One of the key stories of the past year has been the acquisition of two superyachts by the state of Equatorial Guinea. The largest of the two was the 90-meter Ice, which in itself has a fascinating story. Commissioned by an Italian billionaire and delivered to a Russian oligarch, Ice was built with environmental friendliness in mind.

Ice's story starts under a different name - Air, which is what Augusto Perfetti dubbed her when he ordered her from Lurssen in Germany. A famous Italian candy manufacturer, Perfetti is mostly known as the owner of Mentos but also Chupa Chups. Forbes currently values him and his brother at a combined $7.2 billion.

As Perfetti had the yacht under construction at the shipyard, he was approached by Russian billionaire Suleyman Kerimov to acquire the yacht. According to media, the oligarch made him an offer he couldn't refuse and the yacht was sold prior to her delivery. Following the yacht's completion, she was christened as Ice. Meanwhile, Perfetti ordered himself another Air yacht at Feadship.

Out of the many alluring aspects that Ice features is her friendliness to the environment. In fact, the 90 meter yacht was the first to have Azipod drive units installed instead of shafted diesels that one would typically find onboard a motor yacht. A top priority in the construction of Ice was to lower emissions as well as all possible noise and vibration.

The result was a quiet yacht that could seamlessly cruise through the oceans. The choice of azipods allowed for a more flexible layout on the inside whilst electric generators made it possible to fit the engine room on a single deck and save space. Filters were installed on Ice to made sure that the exhaust gases passed through the eight steel pipes at the yacht's highest points were first filtered and unnoticeable.

Designed by Tim Heywood both outside and inside, Project Rainbow, as it was known during her build, features a contemporary style on the interior with an unmistakable style on the exterior. Stretching across Ice's full beam, the owner's stateroom forward of the main deck is located near to two VIP cabins on the same deck.

The aft of the main deck is dedicated to being a bathing area, with guests being able to both quickly access the sea through a spacious swimming platform as well as enjoy the water in a swimming pool aft of the deck. The rapid access from the pool into the sea is ensured through two staircases on either side of the yacht.

Whereas Heywood focused on the yacht's layout, it was Terence Disdale who created the interior style of the yacht. Coupled with a vast collection of modern art, Ice's interior is created in Zen minimalism. Creative furniture and fittings are further complemented by large windows that beam natural light deep into the 90 meter yacht.

Built for efficient performance, Ice can be controlled with a single joystick that connects the full bow thrusters and azipods, according to statements issued when the yacht was launched. During sea trials, the 90 meter yacht reached a top speed of 18.6 knots with nearly 100% clean exhausts. Burning 16 to 17 tonnes of fuel in 24 hours, she cruises at an average speed of 16 to 17 knots.

Amongst Ice's main amenities are a helipad aft of the third deck, a lounging area on the sundeck, a private space on the bow area of the yacht as well as tall windows throughout the yacht creating lots of volume in its salons and suites. With an interior volume of 2,870 tons, she stretches across a total beam of nearly 15 meters.

The most recent chapter in Ice's history came in 2015 as Kerimov sold the 90-meter yacht to son of the President of Equatorial Guinea according to a report by Le Monde. The French newspaper goes on to say that following the acquisition, Ice's new owner replaced Ice's helicopter with a new Eurocopter EC135. Earlier in 2014, the same group purchased the 78m Feadship, Ebony Shine.

As it was leaving the Netherlands after a refit, Ebony Shine was however seized in March 2017 by Dutch authorities as part of a case against the yacht's beneficial owner. According to Maritime Executive, the defendants then argued that the yacht could not be seized as it was technically a governmental vessel operated through Dara Limited, an offshore holding company controlled by Equatorial Guinea.

Ebony Shine 

The 25th largest yacht in the world at the time of her delivery, Ice has since slipped to the 66th position in the world rankings as larger megayachts began being build. Her drive for clear exhausts, minimized vibration and noise have, however, inspired a drive across even smaller yachts for more efficiency and lower noise pollution.

Valued at $6.3 billion by Forbes, Suleyman Kerimov currently sits as the 21st richest man in Russia with his net worth having risen five fold in less than two years. Having made his wealth investing in distressed companies, Kerimov started his investing activity in 1992. Shortly prior to the 2008 crisis, he sold nearly all of his assets in Russia including a stake in Gazprom, a large real estate development project.

With loans from VTB bank, he bought a stake in Polyus Gold, Russia's largest gold mining outfit as well as in Rostelecom, a telecom company. He acquired Rybolovlev's stake in Uralkali, later reselling it to billionaires Prokhorov and Mazepin. Currently the primary owner of Polyus Gold, Kerimov represents the republic of Dagestan at the Russian Federation's council.

In 2017, Kerimov reportedly made a bid to acquire the 85-meter Solandge according to Russian media. According to their story, the offer was, however, turned down and the yacht ultimately sold to a different buyer from the Middle East. Designed by Espen Oeino, Solandge was also built by Lurssen, similarly to Ice.

