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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Listed for sale by Peter Thompson at Thompson, Westwood & White, the buyer in the deal was introduced by Superyacht Sales& Charter. "Spectre" was asking €65,000,000."Spectre" is a 69-meter Full Custom Mega Yacht with a steel hull and an aluminium superstructure on five decks. The name pays tribute once again to James Bond after “Quantum of Solace” and “Diamonds Are Forever”. It’s first owner John Staluppi fell in love with the leading character in the series of films inspired by the novels of Ian Fleming.This original superyacht was developed around the latest marine technologies and combining different styles and philosophies of interior decoration. References to Art Nouveau in France mixed with modern details designed by Giorgio M. Cassetta. He said that he was very fond and proud of this project. As it was the perfect example of the ideas of the owner and the shipyard. John and Jeanette Staluppi, with their outstanding energy, pulled us together on to imagine and develop with everything that could be desired on a boat this size.The style of the interiors, created by Benetti’s Interior Style Department, feel of some French hotels and boutiques, standing out from Staluppi’s previous yachts in a more classical way. For example, the floor in the main lounge draws inspiration from the Art Nouveau style flooring in a Paris resort, with symmetrical forms and clean-cut geometrical patterns. Other references to French taste are the windows, a reminiscent of Paris’ typical Art Nouveau shops.The megayacht features with a swimming pool and touch and go helipad. Accommodating 12 guests in unforgettable comfort, the layout has two owner’s cabins: one has a private terrace, a sun lounging area and a hydromassage tub; two VIP cabins on the Main Deck and two guest cabins on the lower deck.Benetti’s most advanced construction technologies is the Ride Control technology by Naiad Dynamics - the system significantly increases stability during navigation and improves comfort on board with the help of four stabilising fins and three vertically-adjustable blades.The lines of the hi speed cruising hull by Dutch firm Mulder Design, deliver maximum navigation efficiency, with a range of 6,500 nautical miles at 12 knots and a top speed of 21.2 knots, which is 30% more than a traditional displacement hull.A seven Full Custom yachts planned in 2018/2019, including 3 giga yachts over 100 meters each, now are building in parallel at the Benetti’s Livorno shipyard.
February 20, 2019
Italian builder Codecasa has launched a 43-metre Project 122, the latest superyacht in their Vintage series featuring a 43 meter hull. The yacht was initially launched in summer 2018 at the company’s Viareggio facility, and is to be delivered to her owner in May 2019, after sea trials.The yacht with a beam of 9 metres and a maximum draft of 2,6 metres attributes a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. Engined by two Caterpillar 3512C of 1,650 HP, she reaches her maximum speed at 16,5 knots. At the same time, with a comfortable cruising speed of 11 knots, she boasts a cruising range of 4,000 nautical miles thanks to her fuel capacity of 65,000 litres.Project 122’ interior design concept was developed by the Codecasa team. The concept implements a combination of elegance and modernity, with predominance of light and neutral colours applied to natural materials.The yacht’s accommodation capacity amounts to ten guests within 5 cabins, including the owner’s full-beam suite. The latter is located on the main deck, featuring two en-suites. As to the staff, there is accommodation space for up to 9 crew members on-board.In contrast to previous 42-metre versions, Project 122 boasts a Sun Deck Jacuzzi and a Captain’s Cabin situated on the upper deck. The yacht’s on-board tender storage holds a Zodiac rescue boat and a Castoldi 21 jet tender. Codecasa is planning to display the yacht at the upcoming Versilia Yachting Rendez-Vous, held in Viareggio in May. Meanwhile, the company's yard is busy constructing two more vessels, a 55-metre and a 65-metre projects to be finished later this year.
