The arms race in megayachts has reached a new level, with the launch of the "mega support-yacht."
Support yachts are for people who have outgrown their mega-yachts and need more space for their helicopters, speedboats, launches and submarines. The support yacht acts as a floating garage, trailing alongside the main yacht with all of the owner's oversized "toys."
While support yachts have been around for a while, the yacht-maker Amels has launched the Rolls Royce of support yachts – the Sea Axe 6711, a gleaming 220-feet ship that can hold a mega-chopper, loads of speedboats, a submarine and all the scuba gear, jet skis and floaties an oligarch or sheikh could ever want.
Amels marketing chief Victor Caminada said that the main appeal of a support yacht is its speed and space. By offloading the toys and chopper pads to the secondary vessel, owners can free up more space on their main yachts for Jacuzzis, wet bars and bedroom suites.
Take the helicopter conundrum, for example. Landing a helicopter on a mega-yacht can be highly disruptive to the owners and guests, Caminada said.
"You have to get all the passengers inside, take in all the pillows, get the crew to a fire-safety area," he said. With a support yacht nearby, "you can land on the support yacht and free the mother ship of all that hassle and interruption."