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.
At the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Ocean Alexander will present three brand new models, ranging from 30-37 meters. The 30R and 35R are models in the popular Revolution series and the 37L is the new flagship of the Legend series. All three yachts were designed in collaboration with Evan K. Marshall has once again commanded the attention of the yachting world with their innovative design, compelling amenities, and luxurious finishes.30RThe 30m 30R has a vertical bow, a signature to the Revolution series. The main salon with the open concept layout features the floor to ceiling windows with near 360° views. Coupled with a stunning on-deck master stateroom and four more spacious staterooms on the lower deck, this yacht rivals a peer group that measures well over this size category. The upper bridge deck is an owner favorite place and can opt for the opulent enclosed skylounge or the openness of the New Generation Pilothouse. Both configurations provide a bar, TV, grill, comfortable sun beds, and an optional hot tub. The helm station fits with large touchscreen Garmin navigation and other top of the line equipment.35R The 35R represents the pinnacle of the Revolution series. The volume of the 35R interior is unrivalled and features a layout that can only be compared to much larger yachts. It also has expansive outdoor spaces for clients to enjoy. The beach club has beyond the sea level entertaining space complete with television and wet bar, it is fit with a sauna and gym that is accessed either directly from the beach club with its fold down swim platform or from the interior via side deck stairs on the port side. Further, the space is also equipped with a day head and stall shower which connects directly to this highly active area.37L The 37L is the largest yacht in the Legend series. The main salon seamlessly flows into the dining area with enough seating for ten guests. The dining table is flanked on both sides by two massive sliding glass doors that open to the wrap around deck that leads to the bow and aft deck. The 37L is also fit with a beach club that is the ideal place to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the water.Ocean Alexander is a family business. Two generations of one family have guided the shipyard for almost four decades. With manufacturing in Taiwan, Ocean Alexander is consistently one of the top selling brands for large yachts in the U.S. and currently produces models ranging from 26 to 36 meters in length. Credits: Ocean Alexander
October 22, 2021
The Berlin-based design studio 3deluxe unveiled a new superyacht concept VY.01 at the Monaco Yacht Show 2021. The zero-carbon yacht is available for purchase as an NFT on the auction platform SuperWorld. The aim behind the concept was to develop the zero-carbon superyacht. The concept features a seawater desalination system, powered by solar panels, for the watering of the greenhouse. Healthy food can be cultivated on board – the yacht has its own green and vegetable gardens. The interior of the 110m yacht also sets new standards and corresponds to the visionary, nature-oriented philosophy of the project: a light-suffused, loft-Iike space forms a spacious room continuum made up of a greenhouse. Lounge living space, kitchen, bar and vegetable garden. Luxury is rewritten entirely, with natural surroundings replacing acrylic glass and brass. The master cabin is an open-topped space within a greenhouse with a sky view. The spacious open and close interior also corresponds to the modern design concepts. The most attractive and progressive key technology for zero-carbon propulsion of cruise ships and yachts is currently considered to be fuel cells driven by hydrogen. The silent electric engines also avoid any noise pollution. The construction of a yacht is planned to be emission-free and sparing in its use of resources as possible. Credits: 3deluxe
October 22, 2021
The 62nd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will be held from October 27th – October 31st. The event will take place at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, FLIBS showcases more world and U.S. debuts than any other boat show in the country. The five day event showcases over 1,500 yachts and boats across seven locations. The boat show is an excellent opportunity to participate in the best of Fort Lauderdale’s luxury lifestyle, which includes waterfront dining, seven miles of white sand beach, luxury resorts, and high-end shopping.Each year, the show brings together boat enthusiasts from across the globe to the “Yachting Capital of the World.” Attendees get access to the industry’s latest boats and yachts of all sizes.