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.
Rodriguez Design Studio in collaboration with Spanish shipyard Atollvic has presented a new 55-metre aluminium superyacht concept named Project Saona.The exterior design of Project Saona has been described as sporty yet elegant, featuring a sharp and aggressive bow. The vessel is fitted with an oversized swim platform, beach club and foldable balconies for maximised access to the sea. Dedicated tender storage spacious enough to house a Williams Dieseljet 625 tender and jet skis sits forward of the beach club. The latter is also equipped with a day head and storage for diving equipment.Other features on-board comprise a private owner’s terrace on the upper deck, large sunpads on the main deck and a large saloon flooded with natural light. A Jacuzzi with a sunpad would sit on the foredeck, shaded by carbon fibre awnings.Project Saona would offer accommodation to up to 10 guests across five cabins, including a 60-square-metre master suite. Other cabins lay on the lower deck, with two full-beam VIPs and two doubles.Propelled by two MTU 20V 4000 M93L, the yacht will be capable of a top speed of 22 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles at 12 knots. The studio’s founder Josh Rodriguez believes, that with her draught of only 2.1 metres, Project Soana would come out as an ideal yacht for Bahamas.
June 26, 2019
The first Venice Boat Show took place from June 18 to June 23, proving to be a reference for the world of recreational boating, strong of its dual commercial and cultural nature. The show reportedly received over 27,000 visitors.The objectives of the premises, summarised as “The Naval Art Back to Home”, were achieved. According to the organisers, the atmosphere amazed visitors, with multiple dedicated activities. During the Salone, 43 meetings were held to discuss all aspects of navigation: from the environment to sustainability and yacht design, accompanied by 8 exhibitions on the themes of boating, sea and transport.The Mayor of the city Luigi Brugnaro declared: Venice has returned as the queen of the seas in the widest cultural sense. <…> As a municipal administration, we have already financed the Salone for two more years. The goal we have set, is that the event becomes a fixed appointment and we have already started to collect registrations for the next edition. We want to have the whole supply chain, from small boats to big ones. During the show, the Ferretti Group deployed the Arsenal for the inaugural party of the 50-metre Riva flagship “Race” and for the world premiere of the motoryacht Custom Line 106.In future, the venue aims to respond to the needs of the shipyards that have their production units in the Adriatic and to those who sail along the tourist corridor that leads from Venice to Istanbul via Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece.
June 26, 2019
Legendary heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko and his family were rescued by the coastguards after the superyacht they were on-board had caught fire. The incident took place in the early hours of Monday about 11km off the coast of Mallorca, Spain.The Ukrainian sportsmen who had retired in 2017, tweeted a video of the rescue operation. The video depicts firefighters aboard the yacht, covered with firefighting foam. Fortunately, no one got hurt, stated Klitchko.Klitschko could be heard saying in the video:It's 3 in the morning. We're in the sea getting rescued from the Mallorcan/Spanish fire department. The boat was on fire, we're hanging out outside."Be careful what you wish for: fate took my wish for “some #adrenalin” a bit too literally and our boat-trip Sunday night ended up in our boat #igniting and family & friends being evacuated by coast guard and fire rescue-team. No worries: we are all fine!" - he wrote.According to German media Spiegel, the damaged vessel could have been a 28.14-metre Sunseeker yacht UM7.Palma's Maritime Rescue spokesman Miguel Chicon told CNN, the yacht's crew asked for urgent assistance once the incident occured. A coastguard rescue boat was sent for help and, once the fire was gone, they towed the damaged vessel to Port Adriano. However, during the towing further smoke came out from the engine room, forcing the crew to evacuate the passengers.The Maritime Rescue Service confirmed they evacuated nine people following the fire in the boat's engine room. No medical assistance was needed for the yacht's occupants, Miguel Chicon said.Klitschko, aged 43, was the world's most dominant heavyweight for a decade, reeling off 20 straight title bout wins. He retained his heavyweight title for over nine years, winning 64 out of his 69 fights. His last match took place in April 2017, finished with a knockout defeat by his rival Anthony Joshua.
June 26, 2019
Cristiano Ronaldo, a living legend of the football world and one of the highest-paid athletes ever, has shared pictures of his family holidays aboard a 47-metre Benetti superyacht Africa in the French Riviera. The photos were posted on the social media accounts of an athlete, whose yearly earnings were estimated at $109 million (Forbes). Africa is Benetti's FB501 hull, launched in Italy in 2010 and christened Imagination by her original owner. Two years later, she was put on the market through Camper & Nicholsons asking € 22,000,000. After price reduction up to €16,500,000, the yacht was sold through Camper in 2014 and renamed Africa. In 2016, she was listed for sale once again, with the deal closed in January 2018 at the asking price of € 16,750,000. The ownership meanwhile has not been officially confirmed. With a beam of 8.5 metres and a draft of 2.8 metres, the yacht boasts interior volume of of 492 GT. Built to an aluminium hull and aluminium superstructure, Africa features exteriors by Stefano Natucci and interiors by Francois Zuretti.The motor yacht can accommodate up to 12 guests across 6 cabins, including a master suite, four doubles and a twin cabin. As to the amenities on-board, Africa is fitted with a spacious Jacuzzi on the sun deck and a fully-equipped gym.According to The Sun, the yacht comes equipped with multiple water toys including two Seadoo RXP-X RS 300 Waverunners jet skis, one Seadoo 260 HP Waverunner jet ski, two F5S Seabobs, paddle board, wake board, and snorkelling equipment.Two MTU engines propel the yacht to a maximum speed of 24 knots and a cruising speed of 20 knots. Africa's maximum range is estimated at 3,400 nautical miles.
June 25, 2019
Benetti has announced the sale of the first superyacht to fly under Chinese flag, with a certificate issued by the China Classification Society. The 65-metre custom yacht FB270 continues the group’s success in the Asia Pacific area, following the recent sales of a Mediterraneo 116, Fast 125 and 50M custom yachts.Mr. Fu Buming, Port Administration Chief at the Department of Commerce of Hainan province, explains:Hainan is striving to become an international tourist centre, in accordance with the state’s general guidelines and requirements, in order to further develop the city as a first-class port tourism destination with a window to display world-class yachts and innovation within the global yachting industry.FB270 is a custom yacht with a steel hull and an aluminium superstructure. She features exteriors by Giorgio M. Cassetta in collaboration with Benetti in-house design team and Pierluigi Ausonio. The interiors present colourways reminiscent of the sea, beaches and tropical islands, with a design developed entirely in-house by Maria Rosa Remedi of the Benetti Interior Style Department.Some distinctive features on-board FB270 include the service bathrooms on every deck and a wealth of technical spaces and storage areas. Special care has been taken to separate crew flows from the guest areas to ensure maximum guest privacy.Peter Mahony, General Manager Benetti Yachts Asia, commented:The sale of FB270 shows that an evolution is taking place and that a market will adapt to its new environment if an open mind, hard work and can do attitude is shared by all parties involved.FB270 has been scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, the sale represents more of an uncommon trend among the Chinese rich, who are keen to avoid buying private yachts. The same cannot be said for American customers, with just a recent order of a 67-metre superyacht from Benetti.
June 25, 2019