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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Cockwells Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Launch of 9m Modular Tender and Concept for 13m Open Catamaran Tender
As Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding celebrates its 25th year of building beautiful bespoke craft for a discerning clientele, the acclaimed British boatbuilder continues to share its unstoppable flair for distinctive design with the unveiling of its 9m Modular Tender at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show (MYS21), which takes place in the Principality from 22 to 25 September.For superyachts that require a flexible craft for use by guests and crew, Cockwells’ new 9m Modular Tender features ingeniously-designed custom modules that are lowered on board a base boat to transform it into a luxurious enclosed limousine; a fast guest transfer shuttle with jockey-style seating for up to 12 guests; a beach club with DJ station and BBQ grill; or, indeed, any other bespoke module to match precise specifications.With a proven seaworthy hull that makes for a comfortable ride, the 9m Modular Tender’s twin 200hp diesel engines possess the power to transport a small car or all-terrain vehicle at 44 knots whilst an electrically-operated integrated bow ramp allows easy boarding and loading from ship, shore and sand.Cockwells will also reveal its concept for a 13m Open Catamaran Tender at the event, which combines expansive open seating areas for relaxation with stable, fast ride characteristics to deliver the ultimate superyacht tender or luxury day boat.Based on our existing well-tried and tested catamaran hull, and paired with twin 725hp Volvo D11 engines driving Hamilton Jet drives to offer a top speed of 50 knots, this exuberant addition to Cockwells’ portfolio delivers clean lines and superyacht-quality finish to create a craft that will turn heads wherever she ventures.A bow ramp that folds hydraulically and a raising t-top Bimini which lowers electronically for stowage in the mothership’s garage can also be incorporated as optional extras.A confidential 12m version of this Open Catamaran Tender is already in build at Cockwells’ Mylor Creek Boatyard in Cornwall and is due for launch later this year.“We mark our 25th year in business as a reputable brand, a growing company that is globally respected and one of the largest and most well-established tender builders in the industry,” comments Founder & Managing Director, Dave Cockwell.Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding is based in Mylor Creek Boatyard near Falmouth in Cornwall, at the westerly edge of the UK, build bespoke superyacht tenders, motor launches and sailing yachts in any material.Credits: Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding
September 17, 2021
My Secret is a 46.71 meter luxury motor yacht. She was built in Netherlands by Heesen Yachts and delivered in 2012. She has been just recently sold, with Hakan Altinel of Altinel Shipyards representing the buyer and David Westwood at TWW Yachts representing the seller in the deal.My Secret was asking € 19.5 million and spent about 20 months on the market.The yacht design was developed by Bannenberg & Rowell and Omega Architects.The hull is made of steel and the superstructure is made of aluminum, with a beam of 8.83 m and a draft of 2.85 m. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 491 tons.She is powered by MTU engines of 1340 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 15 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots. My Secret's maximum range is estimated at 4200 nautical miles.She is ready to receive in six luxurious cabins up to twelve guests, surrounded by the care of nine crew members.Founded in 1978, the famous Dutch shipyard is located in Oss. Heesen Yachts during its work, has produced more than 170 yachts.
