Superyachts in the age of austerity

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Even superyacht-owners are feeling the pinch. Last year only 173 superyachts (vessels more than 100 feet) slipped into the briny, according to Superyacht Intelligence, a consultancy.

That’s 27 fewer than in 2010 and far below the peak in 2008, when 260 floating pleasure palaces hit the waves. The number of vessels on order, too, slipped from 453 in 2011 to 423 this year.

The biggest yacht ever was launched in 2010. Roman Abramovich, a Russian billionaire, reputedly forked out $660 million for the 542-foot Eclipse. It includes such essentials as a mini-submarine, a hair salon and two helipads.

Click here for the full report from The Economist.