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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Mangusta GranSport 33 series - the novelty by Overmarine Group S.P.A. reaching the US shores to debut at FLIBS 2020
Mangusta Yachts, a brand within the Italian Overmarine Group S.P.A., is presenting the very first unit of the brand new Mangusta GranSport 33 series which blends good looks and great performance. The world première will take place at the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (28th Oct. – 1st Nov., 2020). Despite being the entry level model in the Mangusta GranSport line, the yacht can offer spacious volumes and technical details that can normally be found on larger yachts. She can surely be defined as a 33-metre vessel with the heart and soul of a true megayacht. The model was penciled by Alberto Mancini in cooperation with Overmarine Group’s technical departments.The Mangusta GranSport 33 is a sporty and yet extremely comfortable vessel, boasting timeless elegance and a very strong personality. She perfectly combines style and technical solutions, the utmost expression of this flawless blend being her outstanding performance and unmatched efficiency. The same design style harmoniously unravels across both the exteriors and the interiors, turning every inch of the yacht into a pleasant, functional space – something that is a real hallmark of the Mangusta brand. Overmarine Group’s Interiors Department has worked side by side with the designer Mancini and the Owner to select the perfect furniture, furnishings, and décor. The final outcome is a stylish, but also extremely functional yacht, just what her American Owner had asked for.This model can rely on a propulsion package featuring 4 Volvo IPS engines that can push her to a maximum speed of 26 knots while ensuring reduced consumption against vessels of the same size with traditional propulsion systems, and maximum comfort thanks to extremely low vibrations and impressive noiselessness. Other distinctive technical features on this yacht are her excellent maneuverability, enhanced by the Joystick Docking system, the dynamic positioning system allowing to keep the craft stable in one position, and the electrical stabilizing fins. Her very limited draft of 6’2” (1.9 meters), which means she can comfortably cruise even in very shallow waters, makes this yacht ideal, for instance, in the Bahamas in winter or the Hamptons in the summer. (Press release and photos by Mangusta Yachts)
October 27, 2020
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show located steps from the beach in sunny South Florida is ready to take off. The show will host 1,000+ exhibitors and will have over 1,300+ boats on display. Photo: FLIBS 2019Starting on October 28, 2020, and ending on November 1, 2020, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show could have a positive impact of over $1 billion on the local economy. The FLIBS Boat Show will be held in accordance with AllSecure health and safety standards to guarantee the safety of all staff, attendees, exhibitors and crew members. This became possible as a result of discussions that took place between government officials from Broward County and the City of Fort Lauderdale. Photo: FLIBS 2019The President of Marine Industries Association of South Florida revealed that “FLIBS will boost the economy through direct sales, more hotel stays, transportation, dining and recreation”. To guarantee the safety and health guidelines, FLIBS will offer enhanced transportation and parking. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show added extra shuttle buses and water taxi services. Photo: FLIBS 2019
October 27, 2020
The all-aluminium hybrid Fourth S501 Hybrid Superyacht is at around 40% completion level. The shipyard will have the cutting-edge technology that will push the boundaries in terms of the efficiency in the fuel consumption and allow the superyacht to be cruising for long-hours. The yacht’s superstructure and hull are joined and complete. The 49.99-metre Tankoa yacht is being prepared for the installation of the new equipment and main on-board machinery, with yacht’s delivery being set for the late 2021. Photo: Tankoa YachtsThe Fourth S501 Hybrid Superyacht features the hybrid propulsion package that has been developed as a result of a collaboration between Man and Siemens. The package will include full electric, diesel-electric and traditional diesel cruising modes.Photo: Tankoa Yachts The yacht will be having an outfitting phase soon, as the Italian shipyard is about to start its preparations. Interestingly, Tankoa is planning to increase its workforce as they are planning to acquire an additional facility adjacent to a Genoa facility. In addition, Chief executive Vincenzo Poerio said that they are “preparing to grow the company in a sustainable way to optimize operational costs and increase market segment”.Photo: Tankoa Yachts