Valued at $7.2 billion by Forbes, the Perfetti brothers are the owners of Perfetti Van Melle, a candy and gum manufacturing giant behind brands such as Mentos, Airheads and Chupa-Chups. Started by their father Ambrogio Perfetti together with his brother Egidio, the company was inspired by American soldiers who had brought gum from overseas. No longer involved in operations, the two brothers are considered to be the 7th richest family in Italy. 

Following his sale of the 90-meter Lurssen, the Italian billionaire decided to build a yacht at Feadship in the Netherlands. This resulted in the 81-meter Air, which was delivered in 2011 and is currently available for charter from €700,000 per week.

Latest News

125-meter superyacht Project Gaja sold
Brokerage company Moran Yacht & Ship has announced that 125-metre superyacht Project Gaja is sold. Moran is a project manager for this stee-hulled superyacht with an expected delivery in 2023 for a repeat client.Not much known yet about the exterior and interior designers , but it is already known that the yacht will accommodate up to 20 guests in 11 cabins, while crew quarters is for 40 people. Other key details include a beam of 18.5 metres and draught of 4.8 metres.125-metre in length, with a beam of 18.5 metres and draught of 4.8 metres, Project Gaja will be built in Northern Europe. Gaja will be equipped with all the perks superyachts have : a superyacht helipad, beauty salon, spa, sauna, swimming pool, indoor and outdoor cinema, dance floor, gym and elevator, storage room for all the imaginable toys and tenders.
The 25th superyacht Amels 180 sold
Dutch shipyard Amels has announced the sale of a new 55-metre Amels 180 from the Amels Limited Editions range. Planned to be delivered in spring 2020, she will become the 25th Amels 180 delivered since shipyard Amels its Limited Editions to yacht building in 2007.“The owner will be exploring many destinations around the world,” comments Rutger Dolk from the Amels sales team. “He was looking for a yacht that was built to travel the world and that is exactly what Amels Limited Editions yachts offer. We’re looking forward to delivering this new Amels yacht to her owner in 2020.”Will Christie of Y.CO represented the buyer in this sale. Y.CO’s build team will also supervise the outfitting of the yacht. The Tim Heywood design will be completed with custom interiors by Laura Sessa.“The sale of the 25th Amels 180 is a milestone because it demonstrates the strength of our Limited Editions proposition,” notes Director Sales Rob Luijendijk. “When we first introduced our concept of fast delivery with custom interiors and a standardised technical platform more than a decade ago, I don’t think anyone expected that the market would develop so quickly. A big factor in our success is our determination to keep pushing ourselves, evolving and tailoring each Limited Editions yacht to meet each client’s unique requirements. Each yacht has its own character and the next one will, too.”The Amels Limited Editions range has grown with six designs from 55-metres to 83-metres. In total Amels has sold 40 Amels Limited Editions yachts since 2007.
Superyacht Project 8X unveiled at Sunseeker
Sunseeker International has announced their new model Project 8X, with a fresh design direction of Sunseeker's new generation of larger models and shows the company's passion for bringing more exciting products to market. Project 8X boasts latest cutting-edge design and innovative process of build, which drastically differs from the current Sunseeker range. She has striking lines, incredible volume for her size, a sophisticated open-plan interior and a new concept of beach club concept, offering four times the are of a traditional bathing platform design. A key feature to be found throughout the yacht is the ample exterior space; designed with entertainment in mind, she offers plentiful seating, dining and sunbathing options across multiple spaces, all with new recessed ambient lighting central to their appeal.Project 8X is set to surprise and delight at every turn. Every single element has been carefully considered in meticulous detail, exuding a sophistication and detail hitherto only found in custom superyachts.Commenting on the launch of Project 8X, Sean Robertson, Sales Director at Sunseeker International, said: “We are immensely excited about the launch of this project which we believe will dictate this sector for years to come. Her exterior and interior are fundamentally very different from the current range. Sunseeker prides itself on producing the world’s finest luxury performance motor yachts and the design and engineering behind Project 8X epitomises our next generation of larger models. Whilst each new model is still quintessentially and unmistakeably a Sunseeker, this exciting new yacht will, without doubt, reinvent the market when it launches next year.”
142-meter superyacht Project Redwood launched by Lurssen
142-meter Project Redwood has been launched by Lurrsen. The details are coming from brokerage company Moran Yacht & Ship, which sold the yacht. This vessel is the largest yacht ever sold and built by a brokerage company in the history of yachting. Designed by the team at Nuvolari & Lenard, Project Redwood is being built to a Moran Yacht & Ship specification and her construction is being overseen by them.Image courtesy of Moran Yacht & ShipIn September, 2015 Project Redwood's sale was announced, as a 139-meter project. Now, she's 3 metre longer and boasts six deck, as well as other features, such as sports and diving centre, a large swimming pool, two helipads and a whole bunch of tenders. Completion is scheduled in 2020.Nuvolari & Lenard created her interior design, which will be able to accommodate up to 36 guests in 20 staterooms. The yacht will also be able for long-range and efficient global explorations. More details coming soon.
