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!

Latest News

Sensational 93-metre Feadship unveiled for first time
Representing one of the largest yachts ever built by Feadship, this 93-metre masterpiece was towed this morning from the construction hall of the Feadship yard in Kaag. Further commissioning work will continue in the months ahead including the addition of balconies and wing stations. The yacht will remain covered over the winter, to be seen in all her splendid glory next spring.With a generous beam of 14.10-metres this groundbreaking Feadship will set a new standard in luxury. Working hand in hand with the experienced owners, Michael Leach Design has drawn an elegant and timeless exterior with breathtaking lines. Reymond Langton’s stunning interior is akin to a “beautiful and contemporary jewelry box”.Five years in the making, the owners with the help of Burgess assembled a world class build team. Scouring the globe for the finest and rarest materials she promises to redefine the boundaries of luxury yacht construction. One of a kind features include a two-deck IMAX theater, a fully certified helipad with Jet A fuel, four VIP cabins each with 8k TVs, and facilities that cater to a wide range of sports including golf, basketball, volleyball and soccer among many others.The Owners were present at the launch and commented, “We want to thank Jan-Bart Verkuyl and everyone at Feadship for taking us on an amazing journey.”
Seataci - this futuristic superyacht concept throws us back into 2016
The ConceptThe Seataci is yacht concept that uses a biomimetic propulsion system resembling the movement of whale’s tail. Its main hull would be lowered underwater, providing passengers with an excellent underwater view of the coral reefs and marine life. It features a dozen villas and two landing pads specially designed for personal flying drones.Origin of the ideaThe idea for the Seataci first came to me while my wife and I were visiting the St. Regis resort in Bora-Bora. We were scuba diving one of the channels, and I started thinking about a new type of cruise ship concept capable of navigating in shallow waters by using an eco-friendly propulsion system. First I had in mind a commercial type of vessel, but it could probably first be developed as an experimental / scientific yacht that would bring together scientists and their benefactors.How it worksThe Seataci would be capable of submerging itself by using a water ballast system to sink its main hull. Two side pods would be used to stabilise the ship, and they would be linked with a hydraulic system that would also double as a dynamic suspension. The ship’s crew and passengers would be able to travel to those pods at any time during the cruise, and passengers could use them as galleries to get a different viewpoint from the ship.The ship’s engines would be housed in each pod. A biomimetic propulsion system similar to the Iruka concept would be designed to propel the Seataci. This system is basically an oscillating foil that pushes the water like the tail of a whale. It might prove more efficient than propellers, would probably generate less noise under water, and it would allow the ship to sail in shallower waters without breaking its propellers or rudders.Each pods would feature enclosed water propeller that would siphon water from side intake grills and push it forward when the vehicle needs to back up, like reverse bow thrusters. Another option would be to integrate a pivot around the pods vertical axis to reverse the ship’s course.As you can see, the boat’s actual hull occupies a lot of volume, so it will be hard to sink.This is our first iteration, only meant to depict the idea. Future version of the Seataci should take into account weight, volume of water displaced, type of material, ballasts size etc. They would look different, but would propose the same features.The lower tail section of the main hull would feature an impressive under water experience for the passengers, with large panoramic windows located on each side of the ship. Some of the ship’s suite could be located in that lower section for the view and for the minimal roll. A dining hall or an observatory lounge could also be installed there. On the main deck, a tropical garden would surround a pool next to landing pads for personal drone. The drones could be used by customers to fly to the shore or visit small ‘motu’ or ‘atolls’ nearby.What It’s Used ForThe Seataci is first and foremost a luxury yacht, but it could also be built and sold as a small scientific or commercial excursion ship. It would be interesting to use it to explore channels or islands located in shallow waters and witness the fascinating underwater life during each cruise. When personal drones become widely available and safe, the Seataci could serve as a landing platform to explore inhabited islands without using boats.Integrating new technologies like the oscillating foil is probably a big risk; however it could provide a good payoff if this technology proves to be more sustainable than what is currently being used.The DesignerI would like to thank Martin Rico, who created the images of the Seataci concept. Martin lives near Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied Design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works as a Freelance Industrial Designer. Martin also created the images of the Mercuri personal jet and the Sandofi urban cart for the homeless.
