Across numerous ponds, lakes, and seas, we see them every summer. Boats: they come in all shapes and sizes, and some of them look so cool. But the closer some of those “cool” boats get to the dock, the worse they start to look. Everything from the color scheme to the overall dimensions can make or break a boat on the popularity scale. In a lot of cases, those with the means to buy a vessel the size of a city block are sometimes not too careful with the styling of said boat. Some just turn out plain ugly.
Now, you might think that the ultra-rich simply might not care about such things, but believe us, they do. Why else would someone purchase a mega-yacht if not to be noticed Boatbuilders and designers are to blame for the recent rash of ugly boats. Just because someone throws bucket loads of money at you doesn’t mean that a designer or builder need to throw away their dignity.
Unfortunately, it happens a lot. From boats that resemble cars to yachts that look like business offices and dingy motels, the state of the boat has been redefined and remade into something almost considered gaudy these days. Let’s hope that by reviewing this list of ugly boats, builders and their potential buyers will wake up and decide to come up with something nice enough to be put on the water.
The character Linus, of Peanuts comics fame, would love a boat like this. Every Halloween, Maine residents take part in the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest, on the river of the same name that is located in Maine. Resident Buzz Pinkham has his sites set on glory while piloting his pumpkin boat around the river. According to Bangor Daily News, Buzz used a 2.5-horsepower motor to make his way around the river’s course. We can’t say much about the beauty of this boat, but with thousands showing up to cheer Buzz on, there’s got to be something about ugly boats that stokes the fire for competition among the locals.
OK, we’ll just say right now this is possibly the cutest ugly boat we’ve seen in a long time. The Seabreacher is a combination jet-ski, boat, and submarine. You can even leap out of the water with this two-seater craft just like a real dolphin. You also have the ability to travel below the surface of the water (about 2 meters) for at least a few seconds, according to the manufacturer. It’s not a full-fledged sub, but you can see the possibilities. Innespace Productions, the maker of the Seabreacher, says they can customize the look and feel of the craft to suit nearly anyone’s taste.
Boat designer Kim Hyun-Seok was more than a little inspired by the Voronoi pattern, which was a created by the Russian mathematician Georgy Voronoi. The pattern creates random geometric spacing. For reference, take a good look at the Voronoi, a mega yacht concept designed by Kim. Seems like something only a cheese lover would find appealing. The 410-foot yacht’s dragonfly appearance is supposedly a weight-saving move that's intended to provide extra rigidity. It’s a novel concept for saving on things like fuel while allowing for different ways to design rooms and living areas but for now, it’ll remain on the drawing board.
Another Zaha Hadid design, the 295-foot Jazz yacht will remind you of a floating beehive more than anything else. Why anyone would have a need for a beehive to float in the first place is anyone else’s guess. The extremely weird structural tubing running throughout the vessel is terrible-looking enough and although Hadid says the shape is for “hydrodynamic and structural reasons”, it seems like an extremely excessive move. There are several versions of the Jazz yacht concept and we’re certain that if Hadid builds it, there’ll most likely be a more than a few very rich buyers lined up to buy them.
The ultra-rich certainly have a sense of humor sometimes. Take this floating horror of a mega yacht called “Guilty.” The name is rather perfect for what the vessel is. The owner, art collector Dakis Joannou, has always been considered a loud and excessive personality so he had his yacht styled by Jeff Koons and designed by Ivana Porfiri like a piece heavily inspired by artist Roy Lichtenstein. Guilty’s nightmarish geometric designs certainly stand out at sea. Joannou never mentions the price of the vessel but then again, it really doesn’t matter, given the insane prices for the so-called “art” we see these days.
One wouldn’t immediately think that a boat that looks quite a bit like a tube of mustard would cost a minimum of nearly $280 million, but here you go. Grey Poupon has never looked more resplendent than the yacht called Khalilah. This yacht is reportedly the first all-carbon vessel of its kind, says Boat International. It’s a 160-foot vessel which was built by Palmer Johnson, a US-based boatbuilding company that goes back a long way. To say the boat has a lot of glass is an understatement. For the record, it has the largest windows installed on a superyacht in the US. Khalilah is fast, though, capable of cruising at least 30 knots.
A boat that looks like a limousine is not something people normally think about but that’s exactly what the Sovereign was based on. This is over 300-feet of unattractiveness, folks. Created by Grey Design, the team thought rich people are so used to being driven in a limo that they’d want their yacht to be similar. Hence, the Sovereign was birthed into the world, its ugly-car looks thrust upon the innocent hordes like a rabid dog. Naturally, there’s plenty of lower deck space for the ultra-wealthy to park their real limousines in the boat's custom garages.
