When choosing a yacht – or any boat – it’s impossible to say which ones are going to be ideal for you, since the whole point of a seafaring vessel is to do whatever it is you want it to do. Bowfishers will have different needs when it comes to yachts than strict pleasure-cruisers, and families who aim to travel the world under sail will need something different still. If you’re new to the game, you might consider this piece on ten simple steps to buying a yacht.
Conversely, if you already know basically what you want, or are just window-shopping, we’ve got the 16 best yachts of 2016 for every kind of buyer.
For Family Cruises: Hanse recently launched their flagship: the 675; but that isn’t where you should focus. Built like a Dehler, the 315 is an artful pocket rocket that is fun to sail and bears plenty of cabin space in the aft for luggage or additional sleeping quarters. Tall sailors will also love the headspace.
Bavaria Yachts Cruiser 56
For a Custom Feel: Most yachts that come off the rack have a clinical feel, making them seem like a blank slate, or a suit that is in desperate need of tailoring. Bavaria has found a way to add natural woods and additional light to their new Cruiser 56 flagship that offers a custom feel, all at the price of an assembly-line item. Dual helms and rudders complete the package, adding more control than its single cousins.
For Trendsetting: A continental cross-breed between Italian crafting and the South American need for flair, you’re going to turn heads as you sail into any marina. Capitalizing on the success of their 48-footers from 2006, the 50 takes it a small step further, crafting a Mediterranean masterpiece.
For Luxury Cruising: Luxury items are often meant for comfort, with speed and performance a very distance second to being pampered through every white cap and wake splash. In the 13.98, performance is built right into the luxury package so you can enjoy relaxing on the laminated deck as the hydraulic backstay control and the rod rigging allows you to ride the wind.
For Beauty Inside and Out: Most yacht manufacturers will take a small design and expand it with limited actual upgrades. The Jeanneau 64 from the beating heart of France’s seafaring culture is not such an error. Andrew Winch designed the entire interior, and with many layout options, this is a mini superyacht for the ages.
For Pure Sport: From North Carolina comes a made in the USA badass with speed to spare. Though it’s a convertible that’s built for speed, you’ll find that going through the cabin, there’s a surprising abundance of space. Large window frames offer more light, and the build gives a greater sense of size, even as the narrow keel hacks through chop on your way to the next trophy fish.
For Marco Polo: Western companies have had a difficult time breaking into the eastern ship markets. Feadship managed to change that with a single boat: the Helix. It’s the first new-made, 45-foot superyacht to be bought by a member of the People’s Republic of China; establishing itself as an international star.
Viking 62 Convertible
For a Quick Change: 42 knots worth of pure muscle, this has a Caterpillar C32A that cranks a full 1,925-horsepower with the diesel turbos spooled up. Not only is the top speed a beast that will skim this fine skiff along the breakers, it accelerates like it’s coming off starting blocks. Watch the RPMs as you crank the single lever, and you’ll see it will land right in the 2,300 rpm sweet spot that so many claim, and so few deliver.
Arcadia Yachts Tortoise
For a Floating Green Fortress: For a scant 13 million, the Tortoise packs a lot of power into its 115-foot shell. Built to be eco-friendly with several solar panels meant to recharge accessories and reduce the strain on the engine. This adds to the range of the Toroise, and given the twin MAN V-8 engines with 1,200 hp, it’ll get you to your destination fast.
Lürssen Ester III
For a Mini-Cruise liner: A displacement steel hull that wends its way into an aluminum superstructure, the skeleton of Ester III is as hardy as a battleship, but when covered with teak wood then made-over to meet the rigorous criteria of Lloyds Register classification society rules, it becomes an erudite dame with the heart and soul of a street brawler.
For Explorers en Vogue: It’s a difficult balance to strike between being fashionable and being practical, but walking along the line between the two is the 460EXP. Meant to give a superyacht feel while not being quite as cumbersome, it’s built for safety and stylish travel, but also for exploring the corners of the world.
Wider 150 Superyacht
For Sheer Size: Bigger than most luxury hotel suites, this Italian monstrosity has finally completed its sea tests and is ready to delight. More than 1,000-square-feet, it’s a floating beach club that takes the party anywhere it goes. Included is its own saltwater swimming pool that can convert to a tender bay at a moment’s notice.
For Going Where There Be Dragons: Damen is the umbrella company Amels, so anyone worth their salt knows when they make a boat, it’s meant to be a winner. Intended to go literally anywhere in the world, the hull of the SeaXplorer uses the Sea Axe fast-support oil vessels as a template. The result is a nigh-unbreachable creation.
Sunseeker Manhattan 52 (2016 Edition)
For the Water Phoenix: Sunseeker might not be in ashes, but they’ve been a niche market brand for several years. With the short, sassy Manhattan 52, the company is showing that it again intends to take its rightful place in the market, offering luxury in the flybridge world of trim and tight wave-runners.
For Complexity: The title of this vessel translates loosely into “nature dappled in sunlight” and looking over the body of this beauty, it’s clear why. Floor to ceiling glass windows let sun into every corner, except where trees set in planters offer shade over the pool. When you need a spa that drifts, here’s your haven.
Sea Force IX Luxury Performance Sport Yacht
For Having it All: Party on it, take it around the world, make Marlin extinct if you so choose; this is Mecca when it comes to the yachting world. Within spitting distance of 100-feet, you’ll get an enormous state room along with several guest quarters, plus deck and storage that can fit most of Maine. Able to cruse at almost 30 knots, it’s a mover for as big as it is.