The grand opening of Ferretti Group Shanghai showroom
The group strengthens its presence in the Asian market. Ferretti Group announced the grand opening of its new marvelous showroom in Shanghai at the Bellagio Hotel. This new opening confirms the strategy of international growth of Ferretti Group, and its goal to increase visibility in the Asia-Pacific market.Ferretti Group brand new showroom is located in the shopping section on the first floor of Bellagio Shanghai. It perfectly mirrors the elegant taste, the international excellence and Italian aesthetics of the Group. At this showroom, visitors will see the impressive scale models of the latest yacht models presented from the Group’s portfolio of legendary brands, such as Riva 110’ Dolcevita debuted last month during Cannes Yachting Festival, Pershing 140 to be debuted in year 2019, and 74M mega yacht Cloud 9 from CRN brand which was delivered to her owner last year. These new projects are benchmarks of cutting-edge design and technology innovation in the global nautical world. Showroom visitors can also learn about the history and heritage of all seven brands from the interactive touchscreen totem.“The new grand opening confirms, once again, Ferretti Group’s commitment to further expand in continental China, next to positioning all brands in a selective market, that is definitely strategic in the luxury field” comments Stefano De Vivo, CCO of Ferretti Group.The grand opening saw the participation of distinguished guests such as Mr. Bartolomeo Lamonarca, the Italian Consul Shanghai, Mr. Alain Tsui, the General Manager of Bellagio Shanghai, general managers of yacht clubs from East China, publishers of China’s top lifestyle magazine, partners of Ferretti Group from various sectors in the luxury industry, and successful entrepreneurs and boat owners. Mr. Alessandro Tirelli, Sales Director of Ferretti Group Asia Pacific shared the Ferretti Group’s latest achievements, new fleet, and new vision for the Chinese market, as well as exciting news from the September Cannes Yachting Festival and Monaco Yacht Show.
No fuel needed for this solar superyacht
At sea, your gaze and your imagination have no limits. You keep on feeling the vastness of the sea and experience a completely new feeling of exploring or rediscovering the true meaning of life. This ship takes you to a new level of emotionality - right where the sea meets the sky. The Solar Impact is a yacht for people who want to travel further, without sacrificing comfort, elegance and state-of-the-art technology, and for whom the destination is the actual experience of the journey itself. The Flybridge is a welcoming outdoor space. The view is fantastic and as you watch the sea, all your wishes can come true."SolarImpact is synonymous with state-of-the-art in shipbuilding when it comes to fluid mechanics, highly efficient energy technologies, and sustainability. Our yacht concept avoids noise and CO2 emissions and is therefore an important step towards electric mobility in the maritime sector." - comments Werner Vögeli, CEO of SolarImpact Yacht AG.<iframe width="1260" height="709" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wP3Ye1ee70c" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>This new yacht is a game-changer, not just in terms of its solar propulsion and design. Two aspects that have prevented a pleasant stay on board in the past have also been addressed: rough seas and high noise levels. The innovative solar yacht glides almost silently and without swaying - even over waves several metres high. The hull technology is based on the SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) construction principle.This achieves a physical shaft decoupling that reduces the rolling and heeling of the yacht by up to 90 percent. the hull lies calmly in the water even in strong swells, putting an end to the annoying swaying motion of the boat. But SolarImpact has recognised that the principle offers yet another invaluable advantage: it significantly reduces energy consumption. All systems on board can use the sun as their primary energy source. The yacht‘s solar drive is not only environmentally friendly, but also extremely quiet.Not only is the solar yacht almost self-sufficient in terms of energy, but with a top speed of over 20 knots it is also exceptionally fast. This is due to the technical components used, which collectively ensure the yacht‘s high overall efficiency and are optimally controlled using artificial intelligence (AI). All key systems are highly automated, so that a single person can even manoeuvre the yacht."However, the technology is not in the foreground: our customers can