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.

Latest News

Two superyachts destroyed in the most expensive fire loss in Fort Lauderdale history
Early on Saturday November 16th, properties at Fort Lauderdale went on fire, leading to destruction of two superyachts, the 49-metre Lohengrin and 32.6-metre Reflections. According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, the estimated loss from the fire is over $20 million. The city fire marshal reported, the fire broke out at around 4.43am, with loud explosions waking up residents. Allegedly, the blaze started on-board Lohengrin and spread to a neighbouring Reflections. It is understood that the two yachts were under maintenance and refit work at the time of the fire.Reportedly, around 100 firefighters from several agencies were called out to the blaze. Many cellphone videos spread on social media witnessed flames going out, with huge plumes of smoke in the air. However, the fire brigade managed to bring it under control.<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="ru"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Crews are still on scene of the yacht fire and will work to extinguish hot spots as the crane removes the scaffolding from around the yachts. Once the hot spots are extinguished then the investigation and salvage will begin. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Media?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Media</a> <a href="https://t.co/nG0WCquWY0">pic.twitter.com/nG0WCquWY0</a></p>&mdash; FLFR PIO (@FLFR411) <a href="https://twitter.com/FLFR411/status/1196098513039495168?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">17 ноября 2019 г.</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>At the moment, no injuries have been reported. It is known , that the four crew members of Reflections were staying at an Airbnb for the weekend.Fort Lauderdale Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan called the yachts destruction “the biggest fire loss in Fort Lauderdale history.” The cause of the fire remains unknown, with investigation to be conducted.Handout/Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue/TNSIf the fire does not appear intentional from the video materials though, it might be difficult to detect exact source of the fire due to the extent of damage, fire officials said.Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency also arrived on site on Sunday with view on environmental damage, “to control and contain contaminants into the water,” Gollan said. One of the concerns now is to prevent fuel leakage into the river. However, no active leaks were reported on Sunday evening.M/Y LohengrinLohengrin was built by Trinity Yachts in 2007. She features exteriors by Geoff van Eller and interiors by Scott Carpenter. She offers accommodation to up to 11 guests across 5 cabins. In January 2019, she was sold asking $12 million.Reflections was built by Christensen in 1997 with a GRP hull and superstructure. She can accommodate 8 guests across 4 cabins with an interior design by Merritt Knowles and an exteriors by Setzer. In 2016, she was sold asking $4,295,000.M/Y ReflectionsSun Sentional media reports, the owner of Reflections, Chip McElroy, was present at the fire scene with his family. He has owned the yacht for over three years and has made many family trips to the Caribbean aboard. Reflections had sailed two weeks ago and was in the Fort Lauderdale marina for annual repainting.
36m Moonen yacht Martinique nears completion
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120m futuristic superyacht Project L by Thierry Gaugain
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Interview: future and present of hybrid propulsion in yachting
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And we are looking into a modular and serialised system, since we want to have a portfolio of components to select from, such as different diesel engines and several types of batteries and generators. Sunseeker 133Do you think the hybrid propulsion system you are working on could be installed on other yacht models?The ideas is, with Sunseeker we have the first or pilot installation. Therefore, at the moment we are working on the scope of supply for the Sunseeker 133. In the future, the basis we have developed with Sunseeker will be available for other yacht builders with different diesel engines, different batteries and different generators. It will be possible to customise the system for any particular yacht.But is the system ready for installation yet?We are still in the development phase, but we are close to finalizing the total scope of supply. Hopefully, Sunseeker soon will be able to begin construction of the 133 yacht with the hybrid system.Then in the future, what do you think could be the largest size of a yacht to operate on hybrid propulsion?The serialized system we are developing with Sunseeker is aimed more at the production yacht market. Naturally, much larger yachts have much more specific requirements. However, we have done it in the past and that is what we will continue to do in the future.Operating as a custom service, we would develop a system to meet the customer’s requirements. That could be any size of yachts, up to the very largest ones. For instance, Sailing Yacht A operates on a kind of hybrid system, where MTU have supplied gensets.Many builders now opt for more eco-friendly engines in general. Have you noticed raising environmental awareness among yachting clients?Yes, definitely. Owners of yachts have realised that they probably could do something to more environmentally friendly. All the large yachts are the big consumers of power. What they could do, is raising awareness of where they can be more efficient. And it is obvious, that vessels running on diesels create emissions.Alternatively, with a hybrid system, all those large vessels could operate in harbours using batteries. It is a great benefit, that it is emission-free and completely clean. The only problem with hybrid is that for the moment people do not understand what hybrid is. It is a long process, and we are trying to educate people, what the capabilities of that system are.What is more, when a yacht is at anchor in a small bay and the owner of the yacht wants to swim around with family, they would not want a generator running with exhaust emissions coming on to the water. The environment would much nicer if there are no diesel engines running. We see it is a great benefit.
90m superyacht DreAMBoat in Gibraltar
Delivered this summer, the 90-metre Oceanco superyacht DreAMBoat made a splash at the Monaco Yacht Show 2019 with her international debut. Yesterday, the famous vessel was photographed at the shores of Gibraltar.Photo: @DannyWheelz on Instagram via Dutch YachtingAccording to social media sources, DreAMBoat was built for US billionaire and owner of the Atlanta Falcons NFL team Arthur Blank, who is valued at $5.5 billion by Forbes. Meanwhile, Forbes valued the team at $2.6 billion as of September, 2018.DreAMBoat at the MYS 2019. Photo via Dutch YachtingThe yacht of aluminium superstructure on a steel hull features a 14.2-metre beam. Sleek exteriors by Espen Oeino come trademarked with generous overhangs from the superstructure and cut outs in the bulwarks lending her classic and strong appearance.DreAMBoat at the MYS 2019. Photo via Dutch YachtingThe vessel’s exterior also features numerous large windows offering panoramic views. Swimming pool aft at the main deck, a partially closed sundeck with Jacuzzi and plenty of seating and entertainment zones and a private Jacuzzi at the owner’s deck.DreAMBoat at the MYS 2019. Photo via Dutch YachtingDreAMBoat's interior carries bespoke surfaces and limestone floors, all decorated with sophisticated natural materials including wood, semi-precious stone, leather and mother-of-pearl all designed by Terence Disdale. Her impressive interior volume of 2,950 GT allows accommodation for 23 guests on-board, along with up to 33 crew members.Her propulsion package consists of two MTU 4,828 HP engines, with reported top speed of 18.5 knots.DreAMBoat at the MYS 2019. Photo via Dutch YachtingThe superyacht belongs on the list of the largest superyachts, ever built for sports teams owners.