Super-Secret Sigma

Here are some of the first photos of Sigma, taken by yacht-spotter Carl Groll, when the vessel was briefly moved out of her shed last week at Nobiskrug in Germany. The second photo is really just a close-up of her transom, which I did to give you a sense of scale: After all, this is a 118-meter (387-foot) megayacht we’re talking about! Take a close look at that photo, above the handful of hatches (no doubt for tender launch and stowage), and you’ll see a person standing on the edge of the aft deck. Now that’s elbowroom.

Not much is known about Sigma, as the yard is being held to a strict confidentiality agreement. But a few details were made public. The contract was announced in December 2004 by Blohm + Voss, a sister company of Nobiskrug (both are under the umbrella of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems). At that time she was anticipated for launch in late 2007, but as is often the case, particularly with complex, super-size superyachts, production delays occurred.

Blohm + Voss and Nobiskrug have remained mum since then, but thanks to public ship-registry records, we know that her displacement will be a whopping 5,800 gross tons, and she’ll be flagged in Bermuda. Under the registered-owner category in those records, “unknown” is entered, though that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from taking educated guesses. Many yacht-spotters and some newspaper and magazine reports assert Sigma’s owner is none other than Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire who already owns a handful of floating toys: Pelorus, Le Grand Bleu, Ecstasea, and Sussurro.

Something no one can agree on, though, is whether the styling, by Philippe Starck, is appealing or appalling. Overall it doesn’t float my boat (sorry, kids, couldn’t resist), but I do quite like the inverted bow design, which many have likened to a particular military craft.

Love her or loathe her, you have to admit: Sigma will grab attention wherever she’ll cruise once she’s delivered later this year. She’ll be one–and fun–to watch.

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