Trump's election as president of the United States marked a number of firsts, including the institution of what has historically become the wealthiest cabinet ever in existence in America. The billionaire's effect on politics and policy has become the subject of many international debates, yet his interests in yachting tend to be less talked about but remain no less fascinating when coupled with his administration.
In his former life as a billionaire businessman, Trump not only owned an 86m superyacht as well as a shipyard for a brief period of time, but he also ordered the world's largest yacht, although it was never completed. Meanwhile, US Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, with a net worth estimated at $1,5 billion, and her family have been linked to no less than 13 yachts over the years.
In 1980, the late Saudi businessman and arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi took delivery of the 86 meter (282 ft) Nabila. Built by Benetti in Italy, she became the 8th largest yacht in the world and appeared in the 1983 James Bond movie, Never Say Never Again.
When Khashoggi, however, ran into financial problems, the Sultan of Brunei took possession of the yacht to cover one of his loans. The Sultan quickly flipped the yacht to Donald Trump for a reported $29 million in 1987. In an interview in 1988, Trump said he received a $1 million discount for agreeing to change the name from Nabila, Khashoggi's daughter.
Khashoggi probably spent $200 million building this yacht, probably the best yacht ever built. I purchased it for a business. I use it for my hotels. I use it for a lot of different charities.
After acquiring Nabila, Trump renamed the yacht to Trump Princess and had it refitted by Holland-based, Amels for a near $10 million according to the LA Times. The H on the helipad was also changed to a T to stand for Trump.
Spread into over 100 separate areas over five decks, Nabila was without a doubt one of the most complex yachts of her time. With luxurious materials including onyx used for her interior, the yacht was also ahead of her time from a technological standpoint. Remote controls were installs next to the bed for shades, room service, and the entertainment center.
Amongst the yacht's main feature was a hair salon with 3 separate chairs, a sauna, a private elevator for the owner, one for guests and one for the crew, a 2.4-meter in diameter spa pool with a waterjet behind bulletproof glass. Whilst still owned by Khashoggi, many arms deals were signed onboard the yacht.
In June 1989, Donald Trump announced that he would build a larger yacht, "something in excess of 400 feet long, closer to 500 feet" as he told Newsday and that he was accepting bids from yacht builders for this project. Amels, then owned by a group of 4 British investors, secured the deal to develop the 128-meter Trump Princess II according to NRC.
In May 1990, it was announced that Trump bought Amels altogether. At a press conference in Makkum in 1990, Jeff Walker, VP of Trump's investment empire, denied that the shipyard was sold due to the previous owner's financial difficulties, which some have said, resulted from Trump canceling the construction of the Trump Princess II.
In September 1990, two months after the acquisition, Trump sold Amels to American businessman, Peter Kutell according to Deseret News due to financial problems. At the same time, the Trump Princess was put up for sale and all work on the Trump Princess II stopped. In 1991, Trump Princess was sold to Prince Al-Waleed for $19 million who renamed the yacht to Kingdom 5KR.
The superstructure for Trump Princess II allegedly remained at the Amels Makkum facility until summer 2001 when it was eventually removed. According to sources familiar with the matter, the superstructure is still parked at the Makkum facility, now owned by Feadship De Vries and reportedly sometimes used as a bike parking space.
Although Trump never came back to yacht ownership, other members of his cabinet remained involved in the space to this day. Betsy DeVos, US Secretary of Education, and her husband have a combined net worth valued at $5,1 billion. Amongst their long list of assets are no less than 10 yachts and reportedly an interest in the shipyard that built them.
Delivered in 2008 by US shipyard, Westport, Seaquest measures 50 meters (162 ft) and was designed by Donald Starkey. Reaching a top speed of 24 knots, she is part of the Westport 164 series. Interestingly, she's also not the only Westport 164 linked to the DeVos family as the 50-meter Legacy is also reportedly owned by the family.
Whereas the actual construction price of this particular Westport is unknown, as is typical with the vast majority of new build yachts, a similar 50-meter Westport sold at an asking price of $29,950,000 in November 2016. It is standard for the final, actual price to be 30-40% lower to the asking price in yachting.
Delivered in 2011, Legacy is a slightly updated version of the Seaquest. According to the media, the DeVos family has a solid preference for Westport yachts, having reportedly owned several of them in the past years. In fact, the family may even have acquired a stake in the US yacht manufacturer according to SYF.
Amongst the Westports linked to the DeVos is a Westport 112 from 2003 and a Westport 130 from 2005. Their fleet also includes an 85ft Pacific Mariner ( a brand owned by Westport) called Sun Quest. Additionally, an 80ft Hatteras called Kitsune can also be found in their fleet according to the media.
