Why are yachts so much expensive to buy nowadays?
The engineering of a modern yacht is no simpler than the construction of an airliner. It brings together hundreds of technological inventions for safety, handling, speed, beauty, and comfort. When a new yacht is being developed, they first create a 1: 1 (life-size) layout, and a team of engineers and designers checks everything: how all the doors open and close, the windows of panoramic windows work, the underwater wing system is functioning, the cruise mode, is it good yachts control behavior, etc. Yacht builders have no secondary tasks. They are equally concerned with the fact that the "smart" night lamp by the bed lights up on the movement of the hand, and that when switching to cruising speed the yacht does not lose close contact with the water.
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Yacht engineers are one-off specialists, on whose qualifications the success of the entire project depends. According to Michael Bremen, Sales Director of the German shipyard Lurssen, there are only 10-15 designers in the world who collaborate with the main shipyards, and a few more emerging talents whose names are not yet so widely known. A yacht designer is an artist and a designer rolled into one, almost Leonardo Da Vinci. The price of such a specialist is very high. The cost of the work of interior and exterior designers of super-, mega-yachts, semi-custom (Espen Oino, Tim Heywood, Andrew Winch, Terence Dislade, Alberto Pinto, Bernard Olesinski, etc.) and their teams can reach from 1.5% to 10% of the cost of the yacht.
Shipbuilding is a science-intensive field since the yacht hull is exposed to serious dynamic loads. A shipbuilder's mistake can lead to the fact that the hull will simply crack due to the strong wave. Also, the engineer must ensure that the yacht meets all modern requirements for handling, speed, and reliability of navigation systems. Educational institutions that would put on a stream the training of specialists in yachts simply do not exist.
Bureaus such as Bernard Olesinski Design become institutions of higher education that create high-class specialists in the field of yacht design from talented designers. With the help of competitions, they conduct professional selection among talented, experienced designers, then work with them and bring them to the world level.
Many designers receive special education in both art and shipbuilding engineering, and some yacht design gurus have about 45 years of experience. Like, for example, Bernard Olesinski. He remains the consummate superyacht architect, and Bernard Olesinski and his team have been with Princess since the 1970s.
Yachts are produced in small series, often made to order. The creation of a large 30-40-meter yacht takes about one and a half to two years. Moreover, there are not so many shipyards in the world capable of creating such a yacht. Among them are the English shipyard Princess Yachts, the Italian Azimut Yachts, Arcadia Yachts, Benetti Yachts, the Finnish shipyard Baltic Yachts, the Dutch Privateer Yachts & Silverline Yachts, etc. Each custom-made yacht is unique. For example, the Princess 40M Solaris has an interior and layout (6 cabins) designed by Princess Design Studio and Mark Berryman Design based on the wishes of the ship owner. The yacht has a gym and 2 master cabins.
This is a luxury estate afloat. By the way, its autonomy has been proven. In 2015, the yacht spent more than six months in the Indian Ocean without entering the port. The crew members and guests took part in the experiment; they did not leave the board during this entire time. People did not need anything, two desalination plants replenished the necessary water supplies. Of course, it was necessary to refuel the ship and replenish the food warehouse - this happened in the ocean without entering the port. For six months there were no breakdowns: the pitch stabilization systems, air conditioners, generators did not fail, although the weather conditions were sometimes not the best.
During the construction phase of the yacht, most of the work is manual labor. Moreover, this is the work of highly qualified specialists. For example, workers manually putty the hull with a special compound of a special resin, polish the surface to a perfect gloss, so that the yacht feels like Chinese porcelain to the touch. This is a piece of jewelry. If the surface of the yacht has even the slightest flaw and does not shine like an expensive car, the boat will simply not be launched.
In the construction of the hulls, carbon fiber, steel of special alloys, and aluminum are used: a lot of material is required for super- and mega-yachts, and all this directly affects the cost of the boat. The yacht is finished with natural leather, teak, mahogany, marble, and other expensive materials. Many items of equipment and navigation systems are made to order, and furniture and interior items are created according to exclusive patterns. Moreover, all the nuances: from planning to finishing are discussed with the future owner.