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Take a closer look between the skyscrapers that dominate the Canary Wharf skyline and, at times, you may find a range of super yachts moored there! Occasionally, there are also specialist military boats too.
As Canary Wharf is quite literally built on water — and once the site of the largest docks in the world — it’s no suprise to see boats moored! However, long-term residents will have noticed an uptick in the number of super-yachts docked here over the last year or so.
So, what’s going on? Why is there suddenly an increase in super yachts parked in Canary Wharf? In this article, we will take a look at the reasons behind this trend, explore some of the most commonly parked yachts in Canary Wharf, and see exactly who owns them!
The impact of Brexit has been hotly debated, but it turns out that the UK yachting industry has managed to find a benefit!
One of the effects that both UK and international yacht-owners will have certainly noticed, is in their yacht-related taxes. Super yachts are not cheap, with a widely published rule of thumb being to expect around 10% of the initial boat cost per year in fees.
Having officially left the EU at the end of December 2020, and following new regulations, yacht owners have found it more cost-effective to keep their vessels moored in the UK than other EU countries.
Britain leaving the UK on 31st December 2020 created changes in the fiscal and flag landscape for super yacht owners. Before this, the UK was an EU member; on 1st January as a non-EU country both UK resident including those using the non-domicile regime and other non-EU resident owners could register the yacht under UK flag and then enter the EU under the Temporary Admission rules.Alasdair Milroy, owner of Breaking The Mould Accountancy
What does this actually mean?
Alongside the increase in yachts, keen-eyed residents will have also noticed there have been numerous military vessels moored in the harbour.
The additional infrastructure required to host military vessels often means temporary closures to the pavements around South Quay, with restricted areas and military checkpoints.
Military boats have occasionally been moored in the docks surrounding Canary Wharf before, typically as a show of Naval partnership, or when conducting joint military exercises with other NATO members in the North Sea. However, — like super yachts — there has been an uptick in military boat activity, which can be attributed to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the UK’s involvement in this situation.
While South Dock has played host to a surprising variety of boats, there are a few which stand out as being the most commonly seen in Canary Wharf.
Royal Huisman’s 58.5-metre (192-foot) PHI yacht — or more colloquially known as that blue boat in Canary Wharf — is arguably the most likely SuperYacht you will see moored here!
In fact, the £38m PHI has had a permanent birth near Dollar Bay for almost a year. There is a bit more to this than tax reasons, the yacht has been impounded by the UK government since March 2022, under sanctions placed upon Russian Oligarchs following the war in Ukraine.
Will the blue yacht ever leave south dock? Who knows?
Legendary Dutch shipbuilders Amels built the 83-metre (272-foot) Here Comes The Sun yacht in 2016. Size matters acutely to a billionaire, so a mere six years after construction during a 2021 retrofit, an additional 6 meters were added to the boat. This takes the boat to a huge 89 meters — and since its upgrade Here Comes The Sun has been frequently moored in middle dock.
The yacht has an interesting history. It was originally built for the late British-born, Russian billionaire, Boris Berezovsky in 2016 and with a price tag of €150 million it was one of the most expensive yachts ever made!
Oceanco’s 109-metre (358-foot) yacht, Bravo Eugenia, is another yacht often moored in the harbour. This yacht was built for American billionaire Jerry Jones and is arguably one of the most imposing super yachts moored in Canary Wharf.
Jerry Jones’s yacht includes a two-storey master suite, two hot tubs on the sundeck, a gym, an outdoor cinema and enough space to house 18 guests.
Why Canary Wharf? Aside from the Yacht, Jerry Jones also owns an NFL team — the Dallas Cowboys. As part of the NFL’s international games, the Dallas Cowboys occasionally play at nearby Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium, with Jone’s super yacht moored nearby when he is watching them. You might see the yacht, but we doubt you’ll catch the American billionaire on the tube to the game, though!
Another yacht with that is frequently moored by South Quay in Canary Wharf’s docks is Kismet — one of the world’s most luxurious yachts. Currently owned by American Pakistani billionaire Shahid Khan, the boat is up for sale for a cool €169 million.
Like Bravo Eugenia, this Super-yacht has been frequently seen moored in Canary Wharf when the owner is in town to watch football. This time it is Premier League football, though, with Shahid Khan owning Fulham FC.
The yacht measures in at 308ft (ca. 94 metres) long and is one of the most luxurious yachts in the world. The boat has facilities to outdo even the most luxurious apartments it is parked opposite in Canary Wharf, with a spa and hammam, video walls, cinemas, multiple entertainment areas — and even two helipads!
Seen in Millwall Docks multiple times since its 2021 refit, Reef Chief is a 49 m yacht believed to be owned by US Republican Committeeman and CEO of Crown Equipment Corp James Dicke II.
While one of the smaller yachts seen parked in Canary Wharf’s docks, Reef Chief is still a 476 tonne, $25 million dollar boat. With 5 separate cabins and multiple entertaining areas, there is space for 11 guests and 9 crew members.
There you have it — if you thought you had spotted moored yachts moored in Canary Wharf’s docks than normal, you were right! Post Brexit regulations helping to reduce tax for yacht owners, and additional military vessels due to exercises sparked by the war in Ukraine have both contributed to this increase.
However, even pre-brexit, London attracted plenty of yacht owners from around the world. Aside from the numerous high-end hotels, restaurants, and events the city offers, Canary Wharf’s docks are only around 2 miles (3.22 km) from Tower Bridge — arguably one of the most famous bridges in the world.
For billionaires, getting a picture of their prized possession sailing under Tower Bridge is an iconic shot, described by yacht magazine as a rite of passage for any newly refurbished super yacht. So with limited mooring space by Tower Bridge itself, and a growing number of billionaires and super yachts, expect to see plenty more yachts moored in South Quay and the docks surrounding Canary Wharf!