Superyachts are fascinating creations destined to the world's highest net worth individuals, and for that reason alone the space has always drawn interest from the mainstream public. Yet, many surprising events in yachting are often overlooked even by most knowledgeable experts. Yacht Harbour looks at yacht trivia you should really know.

#1 Donald Trump used to own Amels



Back before he became US President, Donald Trump was a prolific billionaire most known in yachting for his 86-meter Trump Princess, which he bought from Adnan Khashoggi in 1988 for $28 million.

"Khashoggi probably spent $200 million building this yacht, probably the best yacht ever built." Trump then commented in the media.  "I purchased it for a business. I use it for my hotels. I use it for a lot of different charities."

Following the purchase, Trump spent near $10 million at Amels to refit the yacht according to the LA Times. In June 1989, he announced he would build the world's largest yacht, 'something in excess of 400 feet long', for which he was accepting bids from shipyards. Amels, then owned by a group of 4 British investors, won that bid to build a 128-meter Trump Princess II.



This project, in part, led to financial problems for Amels, a significantly smaller shipyard then. A year later, Trump then acquired Amels, shortly after canceling the construction of Trump Princess II, as was announced in 1990. In September of that year, he sold Amels to American businessman, Peter Kutell due to financial problems according to Dessert News. For nearly half a year, however, Trump essentially Amels.

#2 Business Insider thought a $4.8 billion yacht was sold in Asia



In the summer of 2011, Stuart Hughes, a UK-based designer, claimed he had been commissioned for the world's most expensive yacht, the 100ft History Supreme. Hughes claimed on his website that the yacht was bought by a Malaysian businessman for £3 billion. 100,000 kilograms of solid gold and platinum were supposed to be used for this project in addition to railings and anchor made of precious metals.

With such a reported price, the story spread like wildfire across national media based on Hughes' statement. Italy-based, Baia Yachts however later came forward with a statement saying that the story was fake and that Hughes had taken pictures from their website, which he then tried to pass off as his own concept.

#3 A Broker Pretended He Sold A 222-meter yacht



In October 2014, the yachting community was baffled to read in mainstream media about 222m Triple Deuce, a project supposedly sold by 4Yacht. Not only was the length of the superyacht baffling but the wording of the press release was also off-putting. The project, for which the designers were never announced, was supposed to have an "agressive" delivery schedule and to supposedly be handed over to the client in 2018.

With us now in 2019, it is clear no signs of such a project were never real, as Yacht Harbour first reported in 2016. CNN and many other mainstream media were, however, quick to publish that the world's largest yacht was now Triple Deuce.

#4 An owner's captain asked for a €3 million commission to help broker a deal



In early 2004, the late Boris Berezovsky set out to build a 110-meter yacht at Lurssen to be called Darius, at a price of €148,540,000 plus interior fitting costs. As the economic crisis hit, he was unable to pay the seventh tranche in May 2008 and decided to put the yacht up for sale for €300 million as it was a few months away from delivery.

Eventually, the listing agent, through a second broker found a pathway to a serious potential client via his captain. To bring the deal forward to his employer, the captain asked for a €3 million commission as was later shown in court fillings. Eventually a deal closed directly between the buyer and the seller for €240 million.


#5 The world's largest yacht will be used to carry scientists



Brain child of Norwegian Billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke, the 182.9-meter REV will become the world's largest superyacht. Instead of being simply a luxurious vessel, however, its owner intends to let WWF operate it as a base for scientists to help research and protect the oceans. "The REV will be a platform for gathering knowledge." Rokke explained.

"There may not be any economic rationale for the private construction of such a ship, but the case is compelling from the ocean's point of view." Rokke detailed.

When not used for research, REV will also engage in traditional charter activity for ultra high net worth individuals on a weekly basis, with the ability to carry up to 36 guests and a crew of 54 under that configuration.


#6 All of the top yacht shows are owned by the same conglomerate



Initially founded in the 1990s by Maurice Cohen, the Monaco Yacht Show used to be a much smaller event than it is today. In 1994, the rights to it were acquired by show management company IRR, which organised at the time the much larger Superyacht de Nice show. Ultimately, IRR itself was acquired by Informa, along with the MYS.

With a market cap of near $5 billion, Informa now often highlights the Monaco Yacht Show as one of its most well known events. In 2017, it tightened its grasp on the yacht show market by acquiring the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, the Palm Beach Boat Show and 3 others in the US for $133 million. Now all major yachting shows are owned by Informa.