Although the DeVos fleet may already sound expansive as it is now, the family hasn't always been buying Westports and went through a number of other yacht shipyards as well. One of these superyachts was the 53-meter sailing yacht Independence, delivered by Italian shipyard, Perini Navi in 1998.
The yacht has since been sold, renamed to Jasali II and made available for charter from €138,600 per week. Accommodating up to 10 guests in 5 cabins, she stretches over a beam of 11.4m and can cruise at up to 12 knots.
Prior to their long run with Westport, the DeVos have reportedly owned no less than five Feadships according to SYF, all of which have been named Enterprise. The first to qualify as a superyacht would become Enterprise II, a 116ft Feadship delivered in 1970 now known as Utopia II.
Although from a different era and with different standards, in the 1970s, Utopia II was a true superyacht for its time. Amongst her classical feature are a round aft with an open top deck, partly used to store its tenders. 10 years following her delivery, a new Enterprise was built by Feadship, this time measuring 131ft.
Now known as Seagull of Cayman following changes of ownership, she features several enhancements over the previous Enterprise. The most noticeable of these is a dedicated sundeck, an upper deck skylounge and a larger main salon aft of the main deck. Several weeks ago she was put again on the market at an asking price of €5,900,000.
Yet another improvement on Enterprise III, the 149ft Enterprise IV was also built by Feadship in 1985. Through the Enterprise line can be seen the growth of a niche industry into the superyacht sector it is today. Now known as Explora, the yacht features larger windows, a sleeker line and a swimming platform aft of the yacht, all of which weren't found on classical yachts.
The last Enterprise to be built was delivered by Feadship in 1993 and is today known as Chantal Ma Vie. Measuring 55-meters (179 ft) in length, she already was a good representation of the modern superyacht, featuring a sleek line, large sundeck, expansive lounges, spacious cabins, a swimming platform and purpose-built tenders. In 2010, she was sold at an asking price of $15,9 million to her current owner.
Although their effect on US policy can be polarising and debated throughout the world, the effect that Trump and member of his administration have had on yachting throughout the past decades has undoubtedly played an important role in growing the market to the point where it is today.
Majesty 120 is a stunning 37.07-metre luxury yacht, which was first announced as the new flagship of the UAE yard Gulf Craft during the 2019 Monaco Yacht Show.Gulf Craft is happy to announce that the first unit has completed sea trials and is listed as a yacht for sale. She features a naval architecture and an exterior design by the yard.The interior designer Cristiano Gatto created a space for up to 10 guests to stay in five staterooms with an asymmetric design.Cristiano Gatto, the designer said:For me, the Majesty 120 perfectly captures the direction in which this innovative brand is heading with her dynamic profile, balanced outdoor spaces and sophisticated interiors that are all designed with true yachtsmen and women in mind.Gatto described the interiors as “fresh and light”, with key materials includes “lacquer, light woods and marble.”The vessel is the first Majesty model equipped with fully airborne electric drive equipment, leaving only two 2600-hp MTU engines and diesel generators.The highlights of the boat include a Jacuzzi on the sun deck and a ‘hybrid’ beach club, converting to a tender storage.
August 10, 2020
Italian designer Pierpaolo Lazzarini unveils his latest yacht concept 39.9-metre Xenos. This bullet-shaped hyper yacht concept was inspired by Bugatti and aims to be the fastest superyacht in the world in its class. The design combines futuristic performance with luxury spaces. The energy company Architaly has integrated a solar system into the roof, which will let Xenos to be capable of up to eight hours of autonomy in electric sail mode.There are two available versions for this custom yacht: the Hyperyacht and the Seajet Piercer. The Seajet Piercer will be for a passenger transport version since it can carry up to 180 passengers. The Hyperyacht is designed to be a private recreational vehicle.The Hyperyacht version features a deck lounge, living room, threespacious suites and a large lounge at the top. To the aft, guests can store water toys and use the adjustable bridge to allow the fabulous Bugatti to come in and out.The $39,000,000 Xenos comes with a $3,000,000 luxury supercar Bugatti Chiron. Made from aluminium and carbon, modern shape of the Xenos is designed for comfortable high speed rides and equipped with twin, triple or quadruple engine set ups with horsepower range from 7,300 hp to 15,000 hp. Xenos will reach a top speed of 90 knots, setting the record of the fastest yacht in her size.
