Everywhere we look, the world is speeding up. Our daily lives are more streamlined than ever before, our commutes more swift, our smartphones outperforming even the speediest computers from a couple of years ago. Cars and motorcycles frequently break their own land speed records… so why shouldn’t the ever-glamorous, ever-evolving world of superyachts follow suit?
If there’s one thing the global elite love, it’s to be in possession of a record-breaker. This unstoppable drive to outdo themselves is the engine which powers the superyacht industry, and we’re constantly seeing shipyards crowing about shattering previous personal bests, and launching vessels which redefine the capabilities of the superyacht. While value, size, and lavishness are all key aspects of the superyacht, nothing quite beats the thrill of owning and sailing a ship which is top of the tree in terms of sheer speed and exhilaration.
While superyacht owners of the past seemed perfectly happy being docked at some luxurious port for months at a time, the new generation of yachters are keen to push their ships and explore their potential at sea. This has led to a new rise in ultra-fast yachts, and the current records are bound to be smashed yet again as 2018 progresses. Nonetheless, let’s check out the current three fastest vessels out there on the water right now. Buckle up – it’s going to be a thrilling ride!
First Place: Foners, 70.1 knots
It takes a royal touch to break the speed records at sea, it seems. Several of the world’s fastest vessels are in the hands of royalty, and the speediest of them all – Foners – belongs to King Juan Carlos of Spain, and regularly zooms its way around the Balearic and Canary Islands, eliciting gasps from all those it streaks past. It’s a highly impressive superyacht in every possible way; the interior design is flawless, the exterior shape of the ship is utterly beautiful, and when cruising at top speed, the front of the hull lifts magnificently from the water, as if it’s about to take off and fly into the sunset.
Foners packs some seriously impressive machinery into her engine space, as you might expect. She is propelled across the blue waters of the Med by two 1,280 hp MAN engines, as well as no less than three Rolls Royce 6,700 hp gas turbines pushing through three water jets. With all of this combined, this glamorous superyacht hits the world record-breaking superyacht speed of 70.1 knots – and that’s seriously fast!
Second Place: World Is Not Enough, 67 knots
Photo: Panoram 4 Piano
Millennium Super Yachts, the high-concept shipyard and design team launched by John Staluppi and John Rosatti, has long had a fascination with the high-octane thrills of the 007 movies. World Is Not Enough, which was completed in 2004, is a genuine testament to their obsession, and has maintained itself in the top echelons of speedy superyachts for over a decade as a result. Unlike many other super-fast superyacht, World Is Not Enough combines glamour and luxury with speed and thrills, as alongside the 20,600 hp engine (really!) she also boasts 10 guest suites and many of the usual trappings of the more leisurely yachts out there.
World Is Not Enough is propelled by an absolute powerhouse of seagoing engine work. A pair of Paxman diesel engines team up with another pair of Lycoming gas turbines, which rocket the ship along on triple water jets. Beautiful, majestic, and blisteringly fast, this is a yacht which deserves its place in the history books.
Third Place: Galeocerdo, 65 knots
Wow. If there was ever a superyacht which simply looks fast, then this is it: the Galeocerdo seems as though it has dropped right out of a science fiction movie, or the fever dreams of a futurist painter. It gives new meaning to the word ‘sleek’, and would make a decent Bond villain cruiser with its titanium cladding and sharp, aerodynamic design.
From the very beginning, Galeocerdo was built for speed. Designed and produced by Luca Bassani, the intention was to create a new concept superyacht that could maintain top speeds even in very rough seas, with the shape of the ship cutting through high waves like a knife. The concept was tested in Ferrari’s wind tunnels in Italy, and it was built from the results of those initial experiments. Powered by triple waterjets and twin screws built by Rolls Royce, this titanium wonder machine has a horsepower of 16,800… need we say more?