Experts in yachts divide the largest ones into two categories. Ships in the larger category are called “superyachts” and they are at least 70 feet long. The very richest people in the world seem to compete with one another for the privilege of having the largest yacht on the oceans. Indeed, only billionaires can afford these ships. Several have price tags over $500 million. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and the world’s richest man, is building a superyacht that will cost roughly that much.
The world’s largest yacht is called Azzam. Launched in October 2013, it is slightly longer than 180 meters, or over 590 feet. The largest warships in the U.S. navy, the Ford-class aircraft carriers, are almost 1,100 feet long.
According to Boat International, Azzam can accommodate 36 guests and nearly 80 crew members. It was built for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which is in one of the most oil-rich regions of the world. Abu Dhabi’s ruler, Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, is among the richest people in the world. Forbes claims his extended family is worth $150 billion.
Azzam’s dual water jet engines can power it to a maximum speed of an extremely fast 31 knots per hour. The ship weighs over 13,000 tons. It was built by German shipyard Lürssen, which builds both yachts and Navy ships. It is one of the oldest such facilities in the world, founded in 1875.
With the number of billionaires in the world growing, the race to own the largest yacht is not over. It is safe to assume that Azzam will be overtaken in the next decade.
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