Few events have ever affected yachting as much as the sinking of the 60 meter Yogi. The largest yacht to ever sink, its wreck strongly hit the Turkish shipbuilding sector and made owners take a hard look at their insurances and dangers, even though no one was hurt. Despite the accident, Yogi was no less of an exceptional yacht.
Yogi was the largest yacht ever built by up and coming Turkish shipyard, Proteksan Turquoise at the time of her delivery in 2011. Reminiscent of an explorer style yacht through her design by Jean Guy Verges, Yogi featured oversized portholes in her hull that brought in tons of flight into the yacht's cabins.
Built for Stephane Courbit, a French media and TV millionaire valued at €450 million, Yogi was built to be operated as a charter yacht part of its hotel collection. Maximizing space, the yacht had many amenities for her size including a swimming pool, beach club, wellness center and media room.
Yet, on February 17th 2012, just as the yacht was days out of leaving the yard where it was undergoing warrantied maintenance work, it sank in the Aegean sea. The weather was particularly difficult during that day and yet it seems to be an engine failure that, tied to a number of circumstantial events, led to the 60-meter yacht sinking to the bottom of the Mediterranean.
The report did, however, clear Proteksan in the quality of its build, focusing on what was a mixture of human oversight and extreme conditions. A Turkish investigations arrived at similar conclusions. Manned by a skeleton crew of 8 during this voyage, it took an hour to evacuate by helicopter the yacht's crew as seas at their peek featured waves of up to 7 meters.
The largest yacht to have ever cruised with the French flag, Yogi was part of Courbit's Lov Collection, a holding company that includes the Les Airelles palace in Courchevel as well as the Pan Dei hotel in St Tropez. Built with charter in mind to its existing and new clientele, the yacht commanded prices of up to €378,000 per week and featured 800 square meter of interior space in a particularly luxurious interior.
A key element in Yogi's design was her large pool with overflow that sat aft of the yacht's main deck, directly on top of its beach club. In the middle of the pool was a glass porthole that flooded the area underneath with light. All around the pool were lounging pads for Yogi's guest to take in the sun when the yacht was anchored off in a bay.
To complement the swimming pool aft of the main deck, a Jacuzzi was also placed aft of the sundeck, for guests that wanted to enjoy the sun in a hot tub. Also surrounded by sunpads, these feature a common beige design throughout the yacht with colored pillows. Same can be said for the customizable lounging area aft of the upper deck.
On the inside, Yogi was reminiscent of Courbit's luxurious hotels. Featuring a beige and creme tone throughout the yacht, the 60-meter was fitted with floor to ceiling windows that visually increased the size of its 800 square meters of interior space. Its main salon was structured into a lounging area and a TV sector with a wide screen built into the wall.
Stretching across the full beam of the yacht, Yogi's master bedroom was no less spectacular with both lots of light and space. A king sized bed throned in the middle of the suite with access through a central corridor to a dressing room and his and hers bathrooms.
The yacht's guest accommodation didn't also pale in comparison with the owner's stateroom. Finished in the same style, the double and twin guest cabins could be connected or separated through double sliding doors. In total, Yogi could accommodate a total of 12 guests across 6 cabins.
Tall windows could be found throughout the yacht and were a real differentiating factor from competition on the market for Yogi. 'The idea was to have a yacht that could be chartered and run just like a resort.' detailed its designer, Jean Guy Verges in a later interview. 'She has been designed to the specific request of her owner. I think this jewel offered more than you would expect of a yacht her size.'
Another interesting amenity of Yogi was her observational lounge up on the sun deck. Finished throughout in glass, the area boasted a 180 degree view into the yacht's surroundings through a climate controlled environment. Equipped with custom furniture from the likes of Hermes, this media lounge separated the sun deck into a Jacuzzi and a raised dinning area.
Down on the upper deck, which also featured a covered dinning room, guests would find an extensive lounging pad with tiles that could be raised or flattened to create lounging chairs or sun beds. Connected to iPods and iPhones, which in 2011 was still rare, Yogi featured an advanced system for her time with TVs that slid out even in front of lounging pads.
Viewed by many as a step forward for the Turkish yacht building sector and as an endorsement of their quality, when Yogi sank, the whole country took a hit. By 2011, yacht owners and charters had started outgrowing the stigma of building in Turkey and the market was picking up for local builders. In fact Yogi was the largest yacht ever built by Proteksan.
Yogi's delivery was followed weeks after by their newest flagship, a 70.5-meter reminiscent of a Dutch-build quality, Talisman C. Shortly after it followed the 72-meter Vicky and it looked like Turkey would emerge as a yacht building destination. This all ended when Yogi sank in February 2012 and owners' stigma towards Turkey developed once again.