We’ve all seen them before, the “peeler” boats. You know, boats so weathered on the outside they make a 200-year-old tortoise look like an infant. Why the owners of these boats would neglect their property like this is a real mystery. Maybe they think their boats look cool this way, maybe they simply lost interest decades ago, we’re just not sure. As far as we are concerned, we’ll probably never step foot on something that looks like a holdover of a sunken ship from some pirate movie. Then again, we’ve seen houses on land that are in similar shape from the outside, so maybe it’s a fad.
This crazy-looking boat is the creation of top architect Zaha Hadid. Looking every bit like a desperate water bug in search of land, the Z Boat was commissioned by art dealer Kenny Schachter. It’s a limited-edition boat and only 12 will be built. It’s powered by a 220-hp engine and is able to hold up to 8 passengers. Some may call it a work of art but we call it the birth of a roach at sea. If you want to own one of these 26-foot boats, all you have to do is contact the boat’s builder, Shoreteam, and then pony up something like $457,000. Ah, there’s nothing like buying a piece of art.
This little workboat looks as if it’s seen it all and then some. How it isn’t part of an artificial reef nestled at the bottom of the sea is no doubt a surprise to many who’ve seen it in all of its rusty glory. Named Desmar Uno, we’re not exactly sure what the boat’s true function is but it may have something to do with tug operations if the old tires strapped to its port and starboard sides have anything to do with it. Workboats certainly don’t have to be pretty but we’re nearly at a loss for words with this one. We would think at the very least a boat of any kind would at least try to look seaworthy, but maybe that just doesn’t apply to this type of boat.
Some people feel that they need to take everything with them when going camping. Some take things a little too far. Meet the Departure One, a camper that’s mated to a boat. It’s an actual production boat. For real. Camping site Curbed mentions that the One is produced by the German-based company called Caravanboat. This very strange-looking “Combi-Boat” has enough room for four people and boasts items like a built-in shower, a kitchen with plenty of appliances, and a large living space. It even has backup cameras for those delicate parking moments. Prices start at just over $67,000 before adding a few more features.
Somewhere lurking on open water is this little vessel called Half-Pint. What makes it so special is that it has a type of shed mounted on it, for reasons unknown. Actually, the shed looks more like an outhouse than anything else, but since we can’t confirm this, we’ll defer our judgment for now. Either way, the red-and-white color scheme takes us back to the Starsky and Hutch days and the stars chasing down some criminal in their famous Gran Torino. While the TV car looked great, the same definitely can’t be said for this wannabe boat. Now that we think about it, it would make a great floating ice cream boat.
Anyone willing to spend $100-million on a yacht probably has very few concerns. Just ask Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder. The Redskins could have used a bit more talent this year but you won’t see Snyder complaining. He seems to have his attention on his shiny mega yacht known as Lady S. The boxy, 305-foot boat was built to house Snyder’s request: a built-in IMAX theater. It was the first boat in the world to have one installed. While we’re certain movies will look fantastic on the boat, we do wish the rest of the boast looked good enough to house a theater. The boat is quite boxy, reminding one of an aircraft carrier with its elongated deck.
This is one boat we’d never even consider looking at, much less hopping aboard. The lumber looks as if it came from an old forest fire or some kind of diseased tree discount center. We know for sure it’s not something we’d be traveling on. As a matter of fact, the vessel which was built in Maine by George McKay in 2003 to look like this and he wanted to create a wheelchair accessible vessel for his daughter. The boat ultimately proved unseaworthy and in 2010, Raw Faith sank in heavy waters off Nantucket, Mass., said the Portland Press Herald. Luckily the Coast Guard arrived in time to save the only two crew members that were on board.
The world’s first solar-powered boat to circle the Earth is also one of the more unattractive boats to land on water. To its credit, the PlanetSolar is also the largest solar vessel to speed around the planet’s oceans. This ugly piece of boat weighs nearly 100 tons, believe it or not. The boat is designed to measure things like particles in the air, ocean currents, and other elements that make up the Gulf Stream to better understand them. Science is a wonderful thing and anything that helps raise awareness of how the planet and its oceans function is cool indeed. But it could definitely be a bit better looking.
The 38 hps seems to be a mix of just about everything. It’s basically a motorboat that’s been converted to a sailing boat. Then again, the upper deck of the watercraft reminds us of something you’d see on a ferryboat. Most people are polarized as far as the looks of the boat. It’s definitely a "love it or hate it" type of vessel. If we had to guess, we’d say the thing looks a heck of a lot like the SS Minnow from Gilligan’s Island, to be perfectly honest. The “38” designation included in the Shannon stands for the length of the boat. It’s an appropriate name, describing 38 feet of ugly confusion.
Elux Marine is the builder behind the thick-looking, all-electric Pontoon. The all-fiberglass boat will be the first of its kind to grace the waters but the design is rather uninspiring, to say the least. Company owners Howard Root and Bart Jones see a lot of potential in their invention, according to Twin Cities Business. The Pontoon will be positioned as a luxury boat, equipped with all sorts of amenities, and priced between $75,000 and $85,000. For that much, owners will get a 24-foot, 12-seater Pontoon wrapped in all the ugly one can handle. The company plans to only build four of the boats this year to get a feel for production and then ramp up in 2020 if things go well.
