Few superyachts have ever gained a level of recognition across mainstream audiences as has the A fleet in recent years. Designed by Starck, their lines have become the most polarizing in the yachting sector and brought unprecedented attention to the field in general.
Initially sketched by Starck in a matter of minutes according to the French designer, the project for Motor Yacht A started back in 2004 when Russian billionaire, Andrey Melnichenko contracted him for the project. Starck later said in interviews that the brief simply said the yacht had to have six cabins and approximately measure its current length, the rest was left up to the designer.
At that point, the Frenchman had completed two yachts already, a 24-meter sailing yacht named Virtuelle and the 65m Feadship, Wedge Too. The project was nonetheless ambitious, to create an original yacht that stood out and didn't mimick anything done before. Designed to have volume, whilst at the same time living in the light, Starck emphasized that the layout needed to be simple and human without too many corridors.
Starck is known for often pushing for his own style in his projects and designs, not necessarily folding to the requests of the owner. Instead, he says he tries to understand their needs and come up with a creative solution as he did with Motor Yacht A according to his interviews.
Delivered in 2008 by Blohm+Voss, a German shipyard since acquired by Lurssen, Motor Yacht A hit headlines in the worldwide press for her polarizing design and didn't leave anyone indifferent. Innovative amenities onboard included a large main salon that stretched as a single room throughout the main deck and encouraged socializing.
Another key element in her design was the creation of a spacious, lounging zone forward on the yacht's bow. Whereas such areas are typically found towards the aft, Starck believed that it allowed to be closer to the sea and better enjoy the yacht. The space combines both shaded and open spaces for entertainment and sunbathing. The bow also features a swimming pool with jets and a helipad.
Starck dedicated much space and attention to the tender garage on Motor Yacht A. Whereas in most superyachts, it is merely a technical space accessed, essentially only by crew, on the 119-meter it is a fully integrant part of the yacht's guest areas. Finished in wood and with a extremely high ceiling, the tender garage houses a plethora of options to get to shore as well as a lounging area.
Aft of the yacht is a platform that opens up directly onto the sea for swimming. Often found on yachts of a smaller scale, such a set up is particularly unusual for a megayacht of M/Y A's size. Instead of merely lying on top of the water, however, it actually lowers into the water at an angle comfortable for its guests to simply step into the water.
Following its delivery, M/Y A continued to make headlines as it cruised around the world. Just as some believed her newsworthiness would fade, images of project 787 started to emerge online in early 2015 as it left its shed at Nobiskrug to start sea trials. Even more polarizing and again designed by Starck, it wasn't long before it became clear the 142.8-meter yacht would become S/Y A.
Although her 142.8-meter length would give Melnichenko's new flagship the title of largest sailing yacht in the world, its technical classification as a sail-assisted motor yacht led to many viewing her more as a hybrid between the two types. As a result some argued, the 108-meter Black Pearl, designed by Ken Freivokh and built by Oceanco, should be considered the largest sailing yacht.
With masts taller than Big Ben at nearly 100 meters in height, S/Y A boasts over 12,600 GT of interior volume, just 3,100 less than Dilbar, the most voluminous yacht in the world. By this measurement, she's also 4.6 times larger than the largest sailing yacht in the world, the 108-meter Black Pearl. Stretching across a beam of 24.8 meters at her widest point, S/Y A could reach a top speed of 20 knots during her sea trials without using her sails.
Spanning across eight decks, S/Y A was designed by Starck, similarly to M/Y A. Her rig and keel were, however, done by Dykstra Naval Architects, a company famous for their work on the 88m Maltese Falcon as well as the Black Pearl. A more closed yacht than M/Y A, the 142.8-meter features a myriad of balconies throughout its hull.
S/Y A was built in Germany by Nobiskrug, a shipyard owned by the Safa brothers' Privinvest Group, which also includes CMN and ADMShipyards. The sailing yacht left Nobiskrug in February 2017, heading to Spain for further sea trials and some interior fittings.
Shrouded in secrecy throughout her build and following her delivery, very little details are known about the amenities onboard the sailing yacht. Spotter imagery has, however, shown that towards the bow of the yacht is a large swimming pool with sunpads around it that can be covered by a retractable roof. Other known elements include a beach club aft of the yacht with a folding platform. Two hot tubs can also be seen aft of the 142.8-meter's upper decks.
A year prior to the delivery of S/Y A, Melnichenko's motor yacht was put up for sale according to Forbes Russia. The 119-meter was, however, subsequently taken off the brokerage market according to several reports and is still owned by the Russian billionaire. In 2016, the yacht had travelled across a lot of large cities including Bordeaux, Amsterdam, London, Rotterdam and spent a significant amount of time in the Gulf. She is currently in the Indian Ocean.
