Richard Branson, the prolific British billionaire and mastermind behind the Virgin brand, has now sold his 32-meter catamaran, Necker Belle at an asking price of $3,000,000. This follows her being listed for sale in 2014 asking €8.5 million.
Launched in 2003 by CMN, the 32-meter catamaran features a total of 4 cabins for a maximum of 10 guests. Stretching over a beam of 14 meters, the yacht was refitted in 2009. Powered by Caterpillar engines, she could reach a top speed of 20 knots.
Lately part of Branson's Virgin Limited Edition collection, Necker Belle was available for charter from $60,000 per week amongst other assets such as his private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands where she was often based or his estate in Switzerland.
Branson, a billionaire since the 1990s, purchased the catamaran in 2009, when she was named Lady Barberetta, at an asking price of £5.3 million, before renaming her to Necker Belle, after his island in the British Virgin Islands. In 1986, Branson had broken the record for a Transatlantic crossing on a motor yacht on the Virgin Atlantic Challenger 2.
"I’m not really into motor yachts. We had great fun breaking the record on VAC II but I’d get bored cruising on a motor yacht." Branson said in an interview. "I sold it the day after we broke the record and have never had another one since."
"I love the platform of a big catamaran. There’s tonnes of space on board and it’s so much more stable than a conventional monohull, so it’s great for guests who sometimes feel queasy afloat" he added. "I love to have friends on board to explore the nearby islands, and of course the submarine adds another whole dimension to cruising the Caribbean. It’s like flying a mini fighter jet under water."
Valued by Forbes at $5 billion, Richard Branson was born in 1950 and became one of Britain's most famous entrepreneurs. Starting a magazine at 16, which ultimately failed, he later went into the record business, and expanded the Virgin brand in the 1980s. Today spanning over 400 companies, Virgin's most ambitious project is to enter space flights.
Launched in 2003 by CMN, Necker Belle was refitted in 2009 after Branson bought the catamaran. On the charter market since 2012, she was listed for sale in 2014 asking €8.5 million and underwent several price reductions up until her recent sale at a $3 million asking price.
Today, 21st September, at 11.00 am, the 63rd edition of Genoa International Boat Show kicked off on the scenic Terrace of the Blue Pavilion overlooking the Waterfront di Levante.The traditional flag-hoisting ceremony was organized by Confindustria Nautica (the Italian Marine Industry Association). The inaugural conference, entitled 'The Yachting Industry, the history behind the future', was moderated by TV director and presenter Monica Maggione. This year's show boasts impressive statistics, with 1,043 brands on display, marking a 4.5% increase since 2022. Over 1,000 boats, ranging from 2 to 40 meters in length, will be showcased, and 143 additional berths have been added, thanks to the new canals in the Waterfront area. Additionally, 184 new products, a 9.5% increase from last year, will be unveiled at the event.SX100Sanlorenzo30.5mThe SX100 is a crossover yacht that seamlessly integrates spacious open areas close to the sea. Developed through extensive owner feedback and fitting perfectly within the SX range, the SX100 optimizes onboard features while maintaining the range's distinctive style. The Sanlorenzo SX100 offers flexible layout choices, including a three- or four-cabin lower-deck design. It features an innovative stern setup that can serve as a waterline saloon or a master suite, complete with foldable bulwarks for added natural light. The main deck includes a generous midship seating area, the option for a VIP or master cabin forward, or an open-plan dining area with panoramic views.Riva 82’ DivaRiva25,29m The Riva 82’ Diva joins the successful lineup alongside the Riva 90’ Argo, Riva 102’ Corsaro Super, Riva 110’ Dolcevita, and Riva 130’ Bellissima. It sets new standards in both aesthetics and functionality, not only for Riva's flybridge range but also for the entire category. Designed by Officina Italiana Design, it prioritizes outdoor living and offers a fresh approach to interiors. Notably, the flybridge boasts three distinct areas: a central lounge with a dinette and bar, a forward sunbathing area, and a lounge area. The main deck features an expansive beach club, a remarkable size for its category, with a generous sun pad at the stern.Ax824,46mAstondoa Astondoa describes the Ax8 as a "social cruiser" designed to accommodate 18 guests. With its innovative design, this 24,46-meter motoryacht boasts a remarkable 6.22-meter beam, offering spacious