The world's largest single-masted superyacht, complete with its own seaplane, will sail into Auckland in February.

Designed by renowned Kiwi yacht designer Ron Holland, the 75m M5 (formerly known as the Mirabella V) is now at Port Denarau in Fiji, where its 90m mast towers in the air.

Last week, jeweller Michael Hill's superyacht VvS1 was berthed nearby but at 34m was dwarfed by the massive sloop.

M5 is owned by Texas oil and gas billionaire Rodney Lewis, below right, founder of Lewis Energy. It is estimated by a yachting news website to be worth more than US$50 million ($77m). Launched in 2004, the M5 underwent a major two-year refit at the Pendennis shipyard in Cornwall, when three meters were added to its length to accommodate the owner's Carbon Cub sea plane, inset.


The superyacht boasts an owner's suite and six state rooms for guests, a sky deck, a dining room seating up to 20 guests, a gym, sauna, dip pool and spa pool.

The vessel also offers guests an array of water toys, including jetskis, water-ski boats, laser yachts, dive gear kayaks and remote-control sailing models of M5.

A large tender takes guests ashore and extra boats are stored in the yacht's swimming pools.

Auckland's Viaduct Harbour is well used to hosting superyachts. The 134m mega-super vessel Serene arrived in Auckland earlier this year.

It has a huge internal seawater pool, two helicopter landing platforms, storage for a submarine, a snow room, a steam room and a jet-stream swimming pool.

It is ranked by Charter World as the most expensive vessel in the world to charter.

Other distinctive vessels to have berthed in New Zealand include the Philippe-Starck-designed superyacht yacht A, owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, who has a fortune estimated at $17.2 billion.

Each superyacht to visit New Zealand is estimated to contribute more than $1m to the economy and in many cases, in excess of $5m, according to Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED).


This includes berthing and marine services as well as money spent on tourism by the yachts' wealthy guests and their crew.

Refitting a vessel in New Zealand can cost as much as $6m for a 50m yacht or $20m for a vessel 100m or larger. From April last year to March this year a record 57 superyachts visited New Zealand, the highest number to visit the country since the America's Cup in 2000.

Hiring a superyacht doesn't come cheap. According to Charter World the 49m motor yacht True North is available for charter from US$390,000 a week ($605,000).

Commissioned in 2005, the vessel can sleep 36 guests in 18 state rooms and can cruise with up to 150 guests. The vessel has an internet cafe and an observation lounge looking out over the bow.

Luxury yacht Noble House can be chartered for a cool $387,000 a week. The vessel provides luxury accommodation for 12 guests and includes an on-board gym and a pool. Regan Schoultz.