What is it about yachts and the economy? Back in October, the news that Carl Icahn was selling Starfire, his 177-foot yacht complete with helicopter pad, was met with widespread fear that his actions heralded a major downtown. And when it turned out a few days later that he was merely upgrading to something bigger, we breathed a sigh of relief. Now, over at the New York National Boat Show at the Javits Center this week, Reuters reports that while prices on $50,000 powerboats are slashed by up to 20 percent, the going rates for top-of-the-line luxury yachts remain unaffected.
Italian boatmaker Riva (who used to make boats for Aristotle Onassis) is selling its new Aquariva Super for $944,000, which, they say, is more than they would have charged a year ago. (The 33-foot cruiser has customizable mahogany paneling and glove-leather upholstery that are largely hand-assembled, and a motor that, it were a car, would make the boat comparable to a Ferrari.) Up at the boat show, the people who staff the Riva booth are feeling content. “A brand like this, even in this economic situation, doesn’t lose its appeal,” a spokeswoman said.
Investing in a million-dollar yacht is not something we can really relate to, but we can’t help but feel a bit heartened to know that some people still have the cash for this. It's just too scary to contemplate the ultrarich not having nice things. Maybe luxury boats are some kind of bellwether — as long as prices stay buoyant, everything will be okay.
New York boat show faces perfect economic storm [Reuters]