The new build sector is as exciting as it’s ever been at the moment: 100m+ is the new ‘normal’ in the superyacht world, and some of the boats we are seeing emerging from their build sheds are enough to make your jaw drop.

It’s clear that many of these iconic launches come thanks to the ambition and vision of serial yacht owners; who are always looking to excel themselves and make their yachts bigger than ever.

Let’s take a look at 7 recent superyacht upgrades which had the yachting world dancing with excitement.

1. Lurssen launched the new Areti for Russian owner Igor Makarov

The Areti series of boats have been turning heads since the old days in yachting when large boats were around 40m long! At one point there were three globetrotting ARETIs in service; ARETI, ARETI I and ARETI II. The latter two boats are identical and based in the United States and the Caribbean respectively, whilst ARETI herself has been sold and renamed MIA ELISE.

Makarov has launched his latest yacht at Lurssen, which had been under construction under the name Project Gatsby. She’s a beauty

2. From lion-cub to the leader of the pack: Philip Green’s Lionheart

Quite some upgrade this one! British retail magnate Sir Philip Green and his wife Tina decided it was time to scale up in 2016, and went back to their favourite Italian yard Benetti to get it done. LIONHEART is the largest yacht ever launched by Benetti, although there are rumours this may not last for long…

The Green family’s old yacht has now been rechristened LIONESS V, and is available for charter with Camper & Nicholsons.

3. Not just a color-change: brand new yacht Aviva has been turning heads already in Germany

We loved the original 68m AVIVA, with her striking grey hull and yellow detailing that made her a distinctive addition to the fleet following her launch in 2007. Her owner is the British property tycoon Joe Lewis, and his love for yachts clearly doesn’t stop at just one!

The new, sky-blue, AVIVA is German yard Abeking & Rasmussen’s new flagship at 98m and is also a record breaker for British design Studio Reymond Langton.

4. Sailing up a size with regatta-winner Salperton

This ambitious yacht owner has been through a number of boats with the same name, getting faster and faster on the race circuit with every edition. In a brilliant interview with Boat International, owner Barry Houghton describes his yachting journey and how he has refined his vessel to his tastes accordingly through trial and error.

The current SALPERTON is number 4, and you may have seen her predecessor sailing under the name ARTEMIS.

5. A colourful change up onboard CRN’s new Cloud 9

This was one of the most exciting and visually captivating launches of the year and took place in Ancona at CRN’s shipyard. The lucky owners of this stunning 74m motor yacht looked on in wonder as their new toy slid backwards into the water to the tune of opera singers and the Star Wars theme- but were they missing their old boat I wonder?

The previous inception of the Cloud 9 yachting story was a 60m CMN, which was sold on to become ICE ANGEL. You can get a look at her Winch-designed interior now, as she is available for charter!

6. Have some faith in Feadship…

Sorry, terrible joke. It has recently come to light that Feadship’s latest headline launch, Project Vertigo, was built for none other than Lawrence Stroll. The fashion entrepreneur is the owner of iconic 62m Feadship FAITH, but seemingly decided that bigger-is-better and opted for a massive upgrade!

Never one for missing out on a deal though, Lawrence Stroll has listed FAITH for sale with Burgess.

7. The biggest upgrade of them all – Alisher Usmanov’s DILBAR

Sometimes in life, you find that ‘big’ isn’t ‘big enough’. There is no better example of this than the crazy upgrade Alisher Usmanov made when he commissioned the world’s largest yacht – DILBAR. The previous version of DILBAR (now named ONA), was always the largest boat on the IYCA in Antibes anyway, but since has been relegated to almost-minnow status by her much, much bigger sister.

You can find more out about the crazy numbers involved in the DILBAR build by reading our article Dilbar: 7 Facts you really didn’t need to know.

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