What is a Gigayacht? Yes, size DOES matter.

Posted: Jul 30, 2019
A colleague recently shared a LinkedIn post with me, delighted by the moniker “Gigayacht.” I was intrigued, as I have only recently been able to grasp the use of the terms Superyacht and Megayacht, depending on the preference of owner, management team, and crew.

What is the difference between a Megayacht and a Superyacht? Wikipedia defines it as follows:

"A Superyacht or Megayacht is a large, luxurious, professionally crewed motor or sailing yacht, ranging from 24 metres (79 ft) to more than 180 metres (590 ft) in length."

So what is a Gigayacht?

In a 2011 report, CNN headlined the "Rise of the Gigayacht," advising that while there was not an official definition of the term, Gigayacht generally referred to “anything that is over 220 feet (67 meters) where the majority of the yacht is customized and bespoke."

And so, here we are late in the 2019 Med season, and the Gigayacht is indeed alive, well, and taking the maritime industry by storm. Do we need the term Gigayacht? Does it really refer to something, bigger, better… or dare I say it, BEST?

Forbes recently shared a story on Benetti’s launch of three such vessels: “With the successful delivery of the first of three private yachts that each measure well over 300-feet long, the Italian superyacht shipyard Benetti is doing things that probably no other megayacht builder has ever done. They not only built three different yachts over 350-feet long simultaneously. They launched them all within 100 days of each other as well.”

The Robb Report covered the recent launch of IJE, referring to it as ‘the Italian-built floating palace’. It was handed over at the builder’s Livorno yard, just in time for the prime Mediterranean cruising season. The Robb Report has also covered Project Redwood, on track to be delivered in 2019. The 456-foot Lürssen Gigayacht, designed by Nuvolari Lenardi, with two helipads, mega-tenders, and the ability to explore the globe. Late last season Robb Report also reported on the Gigayacht Tis, the Lürssen built, 360 foot vessel with "an an elegant, lithe profile and abundant, light-filled interior spaces".

Boat International ran an article on the Gigayacht building craze, featuring the 182.6 metre Vard explorer yacht REV, the largest in-build project in the world. Rev is due to launch in 2020.

And not to be outdone, Maxim and the London Sun each reported on Project Valkyrie, a concept designed by Yacht Designer Chulhun Park and sponsored by U.S.-based superyacht builder Palmer Johnson.

There are dozens more stories and publications referencing the term 'Gigayacht', featuring design images of these 'luxury leviathans.' Is the Gigayacht destined to become the norm in an industry where size (and incredible design) really does matter? We would love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, back to the drawing board for me, whilst I learn which term (Gigayacht, Superyacht, or Megayacht) is best used on a per case basis.

See one example of Axxess Marine’s Gigayacht project work here.

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