Although some Turkish shipyards continued to prosper, many faded down their ambitions in a global recession. This ultimately culminated with the acquisition of Proteksan Turquoise by Dutch-based Oceanco. Backed by billionaire investor Mohammed Al Barwani, the Dutch superyacht builder since set out on a mission to make the yard competitive and got an order for a 77-meter yacht now under build.
Having initially started his career in television in the 1990s, Stephane Courbit where he built a reputation, eventually starting his own production company behind hits such as Miss France. Eventually acquired by Dutch holding Endemol, Courbit exited from the company in 2001.
His LOV Group currently includes companies in the audiovisual space with several production companies behind some of France's most popular game shows. Other investments include several betting sites, which he started in acquiring in 2007. One of his fastest growing divisions has now becomes the Airelles collection of hotels.
After investing nearly $200 million into the purchase and renovation of the five star Courchevel palace, Les Airelles, Courbit acquired the Pan Dei Palace in St Tropez. His hotel portfolio then grew with the Bastide de Gordes in 2014. Two more Airelles hotels are set to open in the next two years, one in Versailles and one in Val d'Isiere.
Italian yacht builder Benetti has announced the sale of the first 40-metre superyacht Oasis BO101 to a former world champion and offshore powerboat racer Tim Ciasulli from the USA, represented by Merle Wood & Associates.The yacht with a fibreglass hull and superstructure and a gross tonnage of 385 tonnes, is already being outfitted at the Livorno facility, planned for completion in summer 2020. The assembly has already been completed of the hull and superstructure, with outfitting began on July 26.BO101 is going to be the first Oasis 40M, a 40.80-metre yacht with a maximum beam of 8.5 metres, a draft of 2.14 metres and a gross tonnage of 385 tonnes. Oasis 40M is a fruit of collaboration between Benetti and UK-based design studio RWD, working in liaison with Bonetti/Kozerski Architecture, a New York-based firm commissioned to design the interiors. Tim Ciasulli, who himself holds 4 World Speed Records, expressed:I’ve been going fast my whole life. So when it came time to build a yacht, I wanted to collaborate with a shipyard that shared the same core values that my wife and I believe in: integrity, passion and accountability! <…> We expeditiously negotiated a great deal, and in just two meetings, nailed down the equipment, interior decor and colours…just the way we wanted!On-board Oasis 40M, the owner and his guests will enjoy wide, welcoming spaces characterised by a design that is both smart and sophisticated. The high ceilings, the special arrangement of the indoor and outdoor spaces, and the extensive glazed surfaces all contribute to this yacht’s spectacular appearance, while the unusual layout features lateral stern platforms that can be open out with great ease to facilitate access to the sea and an extended beach area, complete with an infinity pool practically at water level.The designers strived to eliminate the barriers between indoor and outdoor spaces, creating a unique setting akin to a loft on the water. Enrico Bonetti, architect and partner of Dominic Kozerski with Bonetti/Kozerski Architecture explains:On this yacht, we wanted the settings to have an unprecedented fluidity, which is why identical materials and colours are used for both the interiors and exteriors, giving a sense of apparent informality to what is in fact an extremely elegant and sophisticated yacht.The sale marks another success for Benetti in the Americas where, after the recent sales of FB278 67-metre custom build 'Project Fenestra', multiple award-winning 69-metre 'Spectre' and 49-metre custom yacht 'Eladrea+', the brand continues to forge ahead.Noteworthy, while the first Oasis 40M’s fiberglass hull arrived for the start of outfitting operations at Benetti’s Livorno shipyard on July 26, the owner of Giga yacht FB275, who is according to media sources an Australian billionaire and casino mogul James Packer, set sail on his 108-metre gigayacht in a perfectly synchronised handover.