passageways between the cockpit and beach club. Two expansive sundecks are featured, one on the main deck and another on the flybridge. The aft cockpit includes a dining and social area with a view of the beach club, separated by a glass divider for protection in adverse weather. The Ax8 accommodates four cabins, including a full-beam master and two VIPs aft, all with en-suite facilities. Additionally, there's a guest cabin forward and two crew cabins. Twin Volvo Penta 1350 engines power the yacht.BGM7522.7mBluegameBluegame, a subsidiary of the Sanlorenzo Group, is set to redefine motor yachts with their pioneering BGM75. Introduced in 2020, it's their first twin-hull motor yacht, offering remarkable stability, generous space, and enhanced fuel efficiency. This debutant represents a new category, distinct from typical multihulls. With a sleek 22.7m beam, just over one-third of its total length, it avoids the traditional squared-off look of catamarans, akin to the renowned BGX70 and BG72 models. Essentially, the BGM75 is a visually stunning motor yacht with the added advantage of two hulls.Rebel 50 G17.30mSacs The national premiere of the Rebel 50 G is showcased at the boat show. With a size between 47 and 55 feet, it strikes a balance between comfort and maneuverability. This unconventional boat blends elements of classic ribs and day-cruisers. Designed by Christian Grande, it features tapered foam profiles for safe mooring and added sportiness without sacrificing its sleek side profile. The deck lounge is partially enclosed for extended cruising, while the walkaround layout and spacious sunbeds at the bow and stern enhance social spaces. Below deck, the forward master cabin and midship VIP cabin offer ample space and privacy.Dufour 4112.75mDufour YachtsThis new cruiser offers an expansive cockpit, distinguishing it from others in its class. Its interior is equally spacious, providing the choice of three or four staterooms, and two or three en suites. The three-stateroom version, showcased at the event, includes a generous main cabin and two roomy guest cabins, each equipped with its private en suite. Dufour highlights that the 41 is the sole sailboat in its category featuring two forward cabins, each with double beds, and well-implemented soundproofing to ensure privacy.GranTurismo 14.0 X13.70mLomacThe new GranTurismo 14.0 X, flagship of the brand’s boat family, boasts a redesigned layout for enhanced liveability. It features a spacious cockpit and side walkways optimizing onboard movement, ensuring exceptional comfort for a maxi-rib of its size. The cockpit includes a large foldable table for 8-10 people, and the stern offers an ample sun pad. Forward, there's another expansive sun pad with excellent protection. Below deck, a roomy cabin with wood detailing, a dinette, ample storage, and a bathroom with a separate full-height shower provide additional comfort. The exterior and interior design, as well as the hull geometry, are crafted by Federico Fiorentino. The hull design was perfected using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software to maximize performance and efficiency at all speeds. Powering the boat are the new XTO Yamaha outboards, each delivering 450 hp.Credits: Astondoa, Bluegame, Dufour Yachts, Lomac, Riva, Sacs, Sanlorenzo, Salone Nautico
September 21, 2023
At the Cannes Yachting Festival, Arcadia Yachts presented the A96. She received the “Innovation Trophy” for yachts from 80 to 98 feet at the famous World Yachts Trophies and, in parallel with the boat’s official presentation, sold two units.A96“This award is a source of pride for me and my family, but most importantly for all the skilled workers and professionals from our local area who are part of this adventure which we set out on fifteen years ago,” said Ugo Pellegrino, Arcadia Yachts owner. “For me, this World Yachts Trophy is a recognition of Neapolitan creativity, determination and skill.”Arcadia Yachts team at the World Yachts TrophyThe strengths of this original yacht, the forerunner of an innovative series, include Arcadia Yachts’ craftsmanship and construction expertise, and with the sliding glazed surfaces on the main and upper decks, the boat offers magnificent views, plenty of natural light and the pleasure of the sea breeze. Other plus points scored by the model are the water’s edge stern platform and the swing down gunwales on both sides.A96Both units sold will cruise in the Mediterranean.A96Arcadia Yachts is based in Naples, Italy. Since 2008, Arcadia Yachts has been building semi-custom luxury composite yachts and has succeeded in perfectly integrating artisanal craftsmanship, modern technologies, attention to detail and to the surrounding environment. The Arcadia Yachts fleet has included two ranges since September 2016. The shipyard’s first and most characterizing range is the A range, which includes four models (A85, A85s, A105 and A115). The Sherpa range has a new model, the 24m Sherpa XL, which was launched at the 2019 Cannes Yachting Festival. The new model, A96, debuted at 2023 Cannes Yachting Festival.Credits: Arcadia Yachts
