When American businessman John Staluppi embarked on his yachting journey, it was to break records. He wanted his first yacht to be the first boat over 100 feet to exceed 30 knots, or 34.5 mph. He achieved it with the 118-foot For Your Eyes Only, delivered in 1985. It was also the first motoryacht in the US to have a combination of MTU diesel engines with water-jet propulsion.
His second yacht would smash all previous records. Delivered by Heesen in 1988, Octopussy fulfilled the Bond enthusiast’s aim to break the then 50-knot barrier with a top end of 53.17 knots (61 mph)—a speed that every other shipyard at the time said couldn’t be done. Octopussy immediately entered the record books as the world’s fastest yacht.
“That record was important to me because when you pull into any place there’s always a bigger boat or a prettier boat, but there aren’t many people who can say, ‘Hey, this is the fastest yacht in the world,’” Staluppi told Robb Report.
Heesen’s latest delivery, the 197-foot Ultra G, is one of the Dutch yard’s fastest projects these days, with a propulsion package totaling 22,000 horsepower, including four water jets that deliver a top speed of 37 knots (42.57 mph).
Of course, 43 mph is a paltry number compared to many of the yachts on this list, including the new Bolide 80. That Italian stallion, which will make its debut at the Monaco Yacht Show, runs at a blistering 84 mph. It shows that speed, even in the large motoryacht category, is very much alive.
Here are 13 of the fastest motoryachts, past and present, that have ever been on the water.
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