Is the AXOPAR 37 Sun-Top the perfect chase boat?
A new Chase Boat has entered the market and it’s quickly climbed the ranks to our number one spot, says Chase Tenders.We’re finding it difficult to find another Chase Boat that offers the perfect mix of boating and hospitality like that of the AXOPAR 37 Sun-top. High-build quality, unique in design and versatile, the Sun-Top is ideal for owners, guests and crews alike.If you’ve ever asked yourself the question ‘How does a Chase Boat benefit us more than a traditional garaged tender or RIB?’ we think the Sun-Top might be the answer. We understand that, in the world of 35 foot plus superyacht tenders, there’s a broad range of high-quality boats, all promising stand-out features that can quickly turn heads. So, to make things easier, we’ve broken down why the AXOPAR 37 Sun-Top is the Chase Tender team’s Chase Boat of choice for the coming season. Let’s start with the space on deck, offering a range of different social dimensions. The Sun-Top offers an extended length roof when compared to its T-Top counterpart; offering maximum shade and weather protection, and with a full-length Sunbrella canvas section that can be opened with ease, you can quickly turn it into an open boat. You can choose a manually-controlled canopy or upgrade to the fully electrical or fully enclosed options.Underneath the Sun-Top, there are seven fixed seating positions which can be arranged to be forward facing, or seated around a central dining table. The Sun-Top also benefits from a large foredeck seat, where you can sit back and relax or use as a sunbed. With such a large amount of deck space available, the Sun-Top provides an easy walkaround side deck, allowing guests, especially younger ones, to access all parts of the boat comfortably and safely, a standout feature compared to other typical Chase Boats of this size.You can choose to add the optional aft cabin, though as standard, the vessel offers a well-equipped double forecabin featuring a toilet, sink and air-conditioning (if specified). The aft offers a sunbed above, or you can choose a wet-bar with fridge, electric grill and sink in its place. On top of that, the vessel offers up to two drawer-type refrigerators on deck along with two large storage lockers, which holds enough food & drink for all-day hospitality. This is ideal for owners and guests pursuing an al-fresco dining experience wherever and whenever they can.For guests, there is a large amount of deck space aft and a boarding ladder, coupled with a ski frame, making the Sun-top a fantastic choice for watersports enthusiasts. This not only means you have very satisfied guests, but ensures the parent vessel as a package stands out as an exceptional charter amongst its competitors. Chase Tenders has also successfully equipped many Sun-Top models with a bow towing eye, allowing flexibility to conserve its fuel during passage making, or for all crew to be available on the parent vessel.When comparing it to the competition, the AXOPAR 37 Sun-Top comes equipped with a well specified list of options, a pair of Mercury Verado 350HP outboards (capable of 45 knots), delivery and commissioning for circa €210,000 plus TAX. Compare this to an Ex. works, Ex. TAX price of €580,000 for a Wally Tender. When you take into consideration the need to update tenders on a regular basis due to high hours, wear and the need to keep the parent vessel’s treasure chest new and appealing, the Sun-Top certainly offers excellent value.The 37 Sun-Top is available to order from Chase Tenders ready for the 2019 season!Favourite features:· Forecabin - All 37 models have a spacious and bright forecabin with lounge seating, a queen size bed, a fixed cupboard and a toilet with privacy curtains.· Sunbed on Foredeck - The foredeck features a large sunbed with cup holders and optional cushions· Adjustable table in Cockpit - The 37 TT and ST models are fitted with an adjustable table in the cockpit. The front seats can be turned to face the sofa for entertaining 7 guests by the table.· Day Cruiser Aft Cabin - All models can be equipped with a day cruiser cabin on aft deck sleeping 2 persons with twin flush Lewmar roof hatches and side windows.· Walk-around Deck - All 37 models feature a walk-around deck for easy handling and access.· Sun-Top with Sliding Canvas Section - The 37 Sun-Top gets its name from the huge sliding canvas mid section which lets you either enjoy the sunshine in the cockpit or shield yourself from strong sunlight and heat.What clients say:Tristan Mortlock, Captain of MY AWOL:"We bought "Chasing AWOL" (AXOPAR 37 ST) from Chase Tenders beginning of 2018. It was a very easy, pleasant and smooth experience. We are very happy with the result and very happy with the boat. It's been a great addition to the mother ship and we highly recommend it as a chase boat to any vessel. Big thank you to Chase Tenders, we're looking forward to a great summer".Jonathan Wiehahn, Tender Captain of MY Mischief“I’ve had the pleasure of captaining a 37 AXOPAR for the summer. She’s been a great tender and easy to manage and manoeuvre.On the managing side, as it’s a fairly basic boat, there is not much to go wrong. Everything is in an accessible place so doing my morning checks of bilges and all systems it was easy. I really like the improvements from the previous AXOPAR to the current one we have.In calm weather she gets up on the plane easily and just glides through the water. Get the trim tabs correct and trim the engines and you can easily do 48 knots. In slightly heavier conditions you just need to get your angle into the swell right and she just rides right over with easy, keeping guests dry. And close quarter manoeuvres she’s very easy to handle and with the bow thruster you can get into very tight spaces and make it look easy”.Sponsored by Chase Tenders