Top 10 world's fastest yachts

Speed records have always been important not only on land, but on water, too. The owners and the manufacturers of the yachts mentioned below were really crazy about speed, and, as we can see now, some of their boats did manage to be well in advance of their time
May 20 2024 • by Katya Khmelinskaya 56 minutes to read
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Most advanced materials and technologies, incredibly powerful engines, sophisticated naval architecture and aerodynamics and, at times, crazy fuel consumption are the attributes of these vessels, which we still can class as “yachts”, as in addition to delivering highest speeds, they provide a relevant level of comfort on board

It should be noted from the start that if there are normally no questions about the top five, the further down the list you go, the harder it gets to determine who really deserves the next place.  And it isn’t always about the simplicity and accuracy of calculations and measurements, which are quite often not confirmed in any way. A lot depends on the conditions under which these speed records were set: waves, current, wind strength, ship load, number of people on board, etc. We have already told you more abou it in "Maximum speed: expectations and reality” on ilodka.com.

For our tоp-10 we tried selecting the yachts, whose maximum speed was officially recorded and confirmed, and is not based on the manufacturer’s data exclusively. And despite the fact that some of the yachts on the list no longer exist, all of them definitely deserve their place in the fastest yachts’ “hall of fame”.  

#1 | Bolide 80, 73 knots 

Length: 24.9 m
Shipyard: Victory Design (Italy)
Delivery year: 2023

This Hyper Muscle Yacht reaches the record top speed of over 73 knots with the help of three Man V12 engines of 2000 hp each. According to Victory Design founder Brunello Acampora, Bolide 80 was inspired by the legendary British land speed record car, Blue Bird, driven by Sir Malcolm Campbell. In terms of comfort this yacht with an all-carbon multi-step hull resembles a private jet: while she’s souring above the waves, the guests on board can talk and sip Don Pérignon. “Sculptural” lighting, silk and cashmere from Loro Piana, a slight aroma of cedarwood and natural leather used in finishing – speed on board the Bolide 80 feels like an exhilarating luxury trip, involving absolutely all your senses.

#2 | Foners (ex. Fortuna), 70.1 knots

Length: 41.5 m
Shipyard: Izar (Spain)
Delivery year: 2000

This all-aluminium “machine” with a superstructure made of bullet-proof Aramid fibre had been the fastest yacht in the world for over 20 years. Which is actually not surprising, as Spanish Izar shipyard and Italian designer Tommaso Spadolini built her for the King of Spain Juan Carlos I. To be able to stay ahead of competition for years, she was equipped with twin Man engines of 1280 hp each, three Rolls-Royce turbines of 6700 hp and three KaMeWa waterjets. 

#3 |World Is Not Enough, 66.99 knots

Length: 42.4 m
Shipyard: Millennium Super Yachts (USA)
Delivery year: 2004

A big fan of Bond movies and an owner of Millennium Super Yachts, John Staluppi christened this yacht after the 19th film of the spy epic. The 42.4-metre vessel is powered by two diesel Paxman 18VP185 engines of 5400 hp each and two Textron Lycoming TF 40 turbines. One should also mention the impressive range of this secret agent’s dreamboat, which is 3800 nautical miles at 10 knots.

#4 | Destriero, 65 knots  

Length: 68.19 m
Shipyard: Fincantieri (Italy) 
Delivery year: 1991

This “war-horse” (as her name translates from Italian) was built with just one goal: to get the “Blue Ribband of the Atlantic”, a perpetual trophy for crossing the ocean with the highest average speed. The construction of the vessel was sponsored by Aga Khan IV, the project team included the world’s leading experts, while Italian Pinifarina known for designing Ferrari flagships was in charge of the hull aerodynamics. Out of numerous propulsion options they chose three General Electric LM 1600 turbines with a total power of staggering 54 000 hp coupled with three KaMeWa waterjets. In August 1992 Destriero covered a distance of 3106 nautical miles in 58 hours 34 minutes 50 seconds with an average speed of 53.09 knots (98.32 km/h). It was a record, but… the yacht did not get the coveted trophy as she was classed as a private yacht, while the “Blue Ribband” was meant for commercial passenger vessels only. Surely Destriero did not remain unawarded: she received the Virgin Atlantic Challenge Trophy from Richard Branson and the Columbus Atlantic Trophy for the fastest non-stop two way crossing of the Atlantic.