#7 A Broker Pretended to have sold a 405ft yacht on Ebay


4Yacht, the same brokerage company that claimed years later it had sold a 222-meter yacht, draws its publicity stunt roots much deeper. In 2005, as research by Yacht Harbour, found the company had already announced it had listed a 405ft yacht on Ebay, a novel approach at the time.

A year later, however, the broker claimed the yacht was sold on eBay via the "Buy Now" button with the buyer paying a 50% deposit for $85 million, yielding a total sales price of $170 million. When Forbes looked into whether the sale was real, no information was found. More than a decade later, this yacht still doesn't exist. 

Latest News

Privacy on-board: how to protect your superyacht from paparazzi
Security matters and finding ways to protect their assets, crew, and guests from such dangers as pirates or paparazzi, have been in focus of the yacht owners for years. Security systems deployed onboard normally depend on the owner’s profile, the assets in question and the locations a system would be operating. Increasingly, the owners order security systems that can automatically monitor, detect, track, classify and alert operators to approaching objects in the proximity of a yacht. There are some technical devices, normally deployed for better protection.When it comes to paparazzi, one of the most helpful device would be anti-drone protection. Such equipment would detect and identify commercial drones within a 20+km range, providing GPS positioning of both drone & pilot together with the drone’s speed and heading. When a real drone has been detected, the system enables creation of a 500 metre plus electronic ‘exclusion zone’ around the yacht. Once the drone approaches this zone, its control/video signals would be blocked, forcing it to land or return to operator. One of the most popular examples of anti paparazzi protection on a superyacht, is Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich chosing to install a special shield system against paparazzi on his 162.5-metre Blohm+Voss superyacht Eclipse, built in 2010.According to The Times, the device is capable of fixing the activity of the photosensitive elements on digital cameras, and disables them with a direct laser beam. The system works under both automatic and manual modes.The fourth in his private fleet, Eclipse was famously built for Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich and the owner of Chelsea football club, as the largest yacht in the world (at that moment), a title that she held until the delivery of the 180-metre Azzam in 2013.M/Y EclipseEclipse also comes fitted with an underwater mini-boat and two helipads in case of emergencies. The initial price of the yacht was rumoured to amount to € 350 million, but additional equipment might have increased her value to € 800 million.According to Forbes interview with Johannes Pinl of superyacht privacy and protection company MARSS, nowadays onboard CCTV, access control (door locking systems) and deck mounted pressure sensors likely to ‘form the basis of most standard superyacht security packages.’These will be connected over an onboard network and managed from the bridge or a central control security room. Long-range daylight and thermal imaging cameras can have a dual function for both navigation and security use cases. Such cameras can be equivalent to military specification and are mounted on the mast to provide a long distance visual capability around a vessel.He also stresses out that the key important thing is ensuring awareness among the crew to increase reaction time and make better decisions based on a clear assessment of a situation.Meanwhile, one of the recent security devices installed by MARSS on a 100-metre plus superyacht, was NiDAR 360° degree surveillance system integrating multiple sensors to provide automated monitoring, detection, tracking and classification of objects in the vicinity of a vessel.Operating autonomously at 24/7, NiDAR tracks both known and unknown surface and air objects. Smart software algorithms automatically analyse and rank threats, triggering alerts to notify crew and security personnel as required.
Chanel launches J12 Yacht Club in New York
French high fashion house Chanel has launched its own yacht club at Shelter Island, New York. The space was arranged to celebrate the 20th anniversary of iconic J12 watch by Chanel, whose original design had been inspired by the J-Class racing yachts.Photo: Dave Kotinsky/WireImageThe area lays within a famous Sunset Beach Hotel on Long Island owned by a real estate mogul André Balazs, along with The Chiltern Firehouse in London, Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, and The Standard hotel chain. Photo: Sam FrostThe press release states:The J 12 Yacht Club reflects a modern-day interpretation of a yacht club, as only Chanel could imagine it. From the shores of Shelter Island Sound, visitors will be immersed in Chanel's take on island living, complete with customised umbrellas, coolers, surf boards, badminton and ping pong.The area also comes