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. The royal spent $458 million to acquire the former largest yacht in Italy.
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.
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On the morning of 03 May 2015, the large private yacht Kibo (now Grace) was at anchor off Portals Nous in the island of Majorca. A party of 6 guests were on board.As was the normal practice when guests were on board, the work day started early by cleaning the exterior of the yacht and preparing various equipment and facilities for the use of the guests. It was decided that this would be a suitable opportunity to clean the rubbing strakes (known as “rub rails”) on the yacht’s hull approximately 3m above the waterline. This work involves a crew member working over the side of the yacht supported by a safety harness and a “bosun’s chair” that were secured to the yacht’s bulwarks. A deckhand / assistant engineer (“the Deckhand”2) was chosen for the cleaning duties and commenced the overside work, under the supervision of the Chief Officer (C/O) and the Third Officer (3/O).After working over the side for approximately 50 minutes, the Deckhand fell from the worksite into the water and sank below the surface. An on board rescue was commenced, and the Deckhand was recovered from water. The time from the Deckhand falling from the worksite to being recovered back on board the yacht was approximately 13 minutes. First aid was administered, and an ambulance was arranged from shore. With first aid continuing, the Deckhand was transferred to shore in the yacht’s tender where he was transferred to a local hospital for treatment.Due to being deprived of oxygen while under water, the Deckhand suffered hypoxic brain injuries and was left severely disabled. On 07 June 2017 the Deckhand died of bronchial pneumonia brought on by his immobility following the accident. A ruling of accidental death was recorded following an inquest at Birmingham Coroner’s Court.The investigation found that the primary cause of this accident was poor working practices on board and a failure to follow the yacht’s documented safety management system (SMS).
January 18, 2019
Dynamiq starts the New Year with exciting news and we are proud to announce a collaboration with the oldest and one of the most prestigious porcelain manufacturers in Europe: MEISSEN in Germany was founded in 1710 and is renowned around the world for its centuries of craftsmanship and artistic tradition. "Dynamiq’s philosophy is to work with the best companies in the industry, and with MEISSEN we are now able to offer their beautiful porcelain to our clients,” says Paola Gorla, Dynamiq’s Head of Interiors. "The Crossed Swords insignia of MEISSEN is synonymous with the highest-quality porcelain and can be seen in the top hotels and on the most luxurious yachts, including Dynamiq yachts in the future.”With two hand-picked collections perfectly fitting the interior style of Dynamiq yachts, the “MEISSEN for Dynamiq” package includes plates, cups, vases and decorative items, which can be further customised for the client by adding the yacht name or initials onto each item. Tailor-made porcelain storage will also be installed on board the yachts for safe storing."We are very happy to work with Dynamiq. We definitely share some synergies in innovative design and modern attuned products. ” says MEISSEN CEO Georg Nussdorfer. “Our dedicated specialists will be happy to support Dynamiq’s client in finding the right porcelain for him or her, as well as further personalising the collections to their needs."The base price for the full porcelain set of “MEISSEN for Dynamiq” is 26,000 euros. The exclusive package is now available via Dynamiq’s Online Configurator.