Valued by Forbes at $13.2 billion, Andrey Melnichenko currently sits in their ranking as the 9th richest man in Russia. The 45-year-old started his entrepreneurial career as a 2nd year college student in the 1990s with a chain of currency-exchange booths, from which later emerged MDM Bank. In 1997, he co-founded a holding company that went on to create fertilizer producer, Eurochem, pipe exporter TMK and SUEK. According to Forbes Russia, the partners invested near $1 billion at the time to build out this holding between 2000 and 2002.
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Southern Wind has introduced the newest addition of the successful SW96 family: Liberty, which became the fifth unit of the series. The yacht was launched in Cape Town. Designed by the respected teams of Farr Yacht Design and Nauta Design, the SW96#05 is a further evolution of the successful SW96 series with an additional emphasis on racing.The yacht’s hull and deck are built in sandwich with a foam core and infused carbon skins for lighter weight. Her lightship displacement of 62 tonnes and a tall rig, grant excellent speed in light air. To enhance her performance soul, the yacht has a Hall Spars high-modulus carbon mast and carbon boom as well as EC6+ carbon rigging with double backstay pre-configured to accommodate both pinhead and square top mainsail.SW96#05’s hull has full water lines with straight end diagonals, a wide, low transom and full forward sections. These, together with a fixed bowsprit, a lifting keel (3.4-5.5m) and twin rudder configuration, make her easy to sail and control in a wide range of conditions.Liberty has a raised saloon layout, where a sleek coachroof with panoramic windows floods the interior with light. Additional views and light come through the largest hull portlights in the series. Her deck is the first of the series to feature the latest Southern Wind “Twin Fold” transom.The yacht features a three-guest cabin layout with a wide TV area forward of the saloon and a larger owner’s suite with ample closet space forward. SW96#05 Liberty will now undertake extensive sea trials in the waters of Cape Town before heading to the Mediterranean for her first Summer season. Southern Wind is a boutique bluewater sailing yacht shipyard founded in Cape Town in 1991. Since its foundation, SWS has specialized in the production of semi-custom high-performance superyachts.Credits: Southern Wind
February 27, 2024
An auction organized by Ferretti Group, in support of David Beckham’s 7 Fund for UNICEF, has ended, with the proceeds of the special-edition yacht going towards UNICEF’s work in El Salvador, creating safe spaces for children to learn and play. The Ferretti Group auctioned a Riva Anniversario boat to raise funds, which will go towards protecting children, particularly those living in El Salvador whose lives are often threatened by violence. Riva Anniversario is the special limited-edition boat created by Riva to celebrate the shipyard's 180th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of the iconic Aquarama. Only 18 examples were produced, one of which was destined to support the work of 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund. In 2023, the 7 Fund delivered sports, cultural, and artistic activities to over five thousand children and adolescents in El Salvador. These activities aimed to foster inclusion, eliminate gender stereotypes, and strengthen community bonds, all while addressing the problems that the country faces concerning violence against children. To date, more than 36,000 children in El Salvador have benefited from this programme. “Providing children with safe spaces to learn and play is key to ensuring their enrollment in education and providing them with opportunities to develop their full potential. This is why we are grateful to Ferretti Group for the donation made to UNICEF through the 7 Fund,” said UNICEF Private Fundraising and Partnerships Director Carla Haddad Mardini. “I would like to thank UNICEF for the chance to contribute through our boat to such a noble and deserving cause as the one supported by ‘7 Fund for UNICEF’. It is an honor to have actively participated in this project that offers hope and opportunity to thousands of children and their families,” said Alberto Galassi, Ferretti Group CEO.7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund was launched in February 2015 to mark David Beckham’s tenth year as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. The Fund is a unique partnership between David Beckham and UNICEF that is helping to give vulnerable and disadvantaged children the opportunity to reach their full potential. 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.Credit: Ferretti Group
February 27, 2024
Abeking & Rasmussen Services has announced the arrival of a 70-meter motor yacht Saint Nicolas from 2007 for a comprehensive refit last week. This vessel has chosen A&R Services as its trusted partner for an extensive refurbishment, including a notable extension on the swimming platform as well as a new gym and spa on the sundeck. The project will be managed by the independent family office headquartered in Monaco, Arrow Yachts, aiming to elevate the yacht to new heights of luxury. Undergoing both exterior and interior transformations, the refit will be a collaborative effort between Pascoli International, who will oversee the exterior enhancements, ensuring that the vessel's sleek lines and elegant profile are maintained while integrating modern elements, and Patrick Knowles Design, who will handle the interior works. The swim platform extension has been designed by the American naval architecture firm Murray & Associates. "This refit project represents a significant milestone for A&R Services," said Daniel Reichwald, Managing Director of A&R Services. "We are honored to have been chosen as the preferred partner for revitalizing this iconic motoryacht. Our team is committed to delivering an exceptional job and exceeding the owner's expectations." The refit project is expected to take eight months to complete. The German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen was established in 1907 by George Abeking and Henry Rasmussen, the company first worked with the German Imperial Navy on several vessels including submarine destroyers and mine boats. Rasmussen then started designing wooden sailing and motor yachts which led to the construction of several pleasure crafts.Credits: Abeking & Rasmussen
