The Playbook For The Modern Man

Jaw-Dropping French Riviera Video Reveals Why Superyachts Never Open Their Sails

An inconvenient truth…

Whether you’re in a billion buck superyacht or a rusted old rig, we all hit doldrums every once in a while. But while, when the wind drops, superyacht owners breeze through with bikini-clad nymphs rather than dead albatrosses around their necks, it doesn’t escape society’s notice that The Super Rich commit a sin worse than the Ancient Mariner’s every summer.

They hardly ever open the sails.

This has been pointed out time and time again, by Yacht fans and (more modest) boat owners. Enter: the following video, posted recently on luxury yachting Instagram fan page Top Yacht, which shows a 400 million dollar (according to Forbes) Superyacht cruising along the south of France.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Top Yacht ™ ⚓️⚓️ (@topyacht) on

Besides providing a jaw-dropping glimpse of what life is like on The Other Side, it also reveals an awkward truth: Super ‘yachts’ like Sailing Yacht A depend on their diesel engines most of the time.

“Never seen a video of it with its sails open” one fan pointed out. “Sailing yacht,” wrote another.

Intrigued, DMARGE exclusively interviewed Istanbul-based luxury yacht manager Candaş Balci, to ask: is there a reason these vessels so rarely open their sails?

“This is a very spectacular design [Sailing Yacht A] and this sailing yacht is very famous after being introduced 5 years ago,” Balci told us. “They have very big propulsion engines.”

“It’s not meant to be sailed – it’s not like a classic sailing yacht – they just make it a sailing yacht so they can say it’s the biggest sailing yacht in the world.”

“In some very few moments I’ve seen photos with them open.”

Would it be possible to sail around the world on a superyacht like this? According to Balci, the answer is “yes.” However, it wouldn’t be as practical as some of the other designs on the market.

“It wouldn’t be so comfortable or fast… For cruising with sails [alone] maybe you can go like 5 knots of 6 knots, but it would take ages to go all around the world.”


“These yachts have very big fuel tanks. Sailing is… an optional thing.”

Whilst understandable, this may explain why the superyacht industry is finding it so hard to shake its bad environmental reputation, even as the boffins make leaps and bounds in Promethean progress.

It’s no use being able to harness the elements if you don’t use them.

It also, much like this Dubai yacht owner’s “eco-friendly” golfing solution, highlights the arbitrary line we draw when it comes to our environmental impact – we don’t want to be conspicuously destroying things (i.e. toodling around the world on a giant motorboat, or hitting golf balls into the deep) but we are happy to waste resources to build something fun and pretty.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Julien Hubert (@julien_hubert) on

Food for thought.

Read Next

  • Triggerhappy Ranch

    Also, sailing requires a much greater skill set than motoring.

  • Subtly_In_Class

    To be fair to most of the largest sailing yachts, with the exception of the one mentioned here (the sailing yacht “A”) can sail perfectly well under wind power. It is only “A” that needs its engines all the time on account of it weighing 12,000 tons, when the next largest sailing yacht is about a quarter the weight with a similar sail area.

  • Greg

    what a click bait headline – a sail boat motoring is not jaw-dropping

  • Heath

    And more hands

  • Zack

    No, not always. Racing sailboats yes, but sophisticated cruisers with lots of hydraulic winches and automated systems…these boats typically can have much smaller crews. In the 80’s our bought Boomerang 2 , a famed but retired 65′ maxi-class racer built in1978 that required a crew of 13+ until we refitted it as a race-cruiser with automation and a nice interior. Then it only needed 2 crew, a skipper and his wife. That was 40+ years ago. today technology is even greater in this area. Most big sailboats today (120ft +) have as many crew for servicing guests as they do crew to sail the boat. Stewards and stewardesses can always pick up a line and almost always help docking and anchoring.

    That boat in this article is a fat pig, ugly, and nothing more than some rich asshole flexing his ego, nothing to do with the sport of sailing.

  • suziq

    Everytime those of us who really sale see this yacht off of Menton or Antibes, we always comment that none of us have ever seen it’s sails open. The 2nd comment is that the rich stupid owner is too cheap to pay docking fees at Menton, Antibes or Cannes! So it stays enough offshore to dump it’s garbage along our seacoast. Go back and pollute Turkey!


Show More



The playbook for the modern man

Get the very best of men's style, health, travel & culture delivered to your inbox.

Dont show me this again