Built in 2016, the 107-meter Ulysses has become the clearest yet definition of an explorer yacht, incorporating swimming pools, spas with a helipad and a myriad of tenders, the largest of which is 22-meters long.
Sold in 2017 by her original owner, Graeme Hart, she became the largest brokerage yacht sold in 2017 with an asking price of $195 million. The deal lead to widespread rumours that Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg had bought the yacht, a rumour that has since been debunked by Facebook and its CEO.
Ulysses' story starts back in 2013 when Graeme Hart, whose net worth is valued at $10.2 billion by Forbes, commissioned the 107-meter yacht (351 ft) from Kleven, a shipyard in Norway that builds commercial ships. According to designers, Hart's choice was driven by quicker delivery times, a better price point than traditional yacht builders and high enough quality standards.
I am very pleased with the quality of the work that has been done by Kleven, and how our organizations have worked together to bring this exciting project to life.
Graeme Hart in November 2014
Hart's statement was however more than just a PR gesture for the Norwegian shipyard. Shortly after his statement on Kleven's quality, Hart signed an order for a new 116-meter explorer yacht with delivery scheduled for 2018. A move that surprised the industry as the first Ulysses was still two years away from completion but made the yacht one of the most anticipated builds of the past year.
In building Ulysses, Hart already had a clear vision of the yacht he wanted to create, having already owned a 60-meter explorer yacht built by Trinity in 2004. The key points of his design brief in creating the 107-meter Behemoth were reportedly to focus on interior volume, aft-facing guest spaces, a fully-functional helipad and large tenders. Ahead of Ulysses' delivery, the billionaire also sold the 60-meter, which is now known as Grand Russalina. The 116-meter explorer currently in build will become Hart's seventh yacht in total.
One of the most astonishing amenities on Ulysses is her large swimming pool, located aft of the upper deck at a height of nearly 9 meters above sea level. Partly covered by the third deck for shade, the swimming pool stretches for 12 meters and is surrounded by lounging areas for her guests to bathe in the sun.
Aft of this 400 square-meter pool deck is an extensive Jacuzzi, surrounded by sun pads, that overlook the yacht's aft. Although an undeniable advantage of being on a yacht is the ability to swim in the sea, Ulysses is purpose built to be able to navigate in remote areas where the sea could be too rough for humans to bathe in, which is when the 100% jellyfish-proof pool deck comes in.
Near the swimming pool is also located a large dinning table, covered by a solid rooftop and ideal for informal lunches during the summer. The table is however in no way the only option on the 107-meter. In addition to many casual tables located all around the yacht's 6 decks, a formal dinning area is located aft of the main deck with direct access to the kitchen for improved service.
Directly opposite from the formal dinning area can be found a wine degustation area with circular walls filled with the most prestigious wines from all around the world. A small bar is also located in front of 4 large windows directly in this area to allow Ulysses' guests to enjoy a glass of wine whilst taking in the view.
Ulysses' hull and superstructure were built by Kleven in Norway with a clear purpose of having a boat that would have no limits in any respect. The expedition style created by New Zealand-based designer Kyle Dick for the yacht's exterior is a clear translation of this philosophy.
The interior outfitting, penned by London-based studio H2 Yacht Design, was on the other hand done in Germany by Finnish company, Europlan who had in the past mostly focused on cruise ships with only a few superyachts under its belt. According to several reports, the interior cost €20,000 per square meter.
Ulysses features a variety of spaces to entertain its guests, from informal to formal locations. With light colors found throughout its interior, Ulysses boasts a large salon on the main deck with extensive sitting spaces and a large bar.
Unlike smaller yachts where most cabins typically look out onto the sea from a porthole, guest cabins on Ulysses have floor-to-ceiling windows directly opposite of the bed that let its guests take in the full view. Ulysses can accommodate a total of 36 guests.
The largest cabin on board is however the master cabin, which takes up an entire deck and stretches across the 107-meter's entire beam. With panoramic windows on both sides of the cabin, the master was however designed to face the yacht's aft. A lounging area is located forward of the cabin, making up the owner's private deck.
