Mega-Yachts at Sea
Can super-yachts handle very rough seas?
By Ron Larson, Encinitas CA
I’ve never been on a super yacht in rough seas. However, I would say no. I would not want to risk my life on one in a major storm. I suspect that they would be fine, to a tipping point, then all hell would break loose.
Here is what I don’t like about the average super yacht that I’ve seen.
Windows along the hull. Windows are just holes in your hull that are plugged by glass/plastic. You want to minimize the holes in your hull because every hole is a potential source of leaking. They have large windows close to the water line. To my eye, those are just waiting for a large wave or debris to break it and let water flood in.
Large windows above the deck. Normally, these window would never have a wave hit them. However, it can happen. I wouldn’t trust them to stand up to beating. I would insist that they have storm covers available on board to protect them.
Interior objects not stationary. They decorate these things like mansions. Lots of loose things are sitting around waiting to become missiles when the boat lurches about. What if one of these things hits one of those big windows?
Flat transom. They like to put big flat transoms on these things for lots of entertainment space. The problem with a transom like that in a following sea is that it can catch a wave and plow you into the wave in front. Give me a double ended any day that will split the following wave to the sides.
High Super Structure. A sailboat can always reef the sails, but you can’t reduce your windage on a super structure. In high winds, that acts like a sail, pushing you all over the place.
Before Steve Jobs died, he commissioned a super yacht for his family. Being Steve Jobs, he couldn’t let the naval architects do their job. He had to tweak it. His boat ended up with lots of custom seamless glass. I pictured a “slide to unlock” hatchways being installed. I remember thinking, “God help him and his family if they take that boat out in the real water.” The sea is an unforgiving mistress. His aesthetic tweaks may have introduced vulnerabilities that can kill people. He didn’t understand mega-yachts at sea.
Having said all that, if I was rich enough to buy a yacht, I would chose one of the Nordhaven models.
— Reprinted from Quora Digest