as code improvement, taxes, positive industry ethics and crew training, and provides a welcome space for shipyards, designers, architects and other marine industry professionals to share ideas and cheer each other on. In fact, the annual Leadership Award for charitable work, mentoring and contributing to improving yachting overall is voted on by its members who are often competitors. Other award categories include best interior, exterior, refits and more. Perhaps your personalized superyacht will take the award in its category!


The yachting community in general has embraced new technology to increase stabilization permitting even the most sensitive individuals to enjoy being at sea without motion sickness. There is also great focus on today’s environmental concerns. From hybrid yachts to those powered by electric propulsion and hulls designed for maximum efficiency, today’s yachts are designed and built with an eye toward sustainability, while at the same time ensuring top-notch comfort and service for the most discerning yacht owner. What does your new yacht look like?