September 20, 2023
Azimut returns to the Genoa International Boat Show from September 21 to 26, 2023, with two Italian premieres: the Magellano 60, designed for extended cruises in close communion with nature, and the New Fly 72, boasting a sporty yet refined character.New Fly 72The Italian unveiling of the New Fly 72, featuring exterior design by Alberto Mancini and interiors by the debutant yacht designer Fabio Fantolino, marks a desire to infuse contemporary elegance into this model. The interior style blends the exclusive ambiance of yachting with contemporary design sophistication, incorporating wood, bronze, and high-gloss lacquer. The exterior, designed by Alberto Mancini, adds clean lines and sculptural tension to Azimut's sporty DNA.New Fly 72The Magellano 60, with exterior design by Ken Freivokh, embodies a crossover concept for avid cruisers. It offers spacious interiors without compromising on the yacht's elegance. The Main Deck seamlessly connects to the cockpit, creating an Infinity Terrace that immerses passengers in a harmonious seascape.Magellano 60Magellano 60's efficient Dual Mode semi-planing hull allows comfortable low-speed cruising and higher-speed handling while optimizing fuel consumption and emissions. Azimut's choice to power it with HVOlution, Eni Sustainable Mobility's biofuel produced from 100% renewable materials, significantly reduces CO2 emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels.Magellano 60 interiorIn addition to these premieres, Azimut will showcase other models from their Fly, Atlantis, and Magellano series at the Genoa International Boat Show.Azimut Yachts is an Azimut Benetti Group brand. With its Atlantis, Magellano Flybridge, S, Verve and Grande collections, Azimut offers the widest range of 10 to 40 meters.Credits: Azimut Yachts
September 20, 2023
The 2023 Monaco Yacht Show features the debut of Feadship’s latest concept design. Dunes is the twelfth concept design and it takes a big leap toward Feadship’s goal of Net-Zero superyachts. This concept showcases how intelligent exterior design can significantly – and passively – reduce a superyacht’s energy needs, and at the same time capture wind and solar energy almost invisibly. The flowing lines from Studio De Voogt, who was inspired by the shapes sculpted by the forces of nature; drifting snow, water and sand. Noticing how sand dunes are timeless, yet ever changing gave the designers new ideas about line, flow and adaptability. Large overhangs that shade windows and reduce cooling requirements, next generation storage batteries, eliminating teak decks – everything is lead to a new direction in fuel cell technology and even a radical propulsor are ‘stacked’ to produce a yacht calculated to eliminate up to 95% of negative environmental impact factors, as ranked on the YETI index, compared to a yacht designed to minimum mandatory environmental regulations.The yacht will be able to accommodate 12 guests across six guest staterooms that are placed in proximity to spaces where guests will spend most of their time such as the pool deck, dining, and spa areas. Without a bridge taking the best views of the superstructure, the owner has a private deck and guests have a destination on the Pavilion deck.Its walk-around decks offer unique circulation routes, pop-up seating areas, and surprise elements like small pools and recessed bow seating. The topsides glisten with teak-free decks made of tiny glass or stone chips sealed in a transparent aliphatic polyurethane resin, complemented by alfresco lounges clad in sustainable, golden maple wood.Unlike many futuristic concepts, Feadship designs are ready for construction discussions today. Sustainability takes center stage from the beginning, with a shift to "low impact" steel hull and aluminum/wood superstructure, reducing CO2 emissions by 50-70%.Dunes features an efficient electric propulsion system by ABB called Dynafin™ and groundbreaking solid oxide fuel cells powered by green methanol for onboard electrical generation. Already provoking lively discussions, designers Thijs Orth, Tanno Weeda together with specialist Bram Jongepier will be available at the Feadship stand at the Monaco Yacht Show to explain the technologies and explore the fresh design with visitors drawn by the model and video animation. Based in the Netherlands and with roots dating back to 1849, Feadship was formed as a group in 1949 as a marketing partnership between six Dutch shipyards, de Vries Lentch, Van de Stadt, Witsen & Vis, Akerboom, De Vries Scheepsbouw and Van Lent Shipyard, and De Voogt Naval Architects. Feadship is well-known as one of the Netherlands’ most elite yacht builders and delivers superyachts from 50–100+ meters in length.Credits: Feadship
