The difference between the lowly managing directors and the lofty partners at Goldman Sachs, so the rather nauseating line goes, is that one are the haves and the other have yachts. Yacht ownership is indeed a preserve of the super wealthy. Italian yacht manufacturers CRN Spa say only 1,500 individuals in the world are rich enough to buy their boats.
Not even Christine and Colin Weir, who last week claimed the record £161m Euromillions lottery win, could afford such luxuries. But before Scotland's newest addition to the rich list get too disheartened, there is hope yet. The surprise emergence of the world's biggest yacht, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's 533ft Eclipse on a yacht charter website this week, has drawn attention to a lesser world of wealth – those who prefer to rent, not buy. Perhaps Mr Abramovich has got bored with his £300m vessel, with its two helipads, paparazzi-proof laser forcefield and escape submarine. Or perhaps his business nose has sniffed out the fact that leaving it unused for most of the year is uneconomical, with estimated £50m annual running costs.
Either way, meagre millionaires can taste the billionaire lifestyle. The price is not on superyachtsmonaco.com (available in English, Russian and Arabic), but a week on Eclipse in high season costs around £1.25m.
Cheaper options are also available. Silver Star Yachting offers luxury boats at more affordable prices. The 50ft Maori can hardly be described as being rough and ready – with an inbuilt shower and television – yet in the world of the mega-rich such boats are a snip at less than £2,500 a day.
Superyachts for rent
Despite being only 205ft long the Baton Rouge is rented for around £400,000 a week in peak season. The ship was blessed by a local priest when it was first launched.
The Christina O has been gracing the seas since the Second World War. Among the celebrities to have gone on deck are Eva Peron, Sir Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe. Has been rented out for £400,000 a week since the death of its owner, the Greek businessman John Paul Papanicolaou
At just 121 feet the Fair Lady is one of the smaller luxury yachts. Perfect for watersports fans, it comes with waterskis, jet-skis and sailing dingy and costs around £50,000 a week.
Owned by the Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the 311ft Indian Empress has elevators, a Jacuzzi and even Elton John’s baby grand piano. It costs nearly £600,000 a week during the summer.