Despite its go-anywhere capability, Ulysses has also all of the amenities one could expand from a superyacht and perhaps even more. One of those is the yacht's spa, which includes a plunge pool, sauna, steam room, massage room and more all designed with white and dark blue theme.
The wellness area is completed by a gym located aft of the main deck with a large variety of equipment and a breathtaking view out of a series of tall windows.
Another one of Ulysses' highlights is her fully-functional cinema room. Packed with comfortable sofas and equipped with a pro-level projector and screen, the room is fully optimized for a great sound and viewing experience.
Ulysses' technical capabilities however perhaps best set in to guests when they go up to the guest lounge, located inside the explorer's bridge on the top deck. This acts as a dedicated area for guests to take in the view without being bother by crew operations and vice-versa.
One of the key requirements set forth by Hart was the development of a fully-functional helipad. This took the form of a large, dedicated helicopter landing pad located at the top of the yacht, with the capacity of taking up the world's largest helicopters up to 3,6 tons.
One of the key aspects of the explorer is of course her gigantic toy garage, containing anything from jetskis to motorbikes to SUVs to seabobs, bikes and flyboards. It's not unseen for superyachts to carry a lot of toys but this amount of toys on a 107-meter is something that few have ever seen before.
The most unique feature amongst the whole boat may however be the 21-meter tender that Ulysses carries on its bow. The two-deck boat, which most would call a yacht in her own right, requires to custom built cranes to lift in an operation that takes just over an hour to execute.
Sold at an asking price of $195 million, Ulysses became the largest brokerage yacht sold so far this year, topping the 85-meter Solandge, which sold at an asking price of €155 million. An even larger version of Ulysses is however set to be delivered to Hart later this year with the 116-meter explorer already now in the final phases of construction.
Valued at $10,2 billion by Forbes, Graeme Hart is currently the wealthiest man in New Zealand. Having made his fortune in the leveraged buyout private equity space, Hart consolidated a number of under-performing assets in the packaging space to create an empire in everyday products such as milk cartons, water bottles, paper and foil.
Prior to his successes in acquiring large companies and optimising them as part of his empire, Hart started off as a tow-truck driver after leaving school at 16 years old. He completed an MBA from the University of Ortego in 1987. His first big buy was the Government Printing Office in New Zealand, which he managed to acquire for less than capital value.
Although it is yet unclear who has acquired Ulysses from Hart, rumours within the yachting sector of a buyer from the US tech scene has led to media firing off guesses in all directions, without any concrete evidence. The most high profile of these guesses became Facebook's founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, which emanated from a Turkish newspaper that since deleted that article. "The reports related to Mark purchasing a yacht are completely inaccurate as he did not purchase a yacht." a spokesman for Facebook rapidly debunked.
Whilst it is yet unclear who purchased the 107-meter explorer, its sheer scale can't be denied. In November 2017, her new owner decided to cruise the yacht to Molokai in Hawai but wasn't able to anchor there. Indeed local militants initiated a protest to prevent the yacht from anchoring there to protect their island due to its large size, with Ulysses eventually cruising away on its own will. At the time, the yacht's owner was presumed by media to be Russian billionaire investor, Yuri Milner. "Yuri Milner does not own the boat Ulysses" a spokeswoman for the investor was, however, quick to debunk.
