Seizures of Russian oligarchs’ mega yachts and super yachts all over the world.
Let’s start with the definition of an oligarch:
In Russia, oligarch refers to the leading personalities of the business world, connected with the political power, who have enriched themselves since the breakup of the USSR.
So, since President Putin decided to invade Ukraine, the sanctions of the democratic Western countries, in particular NATO members, have set up a very targeted sanctions regime. In addition, the friends of the Putin regime in particular, will have their planes, properties and luxury yachts targeted as the vast majority of Putin’s friends are racing for the biggest yachts in the world.
The Russians are a very interesting clientele for the big builders of mega yachts (100 to 199 ft) and superyachts (over 200 ft).
It’s a race to see who will own the most luxurious, largest, most modern with James Bond-like equipment such as integrated submarine base, defense system (rocket launcher), in short the whole package.
Prices are skyrocketing for this category and common to see prices anywhere from $200 to $600 million USD and even more. Annual operating costs easily exceed $50 million USD.
To avoid having their luxury yachts seized, many yachts have been moved to the Maldives or the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean or elsewhere where there is no possibility
of seizure. But some were in Europe, France, Italy, the Netherlands to put it simply, in the wrong places.
Currently here is the list of yachts that are subject to a known seizure:
AMERO VERO (281 ft)
DILBAR (511 ft)
Quantum Blue (343 ft)
Here are the superyachts owned by oligarchs that have been moved to the Maldives or the Seychelles to avoid seizure :
NORD (465 ft)
The list of yachts to be seized is probably much more extensive, but not available at this time. This is shaking up the large yacht market. Will they sell them (at a discount), will they build new ones, time will tell.
The Ragnar has not yet been seized, but it has run out of fuel. Indeed, it is in Norway and nobody wants to deliver fuel to it. It belongs to a ex KGB Colonel.
How will the large manufacturers react with mega yachts currently under construction?
Legally, what are the impacts of the sanctions on the projects under construction.
Many questions with few answers, but easy to say that the super yacht market is in tumultuous waters, with an estimate of several hundred million dollars in play.
There are only a few manufacturers capable of building exceptional yachts.
The main shipyards in this category are:
Blohm + Voss
The clients are mostly from Russia, Middle East, Asia (China) and America and are extremely rich considering the operating expenses. We are talking about billionaires, given the acquisition cost and especially the operating cost, which is well over 50 million USD.
In short, this is for a privileged clientele. Two years ago, during the Monaco Yacht Show, which presents yachts of more than 50 million USD and of about 160 ft on average, they showed record sales.
Here is the link with all the information about the main Boat Shows in the world (date, location, link to websites, etc) including the one in Monaco.
This market remains and will remain very active as mentioned in the specialized press that the Pandemic has added several billionaires or others that have further enriched their wealth. However, the second hand market may have a little more interest.