“We are excited to welcome back the global community of visitors and exhibitors to the 2021 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,” said Andrew Doole, President of U.S. Boat Shows with Informa Markets, who produces the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. “In 2020, Informa was able to host an incredibly successful event that exceeded industry expectations despite the pandemic, and we anticipate that the 2021 boat show will raise the bar even higher for boating exhibitions.” FLIBS is a major economic driver benefitting the marine industry, the city of Fort Lauderdale, and the state of Florida with a total statewide economic impact of $1.3 billion as a result of the 2019 show and over $714 million in products sold over the exhibition. With over 80 percent of the show taking place in open-air outdoor spaces, FLIBS will continue to offer a safe, open-air experience for exhibitors, visitors, and the local community to enjoy the greatest boat show on the seven seas. FLIBS 2021 spans more than three million square-feet of exhibit space:Superyacht Village brings to South Florida the world’s most spectacular superyachts and exhibits including renowned shipyards, personal submarines, and exotic collectible automotive items. The Superyacht Village and marina feature vessels nearly 300 feet. The Superyacht Village will be open to all general admission ticket holders and features direct access by water tenders and shuttle bus routes to and from the show’s other locations, as well as on-site valet and self-parking. Windward VIP Club is an exclusive indoor and outdoor destination to enjoy the excitement of the boat show featuring shore and water views with a premium open bar, gourmet food offerings, and the perfect setting to enjoy this international boating event. AquaZone is designed to give boat show-goers an upfront and personal experience with a variety of water sports and innovative marine products.629 boats will be attending the Show, including Feadship 77m Boardwalk, Benetti 40M Oasis, 45.6m Damen Yachting Pink Shadow, 29.1m Sanlorenzo NiniPop XL.Tickets are priced from USD 30 till USD 300 for a VIP and experience. Credits: FLIBS
October 22, 2021
Abeking & Rasmussen has announced that the contract for building a 120m plus superyacht was signed this summer. The shipyard's current order book includes the 118m length megayacht in its stage of outfitting. She is the largest ship A&R has ever built and will be delivered to her owner next year. Except this year’s additions the Abeking & Rasmussen order book include three Multi Purpose Vessels with more than 90m length each. These are some of the most innovative and challenging projects the shipyard has ever worked on. Abeking & Rasmussen has managed to contract two mine hunting vessels for the Indonesian Navy. The next generation of mine hunting vessels is 62 m long and made of high-strength and non-magnetic steel produced using an innovative laser welding process.Nine refits have arrived at the shipyard, some new clients included and there are more refit projects to follow soon. Yacht new builds, refits, multi purpose vessels, mine hunters, LNG propulsion systems, laser welding – it seems like a lot of different challenges the shipyard has to work on. How does Abeking & Rasmussen deal with this versatile and challenging order book? “Working on a range of projects and technologies for different clients and purposes has always been a strength of Abeking & Rasmussen. Besides certain synergies we always found it very helpful to gain expertise with technologies in one market before these things where even asked for in other markets,” says Matthias Hellmann, CFO. Abeking & Rasmussen was founded in October 1907. The German based shipyard is looking back to 114 years of ship and yacht building. A&R is now able to launch yachts of up to 125 meters length. Credits: Abeking and Rasmussen
October 21, 2021
Antalya-based Bering Yachts and Trasco Bremen, the world’s leading commercial builder of armoured vehicles with over 35 years of experience, has announced a collaboration for protecting specific areas aboard Bering explorer yachts. The aim of the partnership is to provide discerning owners with comfort and autonomy combined with added on-board safety so they and their families can cruise remote locations with complete peace of mind. Steel-hulled Bering yachts are already renowned for their rugged construction, but shielding the most critical areas with bullet proof materials – such as the wheelhouse or engine room, as well as vital machinery or the navigational, communication and alarm systems – offers ultimate protection against unwanted intrusion.Bering Yachts is located in Antalya, Turkey. Its shipyard designs and builds semi-custom steel expedition yachts and luxury steel trawler yachts ranging in size from 50 to 145 feet. Credits: Bering Yachts
October 21, 2021