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Heesen has announced that the hull and superstructure of YN 19850 were joined together at the shipyard in Oss on Saturday, 16 January. The 50m Project Sapphire is the second in the new semi-displacement 5000 Aluminium Class, a fast-cruising design of under 500GT which follows from the successful Satori Class. For this new class of vessel, Heesen’s in-house team of naval architects created an optimised, low-drag hull design with a reduced transom depth and propeller tunnels to allow for a shallower shaft angle. Together, these refinements have led to efficiency gains of some 12%, while a draught of just 2.15m makes Sapphire the perfect yacht for exploration. The in-house team was supported by Van Oossanen Naval Architects, who carried out the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tests.Frank Laupman of Omega Architects has created a shape for the new 5000 Aluminium Class that is unique yet elegant and represents the culmination of a ten-year programme of design development at Heesen. Project Sapphire’s ultra-efficient hull shape is perfectly complemented by two MTU 16V4000M65L ‘green oceanic’ engines, fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) units to reduce NOx emissions. Particulate filters on the generators augment the environmental package, while a pair of interceptors will guarantee an optimal dynamic trim at high speeds. With a top speed of 23 knots and a range of 3,100 nautical miles at 11 knots, Sapphire will be ideal for both island hopping and longer passages. Italian designer Cristiano Gatto has created a refined and elegant interior design. Twelve guests can be accommodated in four spacious suites on the lower deck and a master stateroom forward on the main deck.Project Sapphire is on schedule for delivery in June 2022.Heesen Yachts is a Dutch ship building company that specializes in custom-built superyachts in aluminium and steel from 30m to 70m in size. Founded in 1978, it has launched more than 170 yachts since its inception.Credits: Heesen
January 22, 2021
A sporty character, pared-down lines and seafaring style make up the true DNA of Itama. In 2020 there was a renewal of the range to perfect and modernise various functional design and technology features, helping maintain Itama’s typically evergreen character.Designed in collaboration with Ferretti Group’s Product Strategy Committee (led by engineer Piero Ferrari, the Group Engineering Department and architect Marco Casali), the Itama range is a combination of power and elegance, with its unmistakable Mediterranean spirit and unique streamlined and sporty lines.The real novelty in the new range is the form of a central glass door incorporated in the windscreen that makes access to the bow area on the main deck safer and more practical. The sliding hatch acts as a passageway, which is why it not only has steps built into it but also is made of a special aluminium honeycomb that is both strong and lightweight. This solution, which increases not only the comfort but also the safety of Itama yachts, will be added to traditional forward access along the side walkways. On Itama 45S and 62S, the opening mechanism for the central door is manual, while on Itama 75 it is electric.The Itama 45S is heir to one of the shipyard’s most successful models. It shares numerous aesthetic elements with its predecessor, including the concealed hydraulic gangway integrated into the hull and the stern swimming platform, which can be lowered into the water to launch and land the tender.This model is designed to meet the needs of each individual owner.The predominant colour in the interiors is white lacquered wood and teak Venetian blinds; in contrast with the blue bridge, when combined with the big windows, this gives the space a very bright and airy feel. The boat can be ordered with one or two guest cabins in addition to the master stateroom in the bow.Itama 45S can reach a top speed of 34 knots. 45SItama 62S focuses on solutions that make the most of her effective volume, onboard liveability, space optimisation and the experience of freedom during navigation. This mood can be seen starting from the large cockpit, which, in addition to the spacious sunbathing area, contains a living and dining area with an extendable table and a comfortable sofa facing the bar unit on the left.Twin MAN V12 1400 mhp engines deliver a top speed of 40 knots and a cruising speed of 37 knots.62SItama 75 offers a deeply rich and innovative experience. The main deck is divided into four areas. It has a sunpad in the bow over the hangar for the tender or jet ski; a living area with big sofas upholstered with waterproof fabric that slide together in the shape of the letter C and can accommodate up to twelve people around a teak table; and the helm station is in the centre, with the copilot’s chair on the left and a big chaise longue under the windscreen so that you can cruise in total relaxation from the most comfortable position on the boat.Below deck, the