August 21, 2019
The world's largest superyacht's construction is going under a tight schedule at the VARD shipyard in Tulcea, Romania. The 181-metre explorer REV will hit the water in Tulcea on August 22 for the first time, then within approximately 30 days being towed to the Brattvåg shipyard on the west coast of Norway for more construction work.REV has been commissioned by Norwegian ocean research company Rosellinis Four-10, owned by Norwegian industrialist billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke. His real-time net worth is estimated at $3.2 billion (Forbes).Built for environmental research missions in partnership with WWF Norway, the Research Expedition Vessel (REV) will also be available for charter for recreational purposes and expeditions. She will be able to accommodate up to 60 scientists and 30 crew during research expeditions once finished.REV is cincidered a significant project for all Norwegians, as Norway is one of a world-leading maritime nations and has the opportunitiy of taking on a global leadership role for exploring and taking care of the ocean. The Prime Minister of Norway supports the vision that ‘oceans are under pressure due to climate change, overfishing and waste pollution. To ensure the future growth of the ocean economy, we need to harvest resources in a sustainable way’.Designed to operate in remote and vulnerable waters for long periods without additional external support, the ship will be equipped for research and investigation of the entire marine ecosystem. The superyacht disposes of a range of equipment designed to explore, document and collect. She will also qualify for the Polar Code adopted by The International Maritime Organisation for ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic conditions and can operate autonomously for 114 days. Thought-out by acclaimed desiner Espen Eino, REV is tailored for research and expedition activities. Her robust exterior lines and modern features ensure she is able to cruise in arctic and tropical areas alike, with a hull built to ICE PC6 for navigation in ice. Two helipads can host drones and helicopter, while overhead cranes can lift and launch equipment weighing up to 20T over the side. Her drop keels enable echo sounders and sonars to be placed in undisturbed water below the hull for research of the world’s ecosystems, and built into her stern is a trawl hangar and pelagic trawling system.Built to the highest standards for both expeditions and recreational purposes the ship includes such features as a hospital with a medic cabin, High-tech equipment to monitor and survey marine areas, currents, the seabed, fish and plant life, while cutting-edge laboratory facilities enable on board analysis. There will be an auditorium for lectures, and the capacity for live streaming, also a Moonpool, an eco-harvesting system for live catch and release of biomass and pelagic samples, and an underwater hydrophone system for listening to ocean mammals.The giant vessel is scheduled for delivery in early 2021, aimed to surpass the current largest superyacht in the world in terms of LOA, the 180.6-metre Azzam. The official website reports, that REV is completed to 42.5 percent at the moment.
August 20, 2019
OceanX, ocean exploration initiative founded by billionaire philanthropist Ray Dalio, has launched a vote for the name of their newest explorer superyacht, the 85.3-metre Alucia 2. The explorer previously known as Volstad Surveyor and built in 2010 by Freire Shipyard is currently being rebuilt in Rotterdam. The superyacht will operate as a marine research vessel platform and continue the revolutionary work currently being done by Alucia, her older and smaller predecessor. Equipped with two manned subs that can take researchers 1,000 metres deep, a fleet of support ships, an on-board helicopter, and fully equipped science labs, Alucia can bring back fantastic discoveries.Meanwhile, Alucia2 has been commissioned by Ray Dalio who together with OceanX aims to further explore the secrets of the ocean together with director James Cameron and BBC’s Blue Planet. The design concept was created by Gresham Yacht Design.Steve Gresham, founder and principal designer at Gresham Yacht Design, said earlier:We are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting and unique project. These types of projects are rare to come by and we are honoured to have been commissioned by the owner to deliver a design that is extremely functional and robust, it is a true explorer vessel.Built by Freire as a deep-sea survey vessel in 2010, Alucia2 is undergoing transformation into a high-tech scientific research vessel, with significant improvements made to enable the OceanX team explore further than ever before.To take on global expeditions, Alucia2 will be fitted with state-of-the-art marine research labs, cutting-edge media equipment, manned and autonomous deep-sea submersibles, helicopters and drones.OceanX will use Alucia2 as a next generation platform to discover 70 per cent of the planet that remains mostly unexplored and share this secret world through carefully executed media centre developed in consultation with filmmaker and ocean explorer James Cameron.The vessel features a 40-ton A-frame at the stern designed specifically to deploy the two submersibles that can dive to depths beyond 3,000 feet for up to eight hours. Underwater discoveries will be analysed in the state-of-the-art dry and wet labs on board, while Alucia 2’s media studio will be able to document and broadcast the ground-breaking discoveries in ultra high-definition around the world.James Cameron stated:With OceanX and Alucia2, we will reignite global passion for and curiosity about the ocean in our global, digitally-connected age.Once delivered, Alucia2 will replace the 55.7-metre Alucia, which is currently for sale through Fraser for $19,750,000. In the meantime, American residents are invited to select from a list of six names and vote for the explorer’s name. The list comprises the names Oceanus, Neptune, OceanXplorer, Audacious etc.The vote is set to be a part of promotional campaign ahead of the release of a new six-part ocean documentary series. The series will premiere in the USA on September 2, bringing together an all-star team including National Geographic, BBC Studios and James Cameron along with Dalio Philanthropies’ OceanX. y begun a major refit with a delivery expected in early 2019. Once delivered, it will replace the owner’s existing vessel 55.7-metre Alucia, which is currently for sale through Fraser for $19,750,000 and owned by Ray Dalio.