January 18, 2019
Van der Valk Shipyard in the Netherlands is making excellent progress with the construction of a 32-metre Raised Pilothouse motoryacht, the order for which was placed at the end of 2017. The first details can now be released on Jangada 2, which is being built for an experienced repeat client. Designed in partnership with Nick Top and Guido de Groot, this innovative yacht has a wide range of bespoke elements to match the owner’s very specific brief. Scheduled for delivery in May 2019, Jangada 2 is the fifth distinctive superyacht in Van der Valk’s successful custom-series line and, as the largest to date, raises the bar even higher. The four previous models were the 27.21-metre The Next Episode (2014), the 24.99-metre Jangada (2015), the 26-metre Forum (2017) and the 26-metre Nicostasia (2018).“The different lengths of these all-aluminium beauties reflect the wide degree of choice which our Raised Pilothouse design offers owners,” says Van der Valk marketing manager Yoeri Bijker. “This is enhanced by the fact that the yachts are built entirely in-house to the highest Dutch standards. Clients can go as large as 40 metres with this model or any other design in our state-of-the-art facilities. With our new Van der Valk BeachClub range also making waves in the market, the first of which will be launched in spring 2019, our yard is entering an exciting new phase of growth.” Another reason for the confidence of the Van der Valk team in the future is the significant number of clients returning to the yard for a new build after enjoying their time on a previous yacht. As one of the designers of Jangada 2, Guido de Groot has been closely involved in this project from the outset. “It was a real pleasure to work with such an experienced owner and create a very functional GA that meets the his specific requirements. The yacht will carry more crew than their previous boats so together with the captain we paid significant attention to these accommodations. Lots of work also went into the spacious galley as we optimised the functional area under the raised pilothouse. “In a similar vein, the bathroom of the VIP suite on the main deck can be closed off for use by guests during the day after swimming and the like without entering the bedroom itself. This kind of smart thinking typifies the genuinely bespoke nature of the project, which is an impressive achievement by the yard. The owner visited several other top builders before electing for Van der Valk and no other yard could offer him such a tailor-made creation. ” Other examples of specific requests on Jangada 2 include a minimalistic interior style based principally on whitewashed European oak. The flybridge deck will have an outdoor dining area, a sunbathing space with plenty of loose sunbeds and an all-aluminium hardtop providing ample shade, as well as a smart wet bar. There will be abundant space for the storage of a tender and/or toys, including a crane with a lifting capacity of 800 kilograms. This deck will also feature a handy outdoor helm station. The main deck aft will be spacious and inviting, with a wide range of loose furniture. Electrically operated curved glass sliding doors will connect this area to the roomy saloon, which will hold a sofa to port and two Corbusier LC2 chairs. The large raised pilothouse will house a cosy U-shaped sofa as well as the main helm position. Further forward will be a generous, well-equipped galley with lots of storage space, and the deck will also feature a day head. The VIP cabin with ensuite bathroom will be located furthest forward, offering some fine views.The lower deck will house a selection of comfortable accommodations for all who sail on Jangada 2. The full-beam master suite features a separate bathroom & head, large wardrobes, and an office desk to port flanked by a sofa starboard side. A second well-proportioned double suite is found on the port side. There are two more cabins on this deck designed with children in mind, sleeping up to five kids in two sets of bunk beds and a single berth. The crew area is forward on the lower deck, comprising a captain’s cabin and two cabins sleeping four other crew members, all with ensuite facilities. There is also a dedicated crew mess and pantry. The lazarette/garage aft will have capacity for two wave runners and double as a beach with a hydraulic platform.The hull of Jangada 2 is fitted with a Van Oossanen Hull Vane fixed foil for enhanced fuel efficiency along with a bulbous bow. A VEEM 145 zero-speed gyroscopic stabiliser will make sure she is comfortably steady even in choppy seas. The yacht’s propulsion package comprises twin MTU 12V2000 M96L engines with a capacity of 1432 kW at 2450 rpm, as well as twin 32-kilowatt generators. Her maximum speed will be some 23 knots, while she will cruise at a brisk 18 knots. Jangada 2 is being constructed under RINA:C✠ HULL, MACH ; Y class for unrestricted navigation under pleasure yacht registration, and will receive an additional RINA comfort class certificate.
