If yacht-watchers in Holland are correct, this new launch by Feadship is the megayacht originally commissioned by the founder of Apple, the late Steve Jobs.
Word began circulating about a year ago that Jobs had been planning to build a yacht. It was confirmed when his biography, written by Walter Isaacson, was released. In the book, Isaacson recounts Jobs showing him the general arrangement for a fully custom megayacht. She featured full-height windows along the main deck and an overall thoroughly modern, even minimalist, style inside and out. Jobs told Isaacson that the yacht was already under construction, though he was still changing some design elements.
A Dutch website, One More Thing, is convinced that the megayacht shown here, which launched this weekend at the Aalsmeer facility of Feadship’s Royal De Vries, is the same yacht that Jobs ordered. Feadship stated last year that it would not comment on whether or not Jobs was a client. It reiterated its policy of not commenting on owners this week. However, Philippe Starck confirmed last year that he had been working with Jobs on a megayacht.
In looking at the design and comparing it to what Isaacson wrote, and considering Starck isn’t exactly a traditionalist, the website could very well be right. It’s interesting to note that the website has a photo purportedly taken inside the wheelhouse, showing a handful of iMacs being used to display navigation data. These days, computer screens are being used aboard dozens, if not hundreds, of megayachts around the world for multi-function purposes such as this…but this is the first megayacht we’re aware of that specifically has iMacs.
As for the yacht’s name, it’s Venus. She’s said to be about 256 feet (78 meters) long. Here’s some additional footage shot after the launch:
UPDATE, DECEMBER 21, 2012: A Reuters report states that Venus has been impounded in Amsterdam since the 19th of this month, due to Starck still being owed money. The news agency spoke with Roelant Klaassen, a lawyer representing Starck’s firm Ubik, who explains that €3 million (about US$4 million) of a total €9 million (about US$12 million) has yet to be paid. Venus will reportedly remain in Amsterdam until Jobs’ estate settles the bill. “These guys trusted each other, so there wasn’t a very detailed contract,” Reuters quotes Klaassen as saying. The new agency was unable to reach a representative for Jobs’ estate at press time.
UPDATE, DECEMBER 26, 2012: A lawyer for Jobs’ estate has informed Agence-France Presse that a deposit was made to settle the dispute. Venus has therefore been released by Dutch authorities, though she remains in Amsterdam as of this writing. She’s expected to head across the Atlantic sometime in the coming days.