fitted with a stylish games room featuring a selection of classic board games. The brand has also taken over the Sunset Beach boutique, creating a one-of-a-kind space for guests to discover the new J 12 collection. The yacht club was open to public from July 17 to July 21, 2019, while July 20 saw the celebration of the J 12's 20th anniversary with fashion celebrities on the guest list and a performance by a superstar musician Billie Eilish.Photo: Sam FrostThe high-fashion conglomerate Chanel S.A. is one of the most influential and commercially successful fashion houses in the world. With the brand value estimated at $ 9 billions, Chanel is ranked #79 in the list of World's Most Valuable Brands 2019 (Forbes). The company is privately owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of Coco Chanel.
88m superyacht Project Lotus revealed by Royal Huisman
Dutch builder Royal Huisman has revealed its latest superyacht concept ahead of Monaco Yacht Show 2019. The 88-metre sailing superyacht Project Lotus is conceived as a twin-mast Dyna-Rig vessel.The project features design by British ThirtyC Design, along with naval architecture by Dykstra Naval Architects, based in Holland.Project Lotus will be highlighted through complete customisation, open spaces, reduced complexity in terms of both rigging and crew as well as an engineering package that fits both luxury and agility on the water.More information on the project shall be expected at the start of the Monaco Yacht Show 2019, where some of the largest premieres of 2019 have already been confirmed for participation.In the meantime, the builder is busy constructing the 55-metre superyacht project Phi at Vollenhove facility.
Benetti delivers Fast 125 Series Bangadang with Rolls-Royce propulsion
Italian leading yacht builder Benetti has delivered the eighth hull in Benetti's Fast 125 Series, Project BF108, or Bangdang.The project has been overseen by Jim Evans, Managing Director of SuperYachtsMonaco. Bangdang features dynamic exterior profile with clean sporty lines by Benetti’s long-term collaborator Stefano Righini.The 38.1-metre yacht’s standout features will comprise a large sun deck with a spa pool surrounded by sunpads, a vast beach club venue with a bar area and multiple outdoor areas for dining and socialising in the sunshine.The interiors of Bangdang were developed from the boards od British design studio RWD, bringing modern minimalistic profile based on their contemporary Air theme, also complimented by light eucalyptus and bay wood throughout.Spacious and open, Bangdang will be able to house up to 11 guests across 4 cabins including and a full-beam master suite on the main deck, along with accommodation for a 7-person crew on the lower deck.One of the model’s trademarks, the state-of-the-art propulsion system with steerable carbon thrusters, was developed in collaboration with Rolls-Royce. The Azipull C65 system improves manoeuvrability whilst reducing fuel consumption for smooth and efficient sailing.Thus, Bangdang is a high-performance yacht, propelled by twin 2636hp MTU 12V2000 M96L engines to a top speed of 24 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots under range of 1,750 nautical miles.
Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal orders Sunreef 80 Power yacht
A renowned tennis player Rafael Nadal ranked 2nd in the men's singles rating, has commissioned an 80 Sunreef Power catamaran with Polish multihull specialist Sunreef Yachts. It has been earlier rumoured in the press, that Nadal has put on sale his 23.5-metre MCY 76 Beethoven asking £2.3million.While Nadal’s fully customised vessel is due for 2020 delivery, the first unit in the range will debut at Cannes Yachting Festival 2019.The model’s distinctive features comprise stainless steel portlights, high bulwarks and subtle ambient lighting. She comes equipped with a garage for a tender and Jet Ski, as well as numerous other water toys.The vessel comes with a number of options for the upper deck, including a waterfall-fed spa pool, upper helm position, bar area and retractable hard-top.The 23.5-metre provides accommodation for up to 12 guests and four crew members. Her power options can be chosen from either twin 575hp engines or twin 1,200 hp engines.Nadal commissioned the yacht after chartering a number of Sunreef catamarans and meeting yard founder and president Francis Lapp at last year’s Cannes Yachting Festival. Rafael Nadal expressed himself: As someone from an island as I am, the sea is part of our lives and it’s not a secret that I love the sea. Every time I am at home in Mallorca I try to go out and find that time where I can just enjoy my time on a boat. I am very happy to be on board of this Sunreef Yachts family.With 82 titles overall including 18 Grand Slam victories as well as a record 34 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles, Rafael Nadal is one of the world’s most renowned and highest-paid athletes. The 3rd all-time leading tennis player in terms of earnings, Rafael Nadal earned $35 million in 2019 only, according to Forbes.