Over on Animal Planet, there’s a show called Flipping Boats. The show, naturally, is all about converting and flipping or reselling pimped-out boats. It seems the team decided to convert a camper into a boat, and well, the rest is ugly history. The camper shell was customized and welded to the boat, for some reason, and while it may be shiny, it’ll always be considered to be the ugly duckling at the prom. It’s even outfitted with a sundeck on the roof for getting that tan on. Hopefully, it comes with the necessary instructions for sinking it for use as a manmade reef.
Pizza freaks need look no further. Called one of the ugliest ships to ever exist by more than a few sites, the Ramform Titan is unabashedly ugly in a way that only its shipyard mother could truly love. But that’s OK, as the massive—and we mean really massive ship—needs to have this pizza-slice shape in order to maximize stability on the water. The Titan is a seismic ship, designed to monitor all sorts of seismic movements underwater. Titan launched in 2013 and is more than 341 feet long and almost 230 feet at its widest point, making it easily the widest ship in the world. It’s very interesting that it can be fully navigated with just two propellers, if need be.
Behold, 289.27 feet of ugly yacht. Yep, the Asean Lady would instantly remind people of an ultra-budget hotel in a bad neighborhood when viewed from nearly any angle. The beast of a boat can carry at least 22 passengers and a compliment of at least 18 crew at its max capacity. With a 10,000-mile range, at least it can go pretty far when the 138,000-liter tank is full. After all, looking like it does, it needs to stay out of public view for long distances. Alas, this ugly boat has been in private use since 2004, so don’t try to book it out anytime soon.
Looking very much like a submarine from WWII, the Sigma super yacht is a sight to behold. CNN calls it one of the coolest yachts out there—but we’ll just stick to it being “out there”. Perhaps early retro design is in these days. The yacht is much larger than it seems, though, at around 390-feet long. It can accommodate a crew of 37 to pamper 12-14 guests, who can all enjoy the three swimming pools built into the yacht. Costing just a mere $323 million and owned by billionaire Andre Melnichenko, the yacht is supposedly named after the owner’s wife.
This plain-looking vessel is called a scow boat. It’s built for speed and nothing else. This concept is supposedly 90 feet long. It was built by the Reichel-Pugh design firm for racing in the Transpac Races, a 2,000-mile race from Los Angeles to Hawaii. The thing is fast but we guess that wouldn’t be too difficult, considering how flat it is. We’d also think that just about anything that looks like someone’s torn off shoe sole with a sail attached to it could probably skim across the water just as fast as this scow. We feel that “yacht” is a classification for this thing only because it fits no other category. And if “yacht” it be, then “ugly” it be, too.
According to Paritetboat, maker of the Look 320, the Looker was made with passengers in mind. It’s a glass-bottom boat also, which makes underwater viewing a snap. It seems like a great concept but man, is this thing unattractive. The craft is probably best suited to the tourist industry where we’re sure people don’t give a flipper about what a boat looks like, as long as they can sit and relax and take selfies. We’re certain people buy them for private use also but they probably don’t take the 320 out in the open for too long, not wanting to attract too much finger-pointing and laughter.
Earthrace, also known as MY Ady Gil, was built in 2005 for the purpose of trying to set a new world record for circumnavigating the world. According to a report from Marine Insight, the bizarrely-shaped, triple-hull yacht did manage to set a record, but it was mired by all sorts of technical problems and just plain bad luck. Strangely enough, the vessel could also double as a sub, able to dive to around 7-feet under the surface. Earthrace had its share of technical problems during its maiden voyage, but also managed to collide with another vessel near Guatemala, reportedly losing one crewmember.
Launched in 2015, the overly excessive Sailing Yacht A was commissioned by owner, Andrey Melnichenko, in 2008. It is by far the largest boat of its kind, according to Boat International. It’s sail-assisted, classifying it as a sailing boat, and was designed by Philippe Stark, who’s considered an icon in the boat-building world. With a total height of 100 meters, the monstrous vessel is taller than Big Ben by at least 2 meters. The boat can accommodate a 54-man crew who maintain operations on the nearly 465-foot vessel. The fact that it looks like its constantly getting ready to dive like a submarine should be of little bother, as we doubt if a nuke could sink something this large.
Purchasing a yacht can be a very personal thing. The owner still has to be brave enough to actually take it out on the water to show people what they have, no matter how ugly it is. Take the Ocean Emerald for instance. Sure, it can accommodate 12 guests and boasts two private terraces, but let’s be real here: this thing looks like a can opener, bar none, all the way down to the dull grey color of the vessel. But, when people are super rich, they just throw taste overboard and move on. Just think: someone paid $6.7-million for this, whatever it is.
Sources: Yacht World, Press Heralnd, CNN, and Seabreacher.