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.
Aras Kazar once again surprises the public by presenting his new trimaran concept called Wakinyan, which is a Lakota word for "thunder." The word is usually translated as "Thunder Spirits", "Thunder Beings," or "Thunder Birds".The trimaran, which can be easily called a floating bird, is 130 meters long with a 26m beam and total width of 38 meters. The interior offers a soft and gentle color solution. The trimaran has five bedrooms and one master suite. Wakinyan notable features included the pool on the aft, a spa inside. Thanks to the full glass decks the guests will have almost 360 views with lots of natural light for the interior.Wakinyan is not one of those boring slow superyachts, says European designer, she is equipped with all-electric and hydrofoil technology that she can reach a maximum speed of 32 knots. Recently, the вesigner has spoiled us with his futuristic concepts, including 150m Ono and 66m Noy.Credits: Aras Kazar
March 24, 2023
Princess Yachts has introduced the new Princess S80 to the S Class. Inspired by urban living, the S80 provides a sense of contemporary elegance, with a single level main deck, flowing furniture and sophisticated detailed interiors. The 25.43-meter model has been designed by the shipyard's team with the Olesinski and Pininfarina. The Princess S80 yacht follows her predecessor, the S72, which debuted at boot Düsseldorf this January. She features full-length windows along her main deck that extend to her cockpit canopy to provide a sheltered area from the sun. The interior is available in four different wood options. The cockpit can be equipped with seating including adjustable twin upholstered L-shaped seats which can manually slide in-board, outboard and forward facing alongside twin coffee tables and twin aft sun pads which flank the teak-capped stairs leading to the spacious electro-hydraulic bathing platform.The all-new S80 can accommodate eight guests below the deck, including a full-beam owner’s stateroom amidships, via a private lobby area in the lower companion way. Thanks to the twin MAN engines she can reach 34 knots and delivers an excellent driving experience. British yacht builder Princess Yachts was founded in 1965, manufacturing fibreglass yachts ranging from 13 to 40 meters in length. Its parent company is the French luxury group LVMH. Credits: Princess Yachts
March 24, 2023
Wally is showcasing the latest addition to its wallypower fleet at the Palm Beach International Boat Show 2023. The new wallypower58X showcases a number of innovative features, including the Magic Porthole. Instead of peppering the flawless hull with windows, which compromise privacy and are a weak point in the event of an impact, the benefits of exterior visibility are recreated inside using camera images relayed to large screens. In this way, guests can ‘see’ outside, enjoy the view and the light – all in perfect privacy.But the real innovation here is in the way the aft deck is configured to support up to four 600hp Mercury Verado V12 engines without in any way impinging on the way the owner and their guests interact with the water. Fold-down aft bulwarks and a large four-person sunpad transform the deck into a natural beach club. Measuring nearly 25 sqm, it is perfect for enjoying the peace of a quiet bay or anchorage. What is more, Wally has even found the space to build in its innovative hydraulic passerelle, which doubles as a bathing ladder.Thanks to its striking glass superstructure, the wallypower58X can adapt readily to different conditions, climates and uses. An adjustable cockpit top has an electric hatch that allows increased ventilation as needed, while the covered exterior area can be air conditioned to offer relief at anchor or in port. In colder conditions, the whole cockpit can be fully glass-enclosed and heated. The glass-covered cockpit offers generous seating for 12-16 guests across the two flanking benches and on the forward-facing portion of the sunpad. Accommodation is just as flexible below deck, where natural light floods in from the glass overhead. The wallypower58 comes as standard with a full-beam ‘double saloon’ for guest and owner use, with a day head incorporating a separate shower to the port side. Up front, the master cabin features a queen-size bed and ensuite bathroom featuring a large, standalone shower. “This yacht will appeal to all those who appreciate purity of design, and have the experience to understand already how they will use the boat. With its two supremely comfortable double cabins, the wallypower58X opens up a whole new realm of cruising possibilities for couples, families and friends alike who may not wish to spend every night ashore,” says Luca Bassani, Wally Founder and Chief Designer. Mercury’s new smart V12 engines offer a reduced draft compared to other models, making the boat suitable for shallow water operations, while the rotating gearcases and joystick maneuvering system ensure trouble-free precision docking in tight spaces. All that combined with the ultra deep-V hull form makes the yacht incredibly sea-worthy and capable of max speeds above 50 knots at half load and a cruising speed of 42 knots for 320 nautical miles.“Wally stands for avant-garde, so it should come as no surprise that we have found a way to unite the very latest in outboard performance with the essential access to the water that the wallypower line provides. Exhilarating speed from 2,400hp of motors, peerless handling and a true spirit of enjoying what nature has to offer – these are all hallmarks of Wally yachts,” says Stefano de Vivo, Managing Director of Wally. On the occasion of the US boat show, Wally announced the sale of the wallywhy100 to a new American owner.Wally is part of Ferretti Group. It was founded in 1994 in Monaco by Luca Bassani and is the only yachting brand to be a two-time winner of the ADI Compasso d’Oro, the world’s most important award for quality and design. Credits: Wally
March 24, 2023