August 7, 2020
Hasna is a 73-metre luxury motor yacht, built by Feadship in 2017. She has been the first yacht in Dutch shipbuilding history ordered by an Australian customer. According to Forbes, the superyacht has been owned by Australian loan magnate John Symond and believed to cost him $75million. She has been listed for sale asking € 97,500,000 two years after delivery. Later the price was reduced down to € 92,500,000 and she was sold and renamed Lunasea, thanks to Y.CO and Burgess.Gary Wright, Co-Founder and Chairman of Y.CO commented:Hasna marks the third Feadship Y.CO has sold in recent weeks and demand among our clients for well-built, quality yachts remains strong. Completing a sale of this magnitude in the current climate has taken an extraordinary amount of commitment from everyone involved and we would especially like to thank the Captain and crew for their support throughout this sale.We are pleased to be taking over the operational and charter management of the yacht - under her new name of Lunasea - and our team is already working closely with the new owner’s team and crew to transform the onboard experience and strengthen her charter reputation.With a beam of 11.9 m and a draft of 3.45 m, she has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure.The highlights of the superyacht include an 8m infinity pool on the main deck aft, a 10-seat cinema on the main deck, a wellness centre with a massage room, a hairdressing salon, an elevator, a sun deck lounge with inside-outside bar and a jacuzzi.Ben Ritchie of the Y.CO sales team said: We are thrilled to have secured this very recent and exceptionally well-maintained Feadship on behalf of our client. Not only does Hasna exude quality, but she has every amenity you could possibly want on board, which we anticipate will make her extremely popular on the charter market. With stunning interior and exterior design by RWD, we believe Hasna to be one of the finest Feadships ever built and we are pleased to add her to our Y.CO Management fleet and to be able to offer her for charter.Hasna was designed by Redman Whiteley Dixon and can accommodate 12 guests in six staterooms, including a full-beam owner’s suite is located on the main deck, two VIP staterooms, two double cabins, and a further double cabin on the bridge deck. Also, the superyacht offers accommodation for a crew of up to 21. Twin MTU diesel engines provide her a top speed of 16.6 knots and a cruising speed of 14 knots, with a transatlantic range of 5,500 nautical miles at 12 knots. She is powered by MTU engines of 1850 hp each.
August 6, 2020
The legendary yacht Trinakria, which has been launched in 1927 in Austria at the Wienerwerft in Vienna, was seen in St. Tropez. Trinakria is a 49.06-metre luxury sailing yacht.The gaff-rigged schooner a steel hull and wooden superstructure. Trinakria was entirely refitted over a 10 year period, from 2004 to 2014. The refit started in Agadir in Morocco at the luxury yacht builder Chantier Naval HESARO. Unfortunately, technical difficulties and the failure of the local shipyard lead to a long and ambitious eight years refit. However, in 2012, she was sailing to La Rochelle. It took two more years more to complete all the works.Her interiors have been returned to their former glory, featuring warm polished woods, classic white planked ceilings and crafted leather furnishings.The sailing yacht can accommodate 10 guests in five traditional, yet luxurious staterooms, each with private ensuite facilities. Her decks are laid to teak and offer a vast amount of area to relax, socialize and sun. The main deck has 2 alfresco dining options, one just forward of the helm, seating guests comfortably under a Bimini cover if requested. This deck is raised providing uninterrupted views. An additional alfresco dining table is forward, in a more intimate setting, perfect for casual dining.With a beam of 7 m and a draft of 3.3 m, Trinakria is powered by CAT engines and has a cruising speed of 10 knots. This magnificent yacht can often be found cruising the Mediterranean, where she is available for charter with the price about €70,000 - €80,000 per week.
August 6, 2020
Italian builder Azimut Yachts has completed the Azimut Magellano 25 Metri and revealed first pictures of the boat. She is their first 25.2-metre pocket superyacht, which was created in collaboration with interior designer and architect Vincenzo De Cotiis. Exterior designer Ken Freivokh was responsible for “chic and sophisticated” exterior lines.Built in GRP and carbon fibre, the pocket superyacht was created to "convey the feeling of a penthouse overlooking the sea" because of her fully glazed superstructure, the yard said.The vessel can accommodate up to 10 guests across five cabins including an owner’s suite, which features a walk-in wardrobe and polished brass details, two VIPs located on the lower deck, one double and one convertible twin cabin.There are other stylish highlight of the boat design such as “retro-style” windows in the hull and slatted teak panels either side of the aft deckhouse. There is a large lounge area and an ‘infinity terrace’ at the bow area, which is perfect for warm weather cruising with sofas, converting into sunbeds and a bar aft and an outside dining under a retractable sunroof. The boat features twin MAN engines with 1,400 hp each, a Humpree electric fin stabilisation system, and a V-Drive in-line transmission. She can reach a top speed 25 knots or cruise at 21 knots.
August 5, 2020