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.
Check our Timeline platform to get the full access to our analytics platform, that offers you a detailed report on the timeline of each superyacht, real time market view to see the yacht market developing and much more!
Innovations in megayacht eco-design seem endless. One of the first designers to take a step forward in this direction in 2020 was a marine engineer, Philip Briand. From the headquarters of his studio in London, he presents the concept of sailing in superyachts, which puts zero-emission navigation at the center of all decisions.The latest concept from the French designer appeared after he was motivated to create a “zero-emission yacht”. This is the second concept from the new Briand family of self-contained yachts, which is on the heels of the 90-meter SY300. Briand previously described the SY200 as the "younger sister" of the SY300.The SY200 will travel in two ways: boat sails and underwater turbines, with which it will collect electricity for the 20 batteries that it will carry in its hold.According to Briand, the length of the yacht is 75 meters, and the sail is 2,000 meters, it generates more than 2,000 kW at maximum speed. To do this, he designed a helmet inspired by high-class, shorter sailboats. In particular, he emphasizes his inverted nose and central glass capsule.Ketch is equipped with a carbon fiber mast and rigging, as well as the same modern hull and upturned nose as the SY 300. Briand estimates the power of the yacht is 500 kW when sailing at a speed of 15 knots and 200 kW at a power of 12 knots."I believe we need to embrace ‘lateral thinking’ when it comes to the future of sailing yacht design. We want to work alongside owners to create the perfect renewable energy machine, using only wind, water and solar energy to run the yacht and provide an exceptional experience of peace on board and exploration of the sea.” - Briand said.At speeds of 15 and 12 knots, he expects to add 500 kW and 200 kW, respectively, which will allow him to generate enough energy on board to enjoy her 12 cabins.On board the vessel can accommodate up to 10 guests. Master-suite leads to a large terrace with a jacuzzi and four large guest cabins. The dining table with 16 seats in the cab is protected from the sun and boasts panoramic views.
January 24, 2020
Yesterday, at the Boot exhibition in Dusseldorf, Il Cantiere del Pardo presented the new Grand Soleil 44 Performance. This is a project of Matteo Polly, the best designer in the offshore sector, rated, which is designed to become a reference boat in the racing sector ORC. The new Cantiere del Pardo challenge is called Grand Soleil 44. To win this bid, the shipyard turned to a designer who was best able to interpret the concept of a sports building on racetracks around the world in recent years. This new 44-foot kit complements the Grand Soleil Yachts Performance range, designed for more sporty owners looking for a high-performance boat that can deliver results even in a regatta, located between the GS 34, GS 48 and GS 58. As already noted on board the Grand Soleil 48, the GS 44 will also be available in two versions: the layout will be more suitable for cruising, with a different layout of the sail and deck plan to simplify maneuvers, the other will be more Race for the best on the regatta. Style and elegance complement the DNA of this new 44-foot footer, which feels a family of other models in this line. Despite the very light and sporty body, the liveliness of the interior is surprising in how much volume you can use and perceive. Following the trends of the latest Grand Soleil Performance models, even on 44-foot deck places, both for racing and for enjoying a boat on a cruise, they are truly remarkable, the dimensions of the cabin are significantly increased compared to all previous models. Among the distinguishing characteristics of the boat is the location of the mast in a rather opposite direction, which will increase the sail area for bow sails in order to maximize the characteristics taking into account the average Mediterranean conditions. A choice that also allowed the cabin layout to be promoted and thus have a larger cabin than previous models. The interior layout includes three cabins and two bathrooms. The spaces below the deck have a generous beam that offers large and comfortable volumes: the kitchen is located on the left, the dining room consists of a comfortable sofa with a dining table in the center, which can accommodate up to 8 persons. Master-suite, with a comfortable double bed, a sofa and a private bathroom, is really large for a 44-foot case with a sporty character. To make the interior even more comfortable, there is a wonderful natural brightness that penetrates through the various windows of the hull and onto the deck.
January 23, 2020
Abeking & Rasmussen have confirmed the launch of their new 68-meter superyacht, Soaring. The yacht had emerged out of her shed earlier this week and has now been lowered into the water for the first time this morning.Designed by Focus Yacht Design and project managed by Superyacht Technical Services, the yacht, which is set to become available for charter in the summer 2020, comes in at a size of over 1,500 GT.Soaring's upper deck features its master suite with a private owner's aft deck and a library. The yacht's remaining 5 guest cabins will be located on the main deck and catered to by a crew of 17.
January 18, 2020
Jaime Botin, part of the Satander banking dynasty, had been caught transporting a Picasso painting on his 67-meter sailing yacht Adix back in 2015. Now Madrid courts have fined the Spanish billionaire for €52.4 million and sentenced him to 18 months in prison.Botin, an active art collector, purchased Picasso's "Head of a Young Woman" painting back in 1977 for his collection. In February 2013, he tried to sell the painting at a Christies' auction in London but the art work couldn't leave Spain at their culture ministry's decision.Spain has some of the strictest laws when it comes to national heritage. According to them, any work of art over 100 years old that is considered culturally important in the view of their culture ministry can be deemed a national treasure, requiring its owner to get a permit in order to transport it out of Spain. Botin's permit was denied back in 2012.In 2015, Botin, according to Bloomberg, had his driver transport the painting from his Madrid home to Valencia where his 67-meter sailing yacht Adix was docked. When setting sail in June 2015, her captain didn't include the artwork on the list of onboard items. Soon after it set sail for Corsica, from where Botin had chartered a jet to ferry it to Geneva where he intended to keep it according to the publication.Tipped off that Botin's permit for the export of the Picasso hadn't gone through earlier, they inspected the yacht and found the painting in the captain's cabin.Adix itself is currently in Australia, finishing up her refit programme at the yard Brisbane. The yacht is set to remain in the South Pacific up to the America's Cup in Auckland in 2021. The painting found onboard the yacht in 2015 had an estimated value of $27 million, with experts saying it could now be even more. It has since become the property of the Spanish State.With a net worth valued by Forbes at $1.7 billion, Jaime Botin is the largest shareholder of Spanish bank Bankinter and a member of Spain's most prominent banking families. His great grandfather had founded Spain's largest bank, Santander.
January 18, 2020
Richard Matthews, original founder of Oyster Yachts, has returned to its board as a non-executive director. This follows Richard Hadida buying the company in 2018. Matthews had founded the sailing yacht manufacturer back in 1973.Oyster Yachts built its first 32ft sailing boat in 1973. From there it gradually extended its range of sailing yachts finding its sweet spot in 56ft to 125ft units designed by Robert Humphreys. In 2008 the company was sold to private equity firm Balmoral Capital for £70 million, before the firm disposed of it to HTP Investments for £15 million in 2012.Following a failure of the internal hull structure on Polina Star III, an Oyster 825 model, which led to the yacht sinking in 2015. This led to a recall of 4 other units and a dent in the builder's cash flow despite a £83 million order book in 2017. The following year, the company went into administration, before being purchased by Richard Hadida.Hadida is mostly known for founding Evolution Gaming, a company that powers most online casino games and currently trades on the Swedish stock market with a market cap of near €5 billion. His fried, yacht owner and automotive mogul Eddie Jordan was formerly also involved in the takeover bid with Oyster but later backed out."It is hugely important to me personally that the founder of the brand [Richard Matthews] I hold so close to my heart has given it his seal of approval by joining our board." Hadida explained. "Having restored the company to its former glory with the support of a fantastic team – from talented craftsmen to dedicated management – this feels like confirmation that Oyster is once again synonymous with quality and excellence, just as it was when Richard founded it back in 1973".
January 18, 2020