Click for Nordhavn Click for Walker Click for Nordhavn Click for Westport Click for Cross

Reason for yacht construction "break" at 50m

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by rodsteel, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. rodsteel

    rodsteel Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Oregon
    There is an interesting thread over on Dockwalk that I think would get more "knowledgeable" answers here (K1W1?).

    "zacharyn Posted: 11 December 2012 00:24

    Joined: 20/08/2008
    Posts: 5

    Embarrassing question. I very clearly understand why so many yachts are built to be under 500 tons (499 GT) but why are so many yachts built to be under 50M? Surely it isn't the addition of the second mast head light."

    None of the current answers seem that valid to me (I think it has to do with costs and construction materials - e.g., very few composite yachts exceed 50m).

    ??

    Rod
  2. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    South Florida & Mediterranean
    I'm not so sure that many yachts are purposefully built "under 50m" as the poster says....

    maybe many are 40-somethings that stretched to almost 50? I see lots of 50, 52, etc, around..... lots.... 49,somethings.... 49-smothing and 50 is basically the same imo... i dont think there is anything major based on length that would be a major factor (esp not LOA as this can count -or not- the swim platform, it will be different dependign on bow design, etc)....

    One thing is obvious, larger yachts have fewer nice places to go to, so after a certain size you begin to limit yourself, and most experienced owners know this and it is often a big troubling factor for them...
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,369
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    Below 50m is the easiest way to stay under 500 ton, this makes for a simpler and cheaper operation overall.
  4. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    South Florida & Mediterranean
    Since Gross Tonnage isnt necessarily coupled to size or even volume of the vessel I dont think that is the reason...

    Limitless is able to operate at 300GRT legislation..... (ok, major strings pulled).... Many flag states have been known to give "tonnage discounts" to vessels in terms of some requirements... It is also not uncommon to find 50m yachts under 500grt (many many are just under)...

    But yes, I suppose it does influence... as you go larger, tonnage will increase.... so will price, complexity, crew, and the difficulty to find places to go...
  5. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    5,307
    Location:
    Sweden
    I think the 12 passenger limits has more to do with this. In a 50 m yacht you will get enough cabins for 12. Above this length you only get bigger cabins and more space for other activities, like gym, cinema, tender bays and what have you.
  6. nilo

    nilo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    680
    Location:
    Istanbul
    regulations change

    as to my knowledge, when you are above 500 tons gross you are subject to solas regulations; hence the building process become much more cumbersome and costly, as well as running the yacht will cost more.
  7. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    South Florida & Mediterranean
    Yes thats true, but many yachts over 50m LOA are still under 500GRT...
  8. nilo

    nilo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    680
    Location:
    Istanbul
    well, the barrier 50 meters roughly coincides with the 500 grt; actually when you are above 45 meters, you are already at the limit of 500 grt. of course designs can push this to higher length. as it was discussed in this forum earlier, grt is a volume measurement; whereas length is not. also, one has to keep in mind that length can be attributed to different parameters when it comes to measuring it.
  9. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    South Florida & Mediterranean
    Exactly! you nailed it... Nonetheless, I'm not really sure if the op has a point..... a quick search online revealed a plethora of yachts at 49, 49.9, 49.5m, 50, 50.5, 51, 52m.....

    Not sure there is much point in this....

    Obviously 500GRT is a cutting point for most owners because of the extra complications (in build *and* in running)... Length, cost, LWL (axe bows, etc come in), cabins, yada yada yada will dictate the rest I suppose

    EDIT: one thing that worth noting, however, is that tonnage exceptions can and have been made in the past.... so if there is enough motivation I suppose this is one that can be overcome... You'll never fit a 53m yacht into a 47m berth however... no matter how much money you throw at it lol...
  10. nilo

    nilo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    680
    Location:
    Istanbul
    in the med beam is most of the time more important for berth allocation. of course you are charged by the beamxlength (area you occupy) sum, but because you are stern to and most marinas has more room for these size yachts (you do not come in between pantoons like the small boats) there is better chance to have slight variations in the length permissible for berthing.
  11. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    South Florida & Mediterranean
    Yes, thats correct for "bay" style marinas and small ports... the modern ones with "fingers" its a different story as you have the distance between fingers to cntend with... but still, I think we are saying the same thing... I dont really see the "cutoff"... There is a certain "cutoff" at all steps of the market one would argue but always with a healthy dose of exceptions... (cutoff near 24m? but a bunch of boats at 23, 23.5m, 24m, etc... cutoff around 33m, but a bunch of boats at that length...)

    I think its mostly psychological in the OP's reading of data.... I'd like to see a graph of LOA vs Builds to see if there really is a cutoff... I'm skeptical...
  12. nilo

    nilo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    680
    Location:
    Istanbul
    is there a cut off on boat sizes based on length?

    well, you are correct in terms of 50 meters; the cut off is not based on 50 meters, but rather on 500 grt.

    however, at 24 meters this is different. according to MCA and most other EU country regulations the barrier from pleasure boat to yacht is at 24 meters. i do agree that people try to circumvent this by playing with length measurements. anyway, the regulation reads 24 meters for hull length (one could go into technical details of hull length, which i assume is not the subject of this thread) not overall length.
  13. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,369
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    This is the first time I have heard of this for the construction.

    There are a couple that are a squeak over 3000 and are run by yacht officers often with some ex merch guys in the upper ranks

    The tonnage is a physical measurement as a percentage if the volume, once one class society has accepted a gross tonnage you will be going some to find another one that will go up against them.

    I know someone who spent a lot of time and money trying to get a recalculation to drop less than 200 off the gross to get it under 3000 and got nowhere. This was for a private yacht as well not a commercial deal.
  14. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    South Florida & Mediterranean
    I know that you can get manning requirements relieved on some red ensign and other flag states...

    There is also the famous limitless "lightening" of tonnage to allow it to fly a us flag.....

    I dont think its a recalculation of the tonnage per se, it is a documentation agreement of the flag state and/or classification society that allows the particular vessel to be run as if it were under another tonnage class.
  15. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,369
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    Limitless was an exceptional event.

    No one should expect to receive the same treatment without similar connections to the Owner if that boat.
  16. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    South Florida & Mediterranean
    Yes, but most owners will have the appropriate connections...

    At least within their own flag states...
  17. skiffboy

    skiffboy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Perhaps it's worth keeping in mind that admeasured tonnage rules in the US are not the same as the gross tonnage (GT) rules in the rest of the world.

    As K1W1 mentioned, a vessel less than 500GT is a much more simple boat than one over. To keep it below 500 but with a length greater than 50m means doing some 'weird' things, such as small deckhouses, long overhangs, very lightweight etc. This is because it really is a measure of enclosed volume.

    US tonnage rules developed more from trying to measure a ships capacity to carry cargo. So there are things you can do to spaces to exempt them from being considered as 'cargo carrying'. This could include getting an act of congress to clear up an interpretation in the rules - hence why Limitless can have a GT of 2146, but be admeasured and registered in the US as less then 300.
  18. Captainzorro8

    Captainzorro8 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2022
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    One of the main reasons most yachts are 50 meters or less is that many marinas around the world only allow yachts that are 50 meters or less so 51+ meter yachts are forced to moor just outside of the marina and then they have to use tenders to ferry passengers and supplies.