With the explosion of leisure time and wealth in the latter half of the 21st century, leisure activities of all kinds blossomed. Water sports remained a popular favorite and the private ownership of boats and yachts rocketed.
The appeal of being alone on the wide open sea and the illusion of freedom that grants is a meme actively promoted by the yachting industry. One notable advert features a busy executive telecommuting from his yacht while skimming over the waves in international waters.
With rising disposable incomes the ownership of moderately sized yachts are easily within the reach of the average fifth wave family. This has led to a very competitive market in entry level yachts, and very crowded marinas the world over.
Verodyne's popular Sea King is the leader in the mid-range yacht market (UP 126). It has many imitators. With the plethora of designs and innovation at the budget end of the market Verodyne's entry level yacht fares well but has never attained the leadership it holds in the mid-range market. Other cheaper or more innovative designs taking the lion's share of the market segment. The demand for other water going craft such as biphibs also fragments the market.
The market segment it sits in calls for the combination of a high top speed, typically around 100 mph, several hundred miles of range, a below deck accomodation for two or three for comfort and for overnight stays, and a price tag under $100,000.
These yachts have much the same distance and speed capabilities of the light aircraft of a century ago with more comfort and less cost. For short haul coast to coast trips of several hundred miles these craft compete very well against modern aircraft.
Of course the coming and goings of thousands of small fast boats that can travel a thousand miles in a day are very difficult to police. Such boats are also popular with criminals for the trafficking of people and contraband.
Transhuman Space Index