What is a mega yacht?
A Luxury yacht (also super-yacht, large yacht and mega-yacht) is a very expensive, privately owned, professionally crewed sailing or motor yacht.
There is no industry-wide standard for the difference between super-yacht and mega-yacht. The only legal distinction is between yachts above 24 metres (79 ft) and below, as in some countries those above 24 meters must have a permanent crew onboard. This term began to appear at the beginning of the 20th century, when wealthy individuals constructed large private yachts for personal pleasure, such as Charles Henry Fletcher's Jemima F. III, at 111 feet, the largest motor-powered yacht in the world in 1908. More examples of early luxury motor yachts include the Cox & King yachts, Charles L. Seabury and Company's yachts, M/Y (motor yacht) Christina O, and M/Y Savarona. Early luxury sailing yachts include America's Cup classic J class racers such as Endeavour and Sir Thomas Lipton's Shamrock.
Between 1997 and 2008, there was a massive growth in the number, size, and popularity of large private or super-sized luxury yachts in the 24-to-70-metre (79 to 230 ft) size range. Luxury yachts, mega-yachts, or super-yachts typically have no real home port as such, although a yacht must be registered in a port of the country where its flag state is registered. Popular flag state registrars for large yachts are Cayman Islands, Marshall Islands, Isle of Man, and the British Virgin Islands, among others. (Many times the yacht will have never been to these ports.) They are particularly bountiful in the Mediterranean Sea in summer and the Caribbean Sea in winter. Some can be chartered (rented) for sums of up to 1 million Euro per week. Yachts will dock in a port of choosing while the crew does maintenance work and waits for owners or guests to arrive. The vessels then will do short cruises with the owners and/or guests aboard. Typical destinations in Spain and the French and Italian Rivieras include Cannes, Antibes, St. Tropez, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Porto Cervo, Puerto Banús, Puerto Portals, and Palma, Majorca, although increasingly luxury yachts are cruising in more remote areas of the world. Antigua is one of the main ports in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean and hosts a Charter Show at the beginning of the winter season. As of 2016 there were about 10,000 luxury yachts, worldwide, over 24 metres in length. The annual production rate was reported to be around 150.
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