Longest mega-yacht Azzam / Getty
/ By Alan Gallindoss /
For the world’s super rich the race to hold bragging rights for the possession of the longest mega-yacht in the world is an on-going one, and one which may have certain distinctly phallic overtones as well but there it is. Many hundreds of feet long, some of these vessels are really large ships and are the epitome of absolute luxury having as well gorgeous interior design. Some of them are undoubtedly a little garish, but a few are genuinely very beautiful.
Until now the longest mega yacht in the world belonged to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich with his 536-foot long mega yacht Eclipse.
Super yacht Eclipse /Getty
Now however French luxury yachting magazine Yachts France reports, in its annual survey of super yachts, that the 590-foot yacht Azzam has pushed Eclipse down into the number 2 slot. Azzam has been built by Dutch shipbuilder Lürssen Yachts for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Abu Dhabi.
A remarkable vessel and an absolutely stunning piece of design, Azzam was built by super yacht specialist Lürssen Yachts in just three years, and was launched only in April. The yacht has an unusually shallow draught of of just over 14 feet in order to navigate the comparatively shallow waters of the Persian Gulf.
Roman Abramovich /Getty Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan/ Getty
Today’s super yachts are typically a collaboration between many design talents. In this case Engineer Mubarak Saad al Ahbabi directed the construction of Azzam, with technical engineering by Lürssen, exterior design by Nauta Yachts and interior design by Christophe Leoni. Among the original specifications laid down for the yacht was the ability to voyage at very high speed in the warm and shallow waters of the Gulf, while providing luxurious and sophisticated accommodation. Azzam is actually longer than a British Type 45 destroyer and can go just about as fast, reportedly managing a top speed in sea trials of 31.5 knots.
According to the Wikipedia entry for the yacht Azzam is powered by a combination of two gas turbine engines and two diesel engines with a total power output of 94, 000 horsepower. This power is then applied by four pump-jets, 2 with non moveable round water outlets in the middle of the stern and 2 with thrust vectoring capabilities using moveable duct water outlets positioned on either side of the non moveable ones.
Really it sounds just like a jet boat doesn’t it?