ISA Yachts has sold a new bespoke 66-meter project to a European customer. The yacht will be built in Ancona. The Vallicelli studio is responsible for the exterior lines and Pinto for the interiors, naval engineering is by Palumbo Superyachts.With steel hull and aluminum superstructure, ISA Custom 66 meters will be characterized by a dynamic profile with the typical ISA’s hallmark of the three arches connecting the decks. In addition, at beach club level the easily opening platforms will create a large living area equipped with a gym, lounge and spa.“This new construction is the result of the constant work that our shipyard has undertaken since 2016 when we acquired the Ancona facility together with the ISA brand. Excellence is our ultimate goal in everything we do and I would like to thank all the clients who have placed their trust in Palumbo Superyachts and all the commercial and production teams who work alongside me on a daily basis. We have many exciting challenges ahead of us and we will face them with the concreteness that has guided and distinguished us up to now,” comments Giuseppe Palumbo, Founder and Sole Director of Palumbo Superyachts.Currently under construction at Palumbo Superyachts shipyards, there are two ISA 80m, two ISA 66m, one ISA 45m, a Columbus Custom 50m with hybrid propulsion, three Columbus Atlantique of 43m and 47m, one Columbus Crossover 42m and four Extra models of 26m, 30m, and 40m.Palumbo Superyachts took root in 2008, when the Columbus Yachts brand was established, and in 2011 it launched its first 54m superyacht, emblematically christened Prima (the First). Currently, Palumbo Superyachts comprises a representative office in Monaco and a logistics network of five shipyards in the Mediterranean (Ancona, Malta, Marseille, Naples, and Savona); it also operates the following brands: ISA Yachts, Columbus Yachts, Mondomarine, Extra Yachts and Palumbo SY Refit.Credits: ISA Yachts
March 23, 2023
The 41st annual Palm Beach International Boat Show starts today. Owned by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County and produced by Informa Markets, the PIBS will be taking place along Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach, directly across the Intracoastal Waterway from Palm Beach Island. An analysis of the boat show from 2022 showed that the event has an estimated total statewide economic impact of over $1.05 billion. With over 55,000 visitors attending the show in previous years, this has contributed to over $725 million in total sales resulting from the show. This year's edition will feature 600+ exhibiting brands and over 800 vessels, more than $1.2 billion worth of yachts and accessories. Here is the list of the yachts worth seeing. Arrow75mFeadship Arrow was delivered by Feadship in 2020, and hit the market for the first time, listed for sale by Fraser. The 75-meter is a full displacement superyacht built in steel and aluminum and Lloyd’s registered. Her exterior and interior were penned by London-based H2 Design. She can accommodate 12 guests in six spacious cabins, including an impressive full-beam owner suite complete with an office and his and her dressing room; and a VIP stateroom on the main seck. Arrow features the latest generation of Feadship hybrid technology – enabling the most efficient use of energy with the lowest possible impact. Calex67mBenettiFor the 67-meter vessel it’s an American debut. This tailor-made superyacht was delivered to her Californian owner in 2022. With a steel hull and an aluminum superstructure, Calex testifies to the shipyard’s ability to build superyachts that perfectly reflect their owner’s personality. Calex’s sleek, modern exterior styling was made by Giorgio Cassetta, while the interiors were drawn by Benetti Style Department. The yacht provides accommodation for 14 guests across seven staterooms. Her notable features include a private sundeck with gym, spa and gas fireplace. Come Together60mAmelsThe Amels 60 Come Together is the first of a new generation of Amels Limited Editions and was delivered to her owner in Spring 2022. This 60-meter features the Espen Oeino exterior design. Her custom interiors, with a relaxed and natural theme and a subtle masculine edge, have been created by Winch Design. With an 830 GT, a large sun deck and folding owners suite balcony as well as hybrid power and propulsion technology, this first Amels 60 retains the sought-after Amels Limited Editions DNA now shaped for future. The yacht has a touch-and-go helipad, a DJ booth, and a spacious beach club. 26XP Fast25.89mNumarine Numarine will present for the first time the fastest 26XP with a planing hull, built for the US market. The Numarine 26XP is a large-volume motor yacht that can be customized with either a displacement hull or a planing hull with bigger engines, as well as with a 4- or 5-cabin layout. The 65 sqm flybridge is one of the biggest in the market. With twin MAN 560 engines, the 26XP Fast can go up to 3000 nautical miles and has an impressive speed of 31 knots. PC6820.73mHorizon For Horizon’s PC68 the 2023 Palm Beach International Boat Show is the global debut. The new, ultra-spacious Horizon PC68 model has been meticulously planned to meet and exceed the cruising needs of discerning boaters. She offers a four-stateroom layout with the option for an expansive open-plan saloon or an on-deck master stateroom. The debuting PC68 features an Open Salon layout, which offers an expansive saloon area and a large seating and entertainment space on the main deck. Honey Fitz28.3mDefoe Boat & Motor WorksThis legendary wooden yacht was originally built in 1931 and has been used by five U.S. presidents: Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and President John F. Kennedy. She has been carefully reconstructed by her current owner, Charles R. Modica, and will debut at the show after three years' restoration. Zeelander 514.7mZeelander For Zeelander 5 the PIBS 2023 will be an international debut. The curvaceous Zeelander silhouette is still instantly recognisable, but compared to the Z44, the shearline is more voluptuous than ever, and now follows an elongated ‘S’ shape. The yacht features bigger windows in the wheelhouse and in the hull. The Zeelander 5 has a maximum speed of 40 knots courtesy of three Volvo Penta IPS-650 drives and at the same time manages to be 2dBA quieter than its predecessor. Arksen 288.57mArksenThe Arksen 28 is one of the latest models in the Adventure Series, and a perfect day boat. Her aluminum deep-V hull makes her perfect for a safe and stable ride, the 360 views from the saloon and helm station provides panoramic views on the way to and at anchor. The boat has a day-bed, pantry unit and toilet. The top speed of 40+knots makes her perfect for a day adventure. Credits: Arksen; Benetti; Damen Yachting; Feadship; Horizon; Numarine; PIBS; Zeelander
March 23, 2023