October 26, 2020
The advertising campaign by Ferretti Yachts won the notable Press, Outdoor & Promotion Key Award (POPKA) in the category ‘A4 Beauty, Fashion and Luxury’. The award ceremony was held on October 15, with a live-streamed session to which CEO Alberto Galassi contributed, commenting: “The Ferretti Yachts campaign was ahead of its time, asserting an ideal of wellbeing, calm and peace on a yacht, in order to reconnect with the dimension of a private island on which to take refuge: a subject that could hardly be more relevant in times like these”.The new campaign by Ferretti Yachts offers a new way to experience the sea, one that encloses a universe of stories and emotions in an intimate personal space, combining the dimension of travel represented by the yacht with the feeling of being at home. This is the creative concept behind the new campaign by Ferretti Yachts, the storied Italian luxury yacht brand and a leading global player in the industry, which reasserts its positioning with a more intimate language and a lifestyle aesthetic midway between fashion and design.Media Key is the benchmark magazine for Italian corporate communication. The panel of judges that makes the Awards, now in their 17th year, includes marketing strategists, media planners for top Italian and international businesses, communication operators, and creative directors at production companies, advertising agencies, and TV and Radio digital agencies. The multi-subject campaign published in leading magazines worldwide presents a model of absolute wellbeing that only Ferretti Yachts can make possible, anywhere and at any time. Created by multiple award-winning international agency Lorenzo Marini Group, “Just Like Home” continues on a strategic and creative path that has further consolidated the brand’s image at international level.Press release and photos by Ferretti Yachts
October 26, 2020
The construction of Heesen’s latest superyacht has begun this week. Her name is Sparta and she would be the largest steel-hull displacement motor yacht by the remarkable Dutch shipyard.During the laying ceremony on October 19 a Greek coin with the image of Poseidon was added to the yacht keel by her owner. Sparta's delivery is set for 2023. Van Oossanen Naval Architects created the impressive Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF), while the interior and exterior designs are both by the London-based Winch Design studio.Perry van Oossanen, Managing Director of the naval architecture studio, has commented: "The Fast Displacement Hull Form of Project Sparta, combined with the sleek design by Winch and the optimised building methodology by Heesen, makes this yacht really stand out in terms of performance and efficiency. With engines quite typical for a yacht this size, she will easily reach her contract speed and outrun other yachts of this size and power, both in speed and range".Sparta is based on Heesen’s 66-metre Project Avanti. The latter was first presented at the Monaco Yacht Show 2018 and, according to the yard, “captured the attention” of the owner. The layout of the vessel fully reflects the owner’s lifestyle. Jim Dixon from Winch Design has expressed the following: “Once again we are delighted to have a very collaborative and decisive client with a clear lifestyle brief”. He added that “the arrangement of the vessel seamlessly connects the activity of water-side living at the aft ‘terrace’ with the calm and beautifully-coloured interior”.The bridge deck has been fully reserved for the owner. It features 2 suites and a private terrace with an outdoor dining and lounging zone. The sundeck could offer guests a Jacuzzi, pleasant sunpads and a bar. Another Jacuzzi, a steam room, a sauna and a gym can be found on the lower deck. The 1,200 GT yacht also features a 6,5-metre infinity pool aft. The 3 decks are services by a spiral staircase and a glass elevator.Sparta can accommodate 12 guests who would be taken care of by a total of up to 16 crew members. Guest suites are located across the main saloon and on the main deck. With the help of a special sliding partition 2 forward cabins can be transformed into a full-beam VIP one. The crew accommodation and the galley are located on the lower deck. As for the speed and range - with its two MTU 12V4000 M65R diesel engines the yacht will be able to reach a maximal speed of 16 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles for transatlantic cruising at a 12-knot speed. Photo: Heesen Yachts
October 24, 2020