September 17, 2021
Heesen has shared the news of the next major step in the construction of the 60m, all-aluminium Project Skyfall, YN 19959. In a complex operation over several days in September, three large mobile cranes lowered the main engines onto their mounts, and then hoisted the superstructure into place over the waiting hull. The exterior of this high-speed vessel is a sport fisherman in yacht disguise, complete with cockpit, fighting chair and storage for 40 rods was created by Frank Laupman of Omega Architects. When it came to selecting the hull colour, Heesen and Omega Architects narrowed the choice down to five, all from Awlgrip’s long-lasting palette of high performance, high gloss, durable marine coatings: Vestal White, Eggshell, Desert Tan, Ice Blue and Medium Gray.Skyfall’s owner wanted something out of the ordinary, but not too drastic. He chose ‘Desert Tan’, described by Awlgrip as “calming and low key, this is a subtle and luxurious shade. Yellowy in its base tone, it suggests a vast desert landscape where adventure beckons.” When complete in 2023, Heesen’s most powerful yacht to date will be accompanied by a custom tender, built by Vanquish to a Guido de Groot design that will mirror the mother ship down to the last brushstroke. Her Fast Displacement Hull Form is optimised for performance and efficiency and has gyro stabilisers and interceptor trim plates to maintain the correct running angle under way. SkyFall will be able to reach a top speed of 37 knots in light load conditions, thanks to the 22,000 horsepower produced by four MTU 20V4000 engines driving four Kongsberg S90 water jets.Project SkyFall will now remain in shed number nine for outfitting until Spring 2023 when she will leave the harbour of Oss for intensive trials in the North Sea.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 Yachts
September 17, 2021
American company Denison Yachting will not only attend the 29th annual Monaco Yacht Show with 47m Heesen yacht Asya, but also has announced its plans to open an office in Monaco as part of a larger European expansion; it will be the first office that Denison will open in Europe. The new Monaco office will be led by Jeremy Roche who has a respected history in the superyacht industry and the skills to lead a new team. Denison plans to open its new Monaco office in Fall of 2021.“We’re excited to build on the brand that Denison established in the United States, and to service U.S. clients who may own yachts in the Mediterranean,” commented Superyacht Director, Ben Farnborough. “It also provides the opportunity to expand Denison’s yacht management, charter division, crew placement, and brokerage reach by being on the ground in Monaco with a foot in the door in Europe.”Denison Yachting has long been a leader in the yachting industry, with a rich family history dating back to 1948 with the start of Broward Marine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Today, the company provides complete yachting services worldwide, from sales and charters to yacht management and new construction. Credits: Denison Yachting; Unsplash.com
September 16, 2021
Royal Huisman has turned the 46m performance cruiser, project 405 aka Reichel / Pugh – Nauta 151. The turning of the modern performance hull at Royal Huisman’s newbuild facilities is an important milestone in the build process. It marks the start of the outfitting, during which various carefully selected and especially developed components will be fitted to ensure that this vessel will be both extremely lightweight and – compared to existing carbon composite superyachts – very competitive in regattas.At the same time, this radical new concept will offer all the benefits associated with existing Royal Huisman yachts: comfort, low noise levels, and optimal world cruising characteristics. The modern and powerful hull shape of Royal Huisman project 405, with its straight bow, wide transom, and twin rudders, capably embodies the naval architecture and hydrodynamic design by Reichel / Pugh Yacht Design, who have an impressive reputation for creating high-performance designs. The construction on the inside is based on the optimal use of the materials. For example, the hull of project 405 is a high-grade mix of aluminum and carbon composite, utilizing a semi-automated parametric structural optimization process. During sixteen iterations that are part of the shipyard’s new “Featherlight” method, the structural weight is reduced with an admirable 11% compared to conventional methods, whilst maintaining stiffness of the hull and ensuring structural integrity. The trunk for the retractable keel, the deckhouse, guest cockpit and hardtop will all be carbon composite, and are currently being manufactured “next door”, at Rondal. The shipyard’s sister company is skillfully bringing to life, the intriguing shapes envisaged by Nauta Design, who are responsible for the yacht’s general concept, exterior and interior design.In addition, Rondal and its partners are working on optimizing the yacht’s performance by applying various innovations to the yacht’s integrated sail handling system, such as carbon electric captive winches, and the state-of-the-art Panamax carbon rig. The latter was developed with structured luff sails in mind from the outset: reducing the load on the hardware means that the rig can be significantly lighter, as well. This will be the first large newbuild yacht to launch with a configuration based on this method of rig design and engineering. Royal Huisman project 405 will be delivered to her owners in 2022. Royal Huisman is a Dutch shipyard established in 1884 in Ronduite, building and refitting custom luxury sailing and motor yachts at its shipyard in Vollenhove, the Netherlands.Credits: Royal Huisman
September 16, 2021