The Super Rich Are Buying $50 Million “Support Yachts" To Haul Their Toys

Sailing from port to port in peace and seclusion on a multimillion-dollar boat sounds appealing, but as any seasoned yacht owner can tell you, just cruising around can get a bit boring. That’s why the rich and famous need diversions to enjoy their luxury vessels — maybe a sailboat or fishing boat, diving gear, jet skis, or even a submarine. There’s one problem: Where do they store all that gear? That’s where the “support yacht” comes in. It’s essentially a boat designed to trail the main yacht and carry all the toys people don’t want cluttering up the mothership. Dutch shipbuilder Damen has delivered a half-dozen 230-foot support yachts with premium finishes like high-specification air conditioning and entertainment systems that cost about $50 million. The Damen Yacht Support line starts at 150-feet for $14 million. Support yachts can carry everything from spare provisions, laundry and fine china to garbage and waste water. It’s far more economical to add a yacht support vessel than it is to upgrade a superyacht to accommodate extra supplies and equipment. The rule of thumb is: If you can afford a superyacht, you can afford a support vessel.