Given that Feadship’s Venus was photographed in Gibraltar this weekend, it’s likely that the megayacht is planning to make her way across the Atlantic Ocean to North American shores. It’s also likely that yacht-watchers will get more good looks at her, and the myriad details that make her an excellent example of custom construction.
You may recall that the 256-foot (78-meter) Venus launched in October, commissioned by the late Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. Feadship’s Royal De Vries shipyard built her at its Aalsmeer, Holland facility. Feadship declined to confirm whether or not Jobs was a client. Regardless, the entrepreneur did tell his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he was building a megayacht with Feadship that was “sleek and minimalist.” “The teak decks were perfectly flat and unblemished by any accoutrements,” Isaacson writes. “As at an Apple store, the cabin windows were large panes, almost floor to ceiling, and the main living area was designed to have walls of glass that were forty feet long and ten feet high. He had gotten the chief engineer of the Apple stores to design a special glass that was able to provide structural support.”
Philippe Starck, the renowned designer, confirmed he’d worked with Jobs and his wife Laurene on the project since 2005. He declared Feadship’s Venus “revolutionary.” You’ll probably agree in seeing her in full profile. Closeups of her details as created by Starck and Jobs, though, are more telling. Especially take a good look at Venus’ transom, and you’ll note an ever-so-subtle curvature. You’ll also note an enormous section of the transom appears hatch-like. Our guess is that it flips down, to allow guests access to board watertoys and tenders, and perhaps even dive into the water directly. Note, too, the side hatch, situated right beneath the Feadship logo. It could be a balcony, for instance, given the popularity of this feature on many modern megayachts.
Venus bears abundant linear details, with her sharp bow among the most prominent. Polished metal accentuates it, evidenced by the reflections of the setting sun and the water. Further note the long rectangular windows flowing aft, which Isaacson mentions in the biography. Sixteen of them lie to each side of the yacht, stopping just aft of amidships.
This full-profile view of Venus lends a better sense of the dramatic design effect. The rectangular ports draw your eye aft, for example. You then look up and linger a longer on the full-height upper-deck glass. The topmost deck, interestingly, reportedly hides satellite antennas and related equipment.
Unfortunately, Jobs was already in failing health when Venus was under construction. “‘I know that it’s possible I will die and leave Laurene with a half-built boat,’” Isaacson quotes him in the biography. “‘But I have to keep going on it. If I don’t, it’s an admission that I’m about to die.’”
Yacht-watchers everywhere are also glad he kept going. Even with other interesting builds around the world, Feadship’s’ Venus stands out as an extraordinary work.