Stories from the bizarre world of the super-rich yacht owner

The superyacht world is as far removed from normal sailing as a moonshot is from the school run. The super rich are not like the rest of us.

I was reminded of this on being told two little snippets from the recent Caribbean superyacht regatta, the St Barth’s Bucket.

One yacht skipper called the owner to report progress and said: “It’s John speaking.”


“John Smith.”


The name did not ring a bell.

“John Smith. The skipper of **** [name of his 55m superyacht].”

Finally it clicked. Hell, it can be difficult to keep track when you have four or five yachts, half a dozen houses, a clutch of planes and the names of crew, pilots, housekeepers, accountants and a complete entourage of acolytes to recall.

Another owner was so anxious to avoid having to mix with the riff-raff on an island-hopper flight that he flew to Antigua on his personal jet and had his other pilots position his smaller plane there to transfer his party to St Barths.