The first superyacht ever built by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, the 134-meter Serene was delivered in 2011 to Russian billionaire, Yuri Scheffler. As was later revealed, the oligarch sold his superyacht in July 2015 to Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman for $458 million.
Featuring a salt-water swimming pool, a supersized hot tub, a sauna in front of the sea and a fully-operational helipad, Serene became known in yachting as one of the most inspiring superyachts ever completed.
At the time of her delivery, Serene was the 9th largest yacht in the world, barely topping the Emir of Qatar's 133-meter Al Mirqab and outdone by David Geffen's 138-meter Lurssen, Rising Sun. For the state-controlled Italian shipyard, Fincantieri, Serene was, however, the first yacht the company ever built, having primarily focused on commercial ships before.
Currently the 15th largest yacht, Serene turns heads anywhere she goes, not only due to her giant-like size, but also her exterior lines drawn by Espen Oeino and series of innovations in the interior.
Following the sale, her former owner, Scheffler claimed that Fincantieri's second yacht, the 140-meter Ocean Victory built for Russian billionaire, Viktor Rashnikov, had infringed on his intellectual property by building the superyacht on the same platform as Serene. As a result, Scheffler filled a suit against Fincantieri claiming €20,9 million from the shipyard in damages.
Whereas it is unknown how much exactly Scheffler spent building the 134-meter Serene at Fincantieri, it is widely believed in the superyacht sector that the vessel was sold at a profit by Scheffler to the Saudi Arabian deputy crown prince. As revealed by media as part of the Paradise papers, Serene was sold for €420 million.
At the time of the sale, some publications had reported that the sale was closed within several hours with the buyer having asked Scheffler to vacate the yacht within hours of the purchase. The new documentation that emerged through the Paradise papers leaks, however, tells a different story as the sale took at least 10 days to close. Before it could change hands, Serene had to cruise into international waters.
Stretching over a beam of 18.5 meters, Serene is 6 decks tall and boasts a myriad of amenities that few five-star hotels have. One of her most noticeable features from the outside is her supersized bathtub located aft of the sundeck.
One of the seven pools onboard Serene, the Jacuzzi on the top deck is surrounded by lounging pad for sunbathing. Forward of the hot tub is a fully-stocked, wet bar underneath the yacht's observational deck that features an additional set of sun loungers.
Up on the sundeck is yet another spa pool surrounded by lounging pads, located forward of the deck. This particular pool features bar stools and is connected to a fully stocked bar surrounded by two additional hot tubs. A table for casual dining can also be found in the shaded area of the sundeck.
Serene's interior was designed by British design studio Reymond Langton, incorporating a sophisticated mix of cream and dark colors with wooden fixtures. Offering views from any imaginable vantage point, Serene's sky lounge is equipped with a myriad of sofas, chairs and coffee tables for cocktails and tea.
A more formal location designed for the entertainment of larger groups, the main lounge features white colors with dark tones. At the center of the room is a piano with cocktail tables spread out across the room. Interestingly, this lounge sits just over the main dining room with its chandelier hanging through the two spaces and letting the music spread.
The formal dining area features two tables, capable of each accommodating up to 12 guests, bringing the total to 24 guests. Its layout, however, allows for the possibility to extend the table in order to hold larger banquets. On both sides of the room are floor-to-ceiling windows. In terms of food, Serene features a fire pizza oven as well as a teppanyaki grill.
Each space on Serene features a different set of colors, all coordinated across one central theme that spreads around the yacht with circles both on the floor and on the ceiling to create a sense of symmetry. Some of Serene's unique features include an indoor climbing wall as well as an underwater observation lounge.
The 134-meter yacht can carry a total of 24 guests across 12 staterooms divided into one master suite with essentially an owner's deck, a VIP cabin, three twin cabins and seven double staterooms. Serene carries a crew of over 40 people onboard.
Prior to the yacht being sold to the Saudi Arabian crown prince, Serene was made available for charter to select guests by Scheffler. These have included Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, who reportedly chartered Serene at a price tag of $5 million per week during the summer of 2014.
In addition to her vast interior spaces, Serene's exterior lounging spots have been optimized to best utilize the space onboard the 134-meter superyacht. Forward on the bow, for example, forward of the commercial-grade helipad can be found a lounging spot on the bow of the yacht. Although a long walk from the aft deck, these spaces are often used for maximum privacy when moored in a harbor.
Perhaps the most unique space onboard Serene is her swimming pool located aft of the main deck under a retractable glass roof. Up on the main deck, this opening can be closed with glass panels and is surrounded by lounging areas.
One of the most advanced swimming pools ever built on board a superyacht, it is the key element of the beach club that stretches for a large portion of the yacht's lower deck. Within the pool area are two additional Jacuzzis for the yacht's guests to relax in. On both sides of the yacht are lounging areas with access to the sea through foldable platforms.
Serene's beach club facilities, however, do not stop just with its pool. The superyacht features a full-sized spa with a sauna room with glass doors looking out onto the sea through a foldable platform. Next to the sauna are a hammam as well as a snow room.
Lighting systems were installed throughout Serene's exterior to ensure that the yacht could boast a sleek look at night as well as during the day. During the summer, the yacht could previously often have been seen lighting up Monaco and the Côte d'Azur.
Photo by Julien Hubert
Following her sale to the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, the yacht started spending time in the Persian Gulf. During the summer of this year, Serene ran aground on a reef near Tiran Island in the Red Sea. Some damage is believed to have been sustained to her bow at the time, although the superyacht has been repaired since. Several days ago, she cruised to a shipyard in the Netherlands for maintenance work.
Currently valued at $1,6 billion by Forbes, Yuri Sheffler made his fortune in the alcohol business. Venturing into business in 1993, Sheffler made a series of moves that got him the rights to brands of vodka such as Stolichnaya, which was previously owned by a state-owned corporation. This has put him at the center of long litigations with the Russian government over the ownership of the brand.
Having left Russia for Switzerland and the United Kingdom during the early 2000s, Sheffler is currently the main shareholder in SPI Group, a conglomerate that sells alcohol under 380 brands in 160 countries. Earlier this year he acquired an estate in Scotland at an asking price of £25 million.
In 2014, Fincantieri launched its second megayacht, the 140-meter Ocean Victory which was commissioned by another Russian oligarch, Viktor Rashnikov, whose net worth is estimated at $4.8 billion. Prior to its launch in December 2014 however, Fincantieri was ordered to pay €20.9 million to Serena Equity Limited (the company controlled by Shefler that owned Serene) by London courts.
Shefler's main claim was that Fincantieri had used Serene, on which the billionaire says he holds intellectual property, to develop Ocean Victory which he says is a near sistership. In fact, both superyachts boast an exterior design by Espen Oeino and seem to have similar technical characteristics.
As such, English courts have granted Shefler €13,2 million for the violation of his intellectual property and €7.7 million for late deliveries, which were to be paid by Fincantieri where the Italian government holds a 70% controlling stake. Fincantieri, however, filed a motion in Trieste's Court of Appeals in 2015 to dismiss the fact that London's ruling applied.
Mohammad bin Salman, born in 1985, is the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia and currently sits as the youngest defense minister in the world and the first deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.
From a technical standpoint, Serene can reach a top speed of 25 knots and cruise at 15 knots. Reportedly, her interior volume comes in at 8,231GT, ie, half of Dilbar, the world's largest yacht by gross tonnage.
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