The bold and beautiful boats of this year’s Monaco Yacht Show
The autumn yachting season sets sail with a cluster of boat shows around the world, including the Salone Nautico in Genoa, the Cannes Yachting Festival and the biggest and most prestigious event of all, the annual Monaco Yacht Show at the end of September. Founded in 1991, the MYS was focused on superyachts from the start, and as the sector expanded, along with the length and ostentation of the yachts themselves, the MYS has become a celebration of all things high-end, and not just nautically minded.
As always, far-fetched concepts are thick on the ground, although the boats in the harbour are no less spectacular. Contemporary designed interiors still lag a decade or so behind architectural trends, and there’s still a noticeable passion for the all-out, highly styled decorative interior; Winch Design’s TIS, built by German yard Lürssen, won the Show’s Interior Design Award for its Versailles-on-sea approach. Other companies used the MYS – and Cannes – to debut designs that are many years from being launched.
So is it all just business as usual? As demonstrated by the billions of dollars invested in the boats floating in Port Hercules and moored offshore, the superrich don’t seem to be in much danger of going broke. And superyachts aren’t losing their fascination either. Launching such a boat isn’t exactly a stealthy operation; these beasts take years to build and fit-out and shipyards around the world are stalked by enthusiasts eager to track progress on the latest vessels. Despite the high-wattage spotlight that shines on these extreme displays of wealth, designers, shipyards and owners collude to keep essential details under wraps. You have to be in the know to understand exactly where the money’s coming from, for example, and while a 100m-long yacht can’t exactly stay under the radar, you’ll be hard pressed to find interior images of many of the biggest and boldest boats afloat; they are simply not available for public consumption.
Monaco has a vested interest in maintaining this veil, and even though the MYS is all about display, getting on board the newest superyachts is very much an invite-only proposition. That said, the show is still a place for ‘international premieres’, with new launches taking the role of debutantes on the international stage. Here’s our round-up of the best new boats, completed or conceptual, unveiled at the tail end of summer 2019.