Monday, November 19, 2007

All at sea

"I want to create my own monument," the 60-year-old Italian entrepreneur says as he gazes across the sprawling ship building yard . Mr Vitelli has chosen a relatively modest yacht; a 103 feet long Azimut sports yacht, with a list price of 7 million euros ($10m or £5m). Modest, that is, compared with some of the other yachts sold by Azimut-Benetti Group. As one of the world's biggest players in the fast-growing market for hyper-luxurious motor-yachts, its multi-storey crafts can cost as much as $50m (£25m) and stretch from 24 metres to 85 metres in length.

Some of the world's wealthiest people will travel here to commission their own life monuments . In the year to September, the group built 800m-euros worth of yachts for the world's super-rich. And with an order book worth more than 1.5 billion euros, at a time when the global yacht market is growing steadily at some 10-15% per year.

In order to get the super-rich's attention, Azimut-Benetti's well-heeled customers are also occasionally invited to lavish events, such as this summer's yachting gala, complete with concerts and live shows.
"We don't charge," Mr Vitelli says, though the company tends to get its money's worth. "Generally, they leave a cheque for a new boat,"

All we at Socialist Courier can say is - "Come in Number 5. Your time is up "

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