BY Nick Walton on 20 Jun 2023

We look at the role of, and the increasing demand for, a dedicated support yacht to help lighten the load for superyacht owners. 

Not all of the stars at the recent Cannes Film Festival were to be found on the Red Carpet; some were at anchor in the Bay of Cannes.

While most people were looking at the Palais des Festival, others were turned towards the ocean where Jeff Bezos’ yacht and chase yachts were at anchor. 

His new 127 m Oceanco sailing yacht Koru and his 75m support vessel Aebona were recently delivered to their yacht-loving owner, and their presence in France is a good opportunity to look at why a yacht owner might need both superyacht and yacht vessel, especially when considering the often small difference in size between both yachts.

We look at the role of, and the increasing popularity of, the support yacht for superyacht owners. 

The Koru

Slim Bouricha, President of Lynx Yachts shares his thoughts on the question: “Though having the support vessel smaller than the main yacht may seem like a conventional choice, this is not always the case. Lynx delivered a YXT24 to an owner of a 70m yacht but also delivered the same to the owner of a 24m yacht. There is also a 6711 Damen sea axe that use to run alongside a 50m yacht.”

The role of the superyacht support vessel is becoming increasingly important as owners try to maximise space on their principal yacht, while also enjoying all the toys yacht owners now love to enjoy. A support vessel’s purpose is to transport the main yacht’s toys, such as helicopters, tenders, jet skis, and even crew.

“The bigger a yacht is, the bigger the needs are for various toys and tenders,” says Bouricha. “Captains and owners of large yachts are always happy to free up prime real estate and have all the big equipment on a support vessel. This is also where all the day-to-day maintenance can occur.”

We look at the role of, and the increasing popularity of, the support yacht for superyacht owners. 


The main yacht is always designed to be self-sufficient and to carry a decent amount of reasonably sized toys and tenders. However, support vessels increase exponentially the carrying capacity for much larger equipment, such as limo tenders, helicopters, fishing or wakeboard boats, and submarines. These require additional crew for operation and maintenance.

In addition, a support yacht means the main yacht can lift anchor and depart in much less time, leaving the support vessel behind to lift all the tenders onboard.

“Another example is laundry,” says Bouricha. “Unless you are in a very large mega yacht, laundry areas are cramped and it is a real benefit to be able to have it done on the support vessel.”

In the case of Jeff Bezos, sailing yacht Koru and motor yacht Abeona were built by two different shipyards. 

Two brands have made their name building yacht support vessels: Damen with their Sea Axe line and Lynx yachts with their YXT line. They each occupy a different segment of the market.

“The specialization, so to speak, is not just about building a support vessel, but rather understanding the key design features required in a support vessel and their implications on engineering,” says Bouricha. “This is why there are not many companies around that build such vessels.”

We look at the role of, and the increasing popularity of, the support yacht for superyacht owners. 


In Bezos’ case, both of the yachts were delivered together, although this is still relatively rare. Instead,  some yacht owners may feel that they are outgrowing their main yacht and a support vessel can be the answer. For example, it would cost less for an owner of a 40m yacht to acquire an YXT24  than upgrading to a 50-metre main yacht.

Lynx Yachts launched its first yacht, Heliad II (now renamed Robbie Bobby), a 33m yacht in May 2013. Since then, the shipyard based in the Netherlands has built six yachts and developed several models.

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