expect a product that sets new standards in terms of user-friendliness, comfort and convenience, and individual freedom. For instance, our yacht also caters to people’s increasing desire to move their centre of life permanently onto the water. The yacht concept we‘re presenting takes an important step towards maritime e-mobility by avoiding noise and CO2 emissions. We also see this as a special incentive for investors, who not only invest in a promising emerging technology, but also, by purchasing the yacht, pay into an environmental fund that serves to preserve and rebuild the environment for the future." -comments Werner Vögeli, CEO of SolarImpact Yacht AG.The interiors of the Solaryacht were designed for long stays on board with luxurious living areas and spacious cabins. It is especially dedicated to people who know comfort on long journeys and love sophisticated aesthetics. That excellent balance of shapes and the elegance of design make the SolarImpact Yacht an exceptional residence with a view of the sea. On deck you enjoy your own oasis to the sun and an environment where you can relax and unwind in complete peace. The SolarImpact is a yacht for cruisers who want to travel further without sacrificing comfort, elegance and the latest technology, whose goal is the actual experience of the journey itself. The large windows offer unparalleled views and incredible brightness in every area. The interiors are designed to pamper owner and guests with maximum comfort. Light flows into the large open living room, which combines modern taste with a warm and cosy style. After an day out at sea, the skipper's suite and the guest cabins offer a maximum of comfort and a pleasant peace and quiet. The interior presents only one variant. The equipment is adapted according to the customer's wishes. You can glide the yacht anywhere - without a single drop of fuel! Thanks to absolutely free solar energy, the SolarImpact Yacht has an unlimited range. Just enjoy the quiet and solar-powered journey.The SolarImpact Yacht is a ship with an exceptional feeling of airiness, wide and spacious corridors and a special crew area that promises passengers maximum privacy. It also offers technical extras for further travel and unique comfort for journeys to the horizon and beyond. The flybridge is an inviting open-air living room where you can spend hours in the sun.and spend it in the light. The view is fantastic and while you are watching the sea, all your dreams can come true.To ensure the perfect functioning of all systems, the required energy quantity of the solar system should be up to 500 kilowatt hours per day. How much energy can the solar system generate? This depends primarily on the geographical location of your yacht and the current weather conditions. The number of daylight hours and the intensity of sunlight are the most important factors. However, the solar system could produce more than enough energy in the world's most popular sailing areas. The yacht is equipped with a real-time energy monitoring system so that the owner can monitor and make optimum use of energy consumption at all times. Under optimal environmental conditions, the solar system generates up to 320 kWh of electricity (32KW/h peak => 10h), which charges the energy store or drives the yacht.
Top largest yachts at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2018
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the "Yachting Capital of the World" will host the 59th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on October 31- Nov 4, 2018. The show exhibits range from yacht builders and designers to exotic cars and brokerage yachts. Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show program will showcase the latest vessels, technical innovations, and performance reviews, as well as highlight the wide array of lifestyle amenities, likeunparalleled hospitality, dining, and shopping options in the area. Additionally, a Best of Show trophy created by renowned industrial designer, Derek Jenkins, will be presented to the most innovative new model design on display. Top largest yachts attending FLIBS 2018 : 1. Areti (85m)2. Elandess (75m) 3. Party Girl (63m) 4. Utopia IV (62m)5. Excellence V (60m)6. Elysian (60m) 7. Minderella (59m)8. Lady Sheridan (58m)9. Power Play (56m) 10. Lady Michelle (55m)A wide variety of boats will be on display including runabouts, sportfishers, high performance boats, center consoles, cabin cruisers, flats boats, skiffs, express cruisers, sailing yachts, motor yachts, bowriders, catamarans, ski boats, jet boats, trawlers, inflatables, canoes, and extraordinary superyachts. This is exactly where you want to be.