With choppy waters in the Eurozone and continuing jitters about the world economy, you could be forgiven for thinking that 2012 would be a quiet year for the superyacht industry. In fact, it was anything but.

Hitting the water before sea trials and handover was the 85-metre Lürssen Ace, known as Project Rocky during her build. The distinctive swooping curves are the work of Andrew Winch, with an impressive architectural arch and oval upper-deck balcony marking this out as a highly distinctive yacht. The build was managed by Moran Yacht & Ship. Later in the summer she visited the UK port of Portland, one of a number of high-profile superyacht visitors to British shores this year.

Also seen on the water this month for the first time was the Horizon 135 Polaris – the largest ice-class yacht ever built in Asia.


Leaving her base in Devon on England’s South Coast for the Caribbean was Vava II – the biggest private yacht ever built in the UK. The 96-metre had been launched at the Devonport Shipyard, part of the Pendennis Group, the previous September. She features exterior styling by Redman Whiteley Dixon and an interior from Rémi Tessier. The build was managed by Burgess.

February’s news was dominated by the shocking loss of the 60-metre superyacht Yogi sinking on passage in the Aegean. Only crew were on board at the time and they were safely rescued by Greek air force helicopters. The full report on the sinking is expected to be made public in January.

The remarkable 73.6-metre Pegaso made her first public appearance. This is a superyacht-plus, designated ‘RV’ for Research Vessel because as well as all the comforts you’d expect – including a superb owner’s deck at sundeck level – she packs in a fully functioning science laboratory for serious ocean exploration. She charters through Edmiston.


Not only is the 50-metre Delta Arianna a stunning superyacht – she was one of the stars of the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in October – she’s also interesting because her build and charter activities are being managed by SG Private Wealth Advisors – a billionaire-funded multi-family office offering advisory services for high-net-worth individuals. “The owner of Arianna is a client of SG Private Wealth Advisors. Ultimately our job is to provide high-net-worth individuals with impartial advice across their balance sheet. A yacht is one such asset that requires careful consideration because it can easily become a major liability if not handled properly. We expect other owners will see Arianna as a case study for yacht marketing,” says Dovi Frances, co-founder of SG Private Wealth Advisors.

Also making her debut this month was the Vicem 107 Moni. Built using Vicem’s proven cold-moulded process that uses laminated mahogany and a specially formulated epoxy resin, the 107 boasts a hull that is strong, quiet and better able to cope with humidity.


Emerging from a shed in late May at the Lürssen yard was Project Azzam, the biggest superyacht in the world at a reported 180 metres plus, bypassing Roman Abramovich’s Eclipse at 165 metres. Exterior design is by Nauta Yachts. Early indications are that the highly secretive yacht will have turbines driving waterjets, certainly making her one of the fastest yachts over 100 metres. On the water at the same time at the yard was the 147-metre Project Topaz.


At 47 metres, the Heesen Lady Petra was created for the yard’s founder, Frans Heesen. She is the latest in the award-winning 47-metre displacement series of yachts and the second yacht built by the yard for its founder. With an 8.8-metre beam and accommodation for 12 guests and nine crew, she has an interior by Bannenberg and Rowell.

June also saw the start of the J-Class rally, in which Rainbow, Velsheda, Lionheart and Ranger were in action off the south coast of the UK.

For part two of our 2012 review, click here.