August 20, 2019
Dutch shipyard Icon Yachts has shared new photos of the 68.2-metre explorer superyacht Project Ragnar making progress in Harlingen. The vessel that had been initially built as an icebreaker called Sanaborg, entered the Icon shed in July 2017 for an extreme make-over.Built in 2012 from a steel hull, Sanaborgis is undergoing dramatic refit with interior and exterior styling by British design studio RWD. Her delivery is due later this year.The vessel’s owner is excited about her new style that was inspired by medieval war craftsmanship, combined with modern sleek lines and British heritage. She will be one of the few explorer superyachts with a certified ICE Class A1 super hull. Project Ragnar is LY3 classed with arctic explorer capabilities, full ice breaking functionality with its unique ICE class PC5 rated electric driven ice pods, giving the vessel its range of 6,000 nautical miles meaning she can go to the most remote areas of the planet.The yacht will offer accommodation for up to 16 guests across 8 cabins, including two owner’s suites. During the conversion, several tanks need to be removed and converted into superyacht spa area complete with massage room and snow room. Project Ragnar also has a ski storage for ski gear, a boot room, 1 swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. What is more, the 68-metre conversion project is set to be one of the best-equipped explorer superyachts on the water. At her aft toy storage areas, Ragnar will have options for a Luxury Ripsaw EV2, Eurocopter EC145 helicopter, two 8-metre tenders, a sea explorer submarine, two laser sailing boats on board and much more. Icon Yachts is particularly famous in the yachting world for their refit and conversion projects. Recently, the yard has converted a martime school vessel into a superyacht and relaunched the 1914 vintage yacht Tirrenia II and 60-metre CRN Ramble on Rose after refits.Photos via Icon Yachts
August 19, 2019
Dutch builder Moonen Yachts has declared it has entered into a new ownership, just a month after filing for bankruptcy protection with the Dutch court. The new owners of the yard are an Australian couple, Matthew and Louise Baxter. Matthew, of Scottish origin, is a successful Australian businessman and entrepreneur, who in 1972 established the A M Group, a privately owned worldwide group of manufacturing companies of which he is executive chairman.For several years, Moonen Shipyards was entirely owned by Mexico’s largest steel manufacturer Altos Hornos de México (AHMSA). During that period several yachts were delivered and business ran well at Moonen, thanks to the financial support of AHMSA. The situation changed last May, when Mr. Ancira, the chairman of AMHSA, was arrested on the Spanish island of Mallorca, accused of bribery. Consequentially, AHMSA’s bank accounts got frozen, including the one from Moonen. Some of the accounts were unfrozen after a while, but the money tap for the shipyard remained closed. The lack of financial support to pay wages and settle the required payments on the building of Project YN199 on speculation, led Moonen to declare bankruptcy.The setuation with AMSHA reflected in substantial financial instability of the yard in the past. When in 2015 the steel prices dropped dramatically, Moonen was filed for suspension of payment for a longer period of time. To avoid such an insecure period again, the management of Moonen was already looking for a new investor. In fact, the investor has been found and conversations were at an advanced stage in order to proceed a normal takeover of the shares. Due to the arrest of Mr. Ancira and the loss of cash flow, it was necessary to speed up the process with the intended shareholder, and try to avoid a bankruptcy. However, there was hardly any communication possible with the shareholder and finally Moonen Shipyards was no longer able to meet its obligations towards personnel and suppliers thus bankruptcy followed on the 11th of July.Still, the bankruptcy has cleared the road for the new Moonen in a way, as the proposed investor shared his wish to fully disconnect from AHMSA after the situation occurred last May. What the bankruptsy has relieved the new stakeholders of the responsibility to pay off Moonen’s debts.Louise and Matthew Baxter first discovered Moonen Yachts whilst sailing on Pittwater harbour in Sydney where they came across Moonen 84 Aurora. That lead to their involvement with Moonen.Mr Baxter, who also remains executive chairman of the A M Group, said:It is a privilege to own a yard like Moonen. The brand has an impeccable pedigree, the yachts are true Dutch quality and the team is young, reliable, talented and very loyal to the company. These characteristics are fundamental for success.The shipyard is very honoured and excited with Mr & Mrs. Baxter as their new owners. Moonen’s CEO Johan Dubbelman highlights:We have trust in these new investors and have faith that they will establish a strong future for Moonen Yachts. The 30 to 50 metre market is solid for well-built designs, and our plans are to increase production. Currently we have one, award winning, 36-metre Martinique in build, she’s 50% ready. The focus is to have her on display at the Monaco Yacht Show 2020.The company aims at scaling up production efficiently and starting two new build projects in the upcoming 6 months, he said. Following on with the current build we will start a second 36 metre and a 44 metre, both new and future proof timeless Moonen yachts with interiors designed by the award winning renowned design houses, like Studio Indigo. By building on speculation, delivery times will be shorter and customisation still possible, which is an absolute advantage for our future clients.The yard reports, the majority of the staff and workforce have been reappointed and are enthusiastic to be part of a strong new leadership. To assure continuous high-end quality, Moonen Yachts is going to reinforce the cooperation with long-term strategic partners and subcontractors.
August 19, 2019