February 19, 2019
During the recent Miami International Boat Show 2019, a new product from the series of collaborations between Mercedes-AMG and Miami builder Cigarette Racing Team was released. This year’s model was inspired by Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Coupe, featuring the same colour patterns and design motifs.This 12,5-metre racing boat has been christened 41 AMG Carbon Edition. One of her most significant features is carbon-fibre construction developed by Cigarette engineers in order to resonate with Mercedes model. It is evident, that Carbon fibre becomes a new trend among fast boats structure materials, for instance, as it is in the latest Pershing 8X. Still, the constructors claim, their new model is one of a few boats of that kind, where carbon is used as not complementary but major constructing material.Cigarette Racing Team’s president Skip Braver emphasises that from his point of view there are not so many differences between cars and boats. “Just as they did with the car, we lightened the boat without sacrificing performance. We modified the design by lowering the centre of gravity and used carbon fibre across the whole boat,” he said.The innovations introduced in hull construction enabled the builders to make the new boat 227 kg lighter than previous 50 Marauder AMG powerboat built in collaboration. 41 AMG Carbon Edition lays on sandwich construction with carbon-fiber structural layers around the boat’s lightweight hull. The deck and hardtop are also made of carbon fibre.Daimler AG and Cigarette work together on design concepts of all AMG boats. This year’s edition transmits the colour patterns of Mercedes saloon, easily recognisable in the boat cabin, with a prevalence of red and black. It is noticeable, that normally dark colours, especially black, are avoided in boat upholstery design, as they easily get hot in the sun. Within this boat, the dark colours can be used due to upholstery materials featuring cooling ability, that can decrease heat up to 30 percent.AMG 41 is equipped with Mercury Racing 400R engine of 1,600 horses. Thus, the boat is capable of reaching her maximum speed of 72 knots with 8 passengers on-board. Meanwhile, she cruises comfortably at around 55 knots with a maximum capacity of 20 passengers. Due to carbon materials used in the construction, a hull becomes firmer, lowering the boat’s flexibility and the “feeling of ship motions” even at the highest speed.Hull construction for such models normally takes about 8 months, including 2 months set aside for painting. Hand-stitched upholstering also takes more than a month. During the process, the project goes through multiple approval stages, so that it would finally satisfy both parties involved in the process.According to Braver, the two brands have already started working on their next joint project. “It feels like mutual admiration and when we hear them talking, it seems like they feel the same. It’s an honor to be partnering with them,” he concludes.
February 19, 2019
Italian builder CRN has recently announced sale of their new project, a 60-metre superyacht with custom aluminium hull yet assigned to number 141. She is going to become the newest project produced from CRN’s partnership with Nuvolari & Lenard design studio, that has been lasting for more than 50 years.CRN Ancona facilityThe design of the model was developed by the yard’s technicians, while interior and exterior concepts were finalised by the studio. Thus, CRN Project 141 is conceived to feature advanced high-tech solutions and dynamic lines in design concept. The new vessel will be built at CRN’s Livorno facility. She is scheduled for delivery to the owner in 2023. Further details and renderings of the project will be released as soon as they become available.CRN Ancona facilityCRN, being a part of the Ferretti Group, specialises in design and construction of fully custom aluminium and steel yachts with LOA of up to 100 metres. The company’s Ancona facility, where all the CRN megayachts have been built, occupies almost 80,000 square metres. At the moment, the yard is busy building four fully custom CRN yachts, including recently sold 70-metre CRN 139 yacht devised by Vallicelli Design. At the same time, 18 custom line models of 30 to 42 metres in length, two 50-metre Riva and two Pershing 140 units are currently being constructed at the yard.
February 18, 2019
Italian yacht builder Viareggio Super Yachts (VSY) has released new renderings of their 63,8-metre superyacht Project 003, currently being under construction at the company’s facility in Viareggio. The vessel sold in 2016 is now going through final constructing processes, while the delivery first planned for September 2018, has been rescheduled to the beginning of 2019.The yacht’s exterior design has been developed by Espin Oeino. With a beam of 11 metres and a draft of 3,15 metres, Project 003 features total 915 square metres of guest areas. Within that space, she offers accommodation to up to 12 guests, with the staff of up to 16 members on-board. There are six cabins, including the master suite with panoramic views and outdoor terraces.Interior design concept was commissioned to Darnet Design studio based in France. The design was inspired by the owner’s previous yacht, with the focus put on spacious rooms and warm colours, visible in leather panels and polished marble. Key interior motif is implemented in decorative steel and nickel panels resembling coral reefs, that will reflect the owner’s passion for scuba diving. Furthermore, Project 003 is equipped with on-board diving centre for 12 people at a lower deck. At the same time, the sundeck will be equipped with bar area, infinity pool and fire pit.Project 003 will be powered by a pair of 2,682 HP Caterpillar 3516B engines. Thus, she will reach her maximum speed at 17 knots, and cruise with a range of 5,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. The naval architecture by Laurent Giles studio is featured with bulbous bow, for better seakeeping under rough weather conditions.Although this yacht is named Project 003, it is in fact the fourth VSY superyacht. However, number 3 represents the conceived evolution of similar models Candyscape II and Roma. At the moment, the yard is also busy working with Siemens and Lloyd’s Register on hydrogen fuel cells technology for their 65-metre project Waterecho.
February 18, 2019