How big is 'too big' for a superyacht?

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LONDON. February 12. KAZINFORM When pictures leaked out in December of the late Steve Jobs' new yacht, Venus, leaving The Netherlands, interest was once again sparked in the mysterious world of the super mega yachts, and in those who build them for the super mega rich.

I say mysterious because the business of yacht building is full of rumors and speculation until the ship is seen leaving the sheds of the family-owned builders, whether in Amsterdam, Hamburg or Bremen.

A bit of the veil on this industry was lifted in London in January when the builders and designers of the biggest yachts celebrated the launch of the 2013 Top 100 Forecast from superyachts.com.

The backers of this event are at pains to remind people this business employs thousands of people (craftsmen, architects, builders, designers, deckhands), and when a new anchorage is discovered by the rich and famous to park their yachts, it can generate a lot of income for a region.

And since they aren't allowed to talk about those who buy these yachts, they are only to happy to talk all about the business.

Herbert Aly, the CEO of Blohm+Voss, told me that superyacht building was actually hurt during the economic crisis. It took some time for the slowdown to filter through as orders can take five to seven years to fulfill, so 2011 and 2012 were the tough years. But that's coming to an end.

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