September 20, 2023
Ferretti Group has shared the images of the new Riva yacht, which just premiered at the Cannes Yachting Festival. With a length overall of 25.29 m and a maximum beam of 6.08 m, Riva 82’ Diva features restyled interiors and enhanced outdoor liveability, achieving a perfect equilibrium of functionality, comfort and design.Like its predecessors, this new Riva success is penned by Mauro Micheli and Sergio Beretta, founders of Officina Italiana Design, working in partnership with the Strategic Product Committee led by Piero Ferrari and the Ferretti Group Engineering Department. The Riva 82’ Diva has a sporty silhouette, the distinctive shape of the forward windshield and the gleaming stainless steel detailing, her outdoor areas are unprecedented in this category. The 40 sq. m flybridge, one of the most generous on a yacht this size, is designed to give each living area its own dedicated space. In the center, the lounge with a dinette and a large bar unit, personalized according to the owner’s tastes, is protected by a carbon fiber hardtop with glass panels. The sun pad forward and another lounging and sunbathing area aft can also be furnished as desired by the owner. At the forward end of the flybridge is also the second pilot station.Aft on the main deck deserves special notice: a spacious and innovative beach club featuring two large bulwarks (1.6 m) that swing down to create lateral terraces. This new solution for Riva increases the area’s width by over 3 meters. There’s a large sun pad (over 2.5m x 2m) in the center of the beach club and underneath it a garage that can accommodate a jet tender of up to 3.95 m. Moving towards the center of the yacht, the raised cockpit fitted with facing sea-view sofas provides a living area of nearly 35 sq. m. Forward, guests can relax in a large living area fitted with a forward-facing sofa and sun pad, under which the mooring gear is stored. The yacht combines highly polished furnishings with a harmonious interplay of contrasting pale and dark colors. Italian walnut or glossy chocolate wenge wood finishes set the yacht's interior style, complemented by light-colored carpets and ceilings adorned with white fabric. These elements contrast beautifully with the glossy black lacquered furnishings and striking black leather accents found throughout the yacht, including in the night area.Inside, the lounge is divided into living and dining areas, visually separated by varying heights to create an intimate atmosphere while maintaining an open-plan feel. The stairwell to the flybridge is seamlessly integrated into the décor through glass walls, blurring the line between interior and exterior spaces.The main deck's galley is thoughtfully designed with a sliding window, allowing it to be either a closed-off or open part of the dining area, offering a seamless experience. Accessible from the galley, the helm station is optimally positioned for visibility and functionality. It features a sliding glass partition, offering the captain an excellent view over the starboard walkway. The helm station boasts an adjustable pilot chair, typically found on larger yachts, with an electro-hydraulic steering system and Xenta throttles. A Simrad navigation system, integrated with onboard monitoring and navigation controls via multiple monitors, ensures precise navigation and maneuvering.The lower deck features four cabins, each with en suite private bathrooms adorned with Corian or Statuarietto marble tops. The full-beam owner's cabin astern, the forward VIP cabin with a glass-floored skylight, and two double cabins offer accommodation for up to eight guests. The Riva 82’ Diva also incorporates Humphree dynamic trim interceptors and offers optional Seakeepers and Sleipner fins to minimize rolling both at anchor and during navigation.Owners have the choice of two engine configurations for the Riva 82’ Diva. They can opt for a pair of MAN V12 1800 engines, achieving a top speed of 29 knots and a cruising speed of 26, or two MAN V12 1900 engines, propelling the yacht to a top speed of 31 knots and a cruising speed of 27 (provisional data).The Ferretti Group, led by Chief Executive Officer Alberto Galassi, is now one of the world’s leaders in the construction and sale of luxury yachts and pleasure vessels, with a unique portfolio of brands: Ferretti Yachts, Riva, Pershing, Itama, Mochi Craft, CRN, Custom Line and Wally.Credits: Ferretti Group
September 19, 2023