#5 | Galeocerdo, 64.99 knots 

Length: 36 m
Shipyard: Rodriquez Yachts
Delivery year: 2003

Three Vericor TF50 gas turbines, each coupled with a Rolls-Royce KaMeWa waterjet total incredible 16800 hp, while her laconic Deep V-hull without a single protruding detail was tested in the wind tunnel at the Ferrari facility in Maranello. Although Galeocerdo (Latin for “tiger shark”) is the only 118 WallyPower unit, it is probably the most famous one. The yacht’s militaristic-futuristic exterior allowed her to “act” in Hollywood dystopia “Island” (2005), to star in British TopGear, where she was compared to Pagani Zonda supercar, to be a sole exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and to win the prestigious Millennium Yacht Design for the “Layout of the Third Millennium”. 

#6 | Gentry Eagle, 63.5 knots

Length: 34.1 m
Shipyard: Vosper Thornycroft (UK) 
Delivery year: 1988

In contrast to another heroic boat on this list, Gentry Eagle did manage to get the "Blue Ribband of the Atlantic". The owner of the boat and member of the crew was Tom Gentry, a wealthy real estate developer and a passionate racer. On 27 July 1989 Gentry Eagle finished the crossing of 3436 nautical miles, which took her 62 hours 7 minutes, improving the previous record set by British billionaire Richard Branson by 18 hours 23 minutes. Tom Gentry, his son Norman and four more crew members managed to do that thanks to exclusively favourable weather conditions, as well as 11500 hp (twin MTU engines of 3480 hp each and a gas turbine of 4500 hp). 

#7 | Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63, 63 knots

Length: 19.2 m
Верфь: Tecnomar (Италия) 
Год постройки: 2020

Number ‘63’ means a lot for this yacht: in addition to being her length in feet and her maximum speed, it is also the year Ferruccio Lamborghini founded his car factory. As a result of collaboration of the iconic car manufacturer and one of the the world’s largest yachting companies, The Italian Sea Group, a “supercar on the water” was born: a light carbon vessel of just 24 tonnes, powered by twin MAN V12 engines of 2000 hp each. The exterior designers drew inspiration from Lamborghini Miura and Countach models, developed by Marcello Gandini in the 60-70s of the last century, as well as the image of the first hybrid Lamborghini Sián FKP 37. 

#8 | Chato, 62.47 knots 

Legnth: 25.79 м
Shipyard: Baglietto (Italy) 
Delivery year: 1986

Despite the respectable age of almost 40, Сhato is still among the world’s fastest yachts. She was commissioned by Baron John von Neuman, an automobile tycoon, who exported Porche and Volkswagen cars to America and was a good judge of speed. His new Baglietto was equipped with the latest MTU engines for the time, 16V 396TB94, which were used by Italian and later American military. Baglietto also “borrowed” a brutal, but a really seaworthy aluminium hull from navy interceptor boats: during two wars the shipyard accumulated plenty of expertise in building various vessels for the navy. 

#9 | Brave Challenger, 60 knots

Length: 31.39 m
Shipyard: Vosper (UK) 
Delivery year: 1960

This venerable boat is the only surviving example of “Brave Class” fast patrol design, which Vosper initially built for the British Royal Navy, and which was equipped with three Rolls-Royce (Bristol) Proteus turbines for private use. In 1979 she was acquired by Wensley Haydon-Baillie, one of the richest people in Britain of the time and a big fan of “the mostest”. He also used to own two of the world’s largest hovercrafts SR.N4 (air-cushion vehicle), a huge collection of Rolls-Royces, a museum of aviation with one of the largest collections of Supermarine Spitfires (British fighter aircraft used during World War II) and the largest privately owned house in Britain with about 365 rooms. Mr Haydon-Baillie took good care of all of his collectibles, and the Brave Challenger is no exception: she has already undergone two major refits. 

#10 | Oci Ciornie, 59.99 knots 

Length: 25 m
Shipyard: Palmer Johnson (USA)
Delivery year: 1998

This yacht got on the list of the fastest thanks to twin MTU 16V engines of 1800 hp each, AVCO Lycoming turbine of 4600 hp and Arneson Surface Drives. But that is not all: the naval architecture for this aluminium vessel named after the world-famous Russian-Gypsy song was developed by the “giant” of the yachting industry, British Donovan ‘Don’ Shead, who developed yachts for the Sunseeker sports lineup. The design of the boat is owed to Dutch Vripack, who had obviously drawn inspiration from aircrafts. 

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Katya Khmelinskaya
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