January 18, 2019
Over its 40-year history, Heesen has developed a reputation for building cutting-edge superyachts that have pushed boundaries in design, speed and efficiency. From record-breakers such as Octopussy to more recent innovators such as Galactica Star, Galactica Supernova and Home, Heesen’s facility in Oss continues to play host to remarkable superyacht projects.The latest project to draw on this extraordinary heritage is Cosmos, an 80.7 metre aluminium superyacht that is set to push the boundaries even further. With a designed top speed close to 30 knots and an efficient cruising speed in excess of 20 knots, Cosmos will use a development of the Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) coupled with innovative construction and advanced propulsion solutions to set new standards for large aluminium yachts. Although the keel-laying ceremony is due to take place later this year in May, this is not the start of the project – indeed, an extraordinary amount of design and testing has already been undertaken and completed.The proof-of-concept and testing process has comprised several stages, starting with the base naval architecture of the vessel and its hull form, progressing through extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) work and physical tank testing of a scale model, and culminating with the design of the propellers and rudder system. For these aspects, Heesen has drawn not only on the expertise of its in-house design and engineering department but also that of long-standing partners Van Oossanen Naval Architects, and propulsion specialists at Rolls-Royce.The first stage was to develop the FDHF concept and ensure not only that Cosmos benefitted from the efficiency and speed gains of the design, but also that the yacht could retain inherent stiffness – a challenge because Cosmos features all-aluminium construction in order to achieve the client’s desired maximum speed of close to 30 knots. The solution was for Heesen to develop the Backbone® – a method of construction that could deliver the required stiffness in the yacht without adding weight that would have impacted on the yacht’s performance. Such has been the success of the design that the Backbone® has now been patented.A 3.7m scale segmented model of the yacht was built to use in physical tank tests at the Wolfson Unit in Southampton. After initial data on hydrodynamics, resistance and speed had been gathered, the model has been radio-controlled and self-propelled in order to measure the various bending forces acting within the hull and to prove the Backbone® concept. That provided valuable data for fine-tuning the structural design and to further optimise the construction method.For such a large aluminium yacht, it is particularly important to know the real forces created by the sea on the hull, not just to meet Lloyd’s Register requirements but to exceed those and construct the boat to the highest loads that could be encountered. Using the FDHF design and the Backbone® for such a large aluminium yacht requires a slightly deeper keel depth, but this actually brings further benefits. Due to the slightly increased draft Project Cosmos has a very low block coefficient, which means that the underwater body is very slim with nice verticals in the aft ship area, for an optimal flow of water towards the propellers. This results not only in improved performance but also in higher efficiency, ensuring fast cruising with comparatively low fuel consumption.<iframe width="1067" height="600" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RgjWgN0ESCg" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>Refining the propeller design is the ongoing job of research and design engineers at Rolls-Royce. Alongside the propeller design itself, the Promas system – where propeller and rudder are integrated into a single unit to optimise hydrodynamic efficiency – has been implemented in the design. Rolls-Royce engineers started by gathering CFD information of the water flow towards the propeller. Then the design process began with Rolls-Royce proprietary software: different iterations of propeller and rudder design were tried before arriving at the optimal solution, which was then tested in physical experiments. <iframe width="1067" height="600" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/h3HsopvR6Qs" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>By creating a 1:11 scale model of the Promas rudder and propeller in the test tank facilities of the Rolls-Royce Hydrodynamic Research Centre (HRC) in Kristinehamn, Sweden, the propeller design was fine-tuned not only to ensure the speed and efficiency requirements are met, but also that any potential problems with cavitation can be eliminated. Cavitation is essentially where air bubbles form in the flow of water around and behind the propeller. It is particularly challenging at high speed, and as well as affecting performance it can also have severe impacts on noise and vibration – a critical consideration for any superyacht project, especially for one close to 30 knots! Cavitation issues were identified and eliminated by adjusting the rudder design. Finally, the tests proved that the propeller performed above expectations.Project Cosmos will feature variable pitch propellers that will enable the yacht to handle both impressive cruising speeds in excess of 20 knots, as well as reaching a maximum speed close to 30 knots – a considerable achievement for an 80-metre superyacht. With the hull design optimised, the construction engineering finalised and the propulsion system going through the last stages of testing, Cosmos is already proving a milestone project for Heesen and the teams involved.“Project Cosmos is raising the bar once again not only for Heesen, but for custom aluminium yacht building in general,” says Arthur Brouwer, CEO of Heesen. “Both from a technical standpoint and from a performance point of view we are pushing boundaries. Not only has this 80.7m project been designed to reach close to 30 knots, she has been designed for fast, 20+ knots cruising in an efficient manner. The solutions we have implemented to meet all these requirements are once again driving superyachting forward – just as Heesen has done with innovative and ground-breaking projects throughout its 40-year history.”
January 17, 2019
Turkish shipyard Tansu are preparing the launch of their 35-meter CV115 yacht from Mission Class. The launch is scheduled in summer. Designers created an open deck space of 65 square meters, where an 8-meter tender can be stored, as well as crew tenders and other toys, such as mx bike. Tenders and toys can be deployed by 2,500-ton deck Hydromar cranes. CV115 will be built from steel hull and aluminium superstructure and can accommodate 8 guests in 4 guest cabins. On the upper deck, there is master suite with panoramic view. Crew quarters is for 5 people. CV115 is capable of reaching a top speed of 15 knots.
January 17, 2019