February 27, 2024
Heesen has announced the sale of YN 20350, the 50m fast cruiser Project Jade. The all-aluminum Project Jade boasts a sleek and svelte exterior design penned by Frank Laupman of Omega Architects. The contemporary interior is made by Cristiano Gatto. A conceptual and airy atmosphere is achieved through various materials and textures that reflect natural light. Mirrors and tempered glass inspired by the sky, along with bold pops of green from the yacht's namesake stone, Jade, contribute to the overall aesthetic.Accommodating twelve guests in five staterooms, including an owners' suite on the main deck forward, Project Jade ensures a comfortable experience for all. The remaining guest cabins, two doubles and two twins, are on the lower deck. Nine crew members will look after the guests efficiently and discreetly thanks to a very well-thought-out layout, which is the foundation for a successful yachting experience. With a top speed of 23 knots, Jade also boasts a highly efficient hull design, meticulously crafted and engineered by Heesen's in-house naval architects. This efficiency is not merely about speed; it's also about creating a seamless, comfortable experience for those onboard. In addition to its impressive design and performance features, Project Jade is IMO III compliant.This sale marks the third Heesen vessel sold by SuperYachtsMonaco in the past decade, marking a significant collaboration, in particular with Jim Evans, who introduced the client."We are overjoyed to congratulate the client on entrusting our shipyard with building his new yacht. This sale not only showcases the exceptional quality of Heesen yachts but also confirms our strong relationship with the brokerage network," says Mark Cavendish, Heesen's chief commercial officer. Mark Cavendish also extended his congratulations to Jim Evans for his role in the sale, "Jim Evans has consistently been a strong advocate for Heesen, and this sale underscores his deep knowledge of our brand and product. We are grateful for his continued support and look forward to future collaborations."As Project Jade nears launch, Heesen looks forward to commissioning her systems and rigorous North Sea tests before delivering the yacht to her new owners in Q2, 2024. In these challenging times, Project Jade's sale is a positive sign for the industry, highlighting Heesen's strength as a leader in the luxury yacht market.Heesen Yachts is a Dutch ship building company that specializes in custom-built superyachts in aluminum and steel from 30m to 70m in size. Founded in 1978, it has launched more than 170 yachts since its inception.Credits: Heesen Yachts
February 26, 2024
Rossinavi, the esteemed Italian shipyard, has recently unveiled a brand-new marine brand called Nolimits. Breaking boundaries in yacht design, the Nolimits range introduces five aluminum crossovers tailored for transoceanic voyages.Established by the illustrious Rossi family, renowned for founding the Rossinavi shipyard in 1980, Nolimits marks a strategic expansion into a distinct market segment. These crossovers, blending the essence of explorer vessels with the luxury of superyachts, epitomize Rossinavi's commitment to innovation.Crafted by the acclaimed designer Fulvio de Simoni, the Nolimits fleet spans from 30 to 45 meters in length. Constructed entirely in Italy, these vessels leverage Rossinavi's four-decade-long expertise in bespoke yacht construction.Federico Rossi, COO of Rossinavi, expressed, "After a long experience in building yachts from 500 to over 2,000 GT, it is time to carry this kind of technical vision also into yachts from 30 to 45 meters." He emphasized the brand's focus on creating vessels capable of extended offshore journeys while maintaining the hallmark luxury and functionality of superyachts.The inaugural Nolimits lineup comprises the NL30 (98 feet), NL37 and NL37+ (121 feet), and the NL45 and NL45+ (148 feet). The "+” variants feature a raised pilothouse, offering diverse layouts on the upper deck. Notably, the NL37+ boasts an indoor skylounge with panoramic vistas, while the NL45+ features a VIP cabin with a private deck.Designed for stability and comfort, each vessel boasts spacious hulls and lavish interiors, ensuring a pleasurable experience on extended global expeditions. Expansive panoramic windows and commodious sundecks create seamless connections with the surrounding seascape. Sundecks are equipped with pools, bars, BBQs, sunbeds, and windbreakers for enhanced comfort.Performance-wise, Nolimits cruisers feature robust engines, dual stabilization systems, and twin rudders for superior maneuverability. Their impressive fuel capacity facilitates transatlantic crossings, while advanced noise reduction technology ensures a serene onboard ambiance. Moreover, the air conditioning system, with chillers operating at 150 percent capacity, ensures rapid refreshment.Rossinavi is an Italian manufacturer of custom steel and aluminum superyachts 28m in size and larger. The Rossi shipyard was founded in the 1970s and is located in Viareggio.Credits: Rossinavi
February 26, 2024