interiors are decorated in warm, welcoming colours and the standard layout features three cabins: the full beam master stateroom, a VIP cabin in the bow and a guest cabin with twin beds on the left. The roomy dinette can also be fitted with a bar. The boat is also available with a four-cabin layout, all with en suite bathrooms.Itama 75 is equipped with twin 1823 hp MTU engines with ZF Sea Rex 140 propulsion, driving it to a top speed of up to 42 knots and a comfortable cruising speed of 37 knots.75Ferretti Group is a world leader in the design, construction and sale of luxury yachts and pleasure vessels, with a unique portfolio of eight prestigious and exclusive brands: Ferretti Yachts, Riva, Pershing, Itama, Mochi Craft, CRN, Custom Line and Wally. Led by Chief Executive Officer Alberto Galassi, the Ferretti Group owns and manages six shipyards located across Italy, which combine the efficiency of industrial production with typical world-class Italian craftsmanship, reaching customers in more than seventy countries across the world. Credits: Itama
January 22, 2021
The new Pearl 62 was declared Best Flybridge over 50ft at the 2021 Motor Boat Awards. Having announced a shortlist of contenders as usual in December, the winners and a few ‘highly commended’ runners-up were finally disclosed a couple days ago during a streamed event co-hosted by MBY’s editor Hugo Andreae and deputy editor Jack Haines. Normally these coveted awards are concluded with a gala dinner at a top London hotel with a large marine industry and VIP audience, but alas this year there was a virtual delivery due to the pandemic. Announcing the Volvo Penta IPS-propelled 32-knot Pearl 62’s win, Hugo Andreae stressed that Pearl’s naval architect Bill Dixon has pulled off a “major design coup, by managing to fit four stellar cabins, plus crew space, aboard a boat of this size,” coupled with “strong performance and solid seakeeping”. “The annual Motor Boat Awards are always keenly anticipated, and this year we were thrilled to see the stunning new Pearl 62 win in such a hotly contested 50–80ft category,” says Pearl Yachts’ managing director Iain Smallridge. “But then we already knew this model is a real winner. Having first presented the model a year ago at the 2020 Boot Düsseldorf, we have already seen just how well it has been received by our customers and potential customers. To date we have sold no fewer than eight of them and the ninth will be delivered in spring next year.”Pearl Yachts was founded in 1998 and has now become one of the UK’s most prominent shipyards. Every Pearl motor yacht is designed and built by experienced craftsmen. Pearl’s fleet consists of the new Pearl 62, the Pearl 80 and the Pearl 95. All newly launched Pearl Yachts are covered by a unique, comprehensive five-year warranty program.Credits: Pearl Yachts
January 22, 2021
Messe Düsseldorf decided to cancel Boot Düsseldorf for 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic and the associated worldwide lockdown measures. The next boot, as scheduled in the trade fair calendar, will open its doors from 22 to 30 January, 2022. Under the given circumstances, the planned date in April is no longer guaranteed, says Wolfram N. Diener, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf: "The continuing high level of infection and the fact that the end of the lockdown is not foreseeable for the time being make a resumption of trade fair operations at the end of April appear increasingly unrealistic. We have reassessed the situation with our partners and jointly decided to cancel boot 2021 early. Our priority is the health and planning security of our exhibitors, visitors and service providers. All activities will now be focused on the successful staging of boot 2022."The aim, he said, is to return to the concept of Boot Düsseldorf both as an event for all water sports enthusiasts and as a business and networking platform for the international trade audience. For 2022, he added, work is also underway on a hybrid trade fair experience that will, among other things, enable digital participation in seminars and events at Boot Düsseldorf.Credits: boot Düsseldorf
January 21, 2021
Mangusta GranSport 45 is a fast displacement yacht that combines technical features such as speed, greater range and limited consumption with elegant lines and a sophisticated interior. The model has zero speed and underway stabilizers for ultimate guest comfort. Her top speed is 26 knots and cruising speed is 20 knots. At an economical speed of 12 knots, her range is 4,200 nautical miles. Her shallow draft means she is perfect for visiting destinations like the Bahamas. Yesterday, the shipyard announced the launch of the new Mangusta GranSport 45. ‘This is where beauty and speed meet their habitat,’ Mangusta Yachts said in an Instagram post. Overmarine Group was founded in 1985 by the Balducci family. The shipyard builds open and displacement power superyachts under the Mangusta and Mangusta Oceanco brand names.Credits: Overmarine Group
January 21, 2021