Russian billionaire's mammoth £360 million 'Sailing Yacht A' superyacht with masts taller than Big Ben dwarves tankers as it pulls into Gibraltar after a week of sea trials
- The £360 million sailing superyacht will soon be delivered to its owner after months of testing in the ocean
- The 468ft-long vessel is owned by Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko who has an estimated net worth of £10.8bn
- It boasts three mammoth 300ft masts which stand taller than London's Big Ben and dwarf tankers in the sea
- Melnichenko hit headlines in September when he moored his other £240million Motor Yacht A on the Thames
TALE OF THE TAPE
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The super-yacht so big it's almost a ship: First look at former F1 boss Eddie Jordan's luxurious floating palace that even boasts a nightclub (but it still doesn't quite measure up to Roman's!)
- F1 mogul commissions construction of a £25million super yacht that is 155ft-long
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The yacht will have an on-board garage complete with small boats and jet skis.
This is the moment the world's largest private yacht took to the sea. Azzam, which was built by German firm Lurssen, is a staggering 590 feet long - a £400million floating palace which has knocked Roman Abramovich off the owners' top spot. It was officially unveiled for the first time in April following three years at the shipbuilder's docks in Bremen.
World beater: The yacht Azzam is 590 feet long and cost a staggering £400million
Yachtspotters have now photographed Azzam, believed to have been ordered by a Middle-Eastern billionaire, being tested on the North Sea.
Azzam has taken pole position as the world's largest yacht off Eclipse, a 533-foot boat owned by Roman Abramovich.
It can travel in excess of 30 knots, with power coming from a combination of two gas turbines and two diesel engines with a total of 94,000 horsepower.
Majestic: Believed to have been pictured in the North Sea, the yacht was first unveiled back in April
Speed as well as size: Experts claim the megayacht reached a speed of 31.5 knots during its trials - making it by far the fastest in the world
Peter Seyfferth, from TheYachtPhoto.com, said: 'During the three days of trials, Azzam reached an amazing top speed of 31.5 knots, making her not only the longest but also by far the fastest megayacht in the world.
AZZAM'S VITAL STATISTICS
Speed: Over 30 knots - it hit 31.5 in trials
'Such a speed is absolutely exceptional for a yacht of this size.
'Her elegant, sleek lines are another feature which distinguish Azzam from all the other yachts above 150 metres.'
Mubarak Saad al Ahbabi was the engineer behind the megayacht, and assembled a team to work on the ultra-sophisticated project.
He was told by the yacht's secret buyer to build a vessel which was innovative and had a timeless design which would be able to travel at high speed and in shallow waters.
The exterior design, which has been described as 'surprisingly slender' was carried out by Nauta Yachts, with interior designer Christophe Leoni working on Azzam's inside.
Azzam is expected to be delivered to its owner later this year.
Labour of love: The megayacht spent three years at the shipbuilder's docks in Bremen, and has been praised for its sleek lines
Seen this, Abramovich? Azzam has taken the top spot as the world's largest yacht off Eclipse, owned by the Russian billionaire
Ready to serve: The vessel will be delivered to its owner, believed to be a Middle-Eastern billionaire, later in 2013
Lurssen, which is building Azzam, has refused to discuss the top secret yacht although rumours in the industry are that is being build for Saudi billionaire Al-Waleed bin Talal. Al-Waleed, 57, is worth around £10billion and a member of the Saudi royal family. If he is the owner, he is thought to have ordered the new toy as a replacement for his Kingdom 5KR yacht, which he has enjoyed for the past 20-years.
Ousted: But Mr Abramovich is about to lose his title as the owner of the world's largest private yacht - after this incredible vessel was spotted in Germany last month
The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar has 512 square metres of photovoltaic cells made of up 809 solar panels or 29,124 solar cells. The eco-friendly boat is capable of crossing the Atlantic ocean in 22 days, smashing the previous Guinness World record of 26 days thanks to its clever design. Launched in Florida, its DeepWater expedition sought to collect a continuous series of physical and biological measurements along the Gulf Stream, both from the water and the atmosphere, using advanced instruments onboard.
The world's largest solar boat is making London its final port of call on an epic voyage of scientific discovery along the Gulf stream
The MS Turanor PlanetSolar has 512 square metres of photovoltaic cells and is capable of crossing the Atlantic ocean in just 22 days. It is the first time the impressive catamaran has visited the UK and it will be docked at Canary Wharf from tomorrow until Monday 2nd September to show off its solar panels that can generate 480 kWh on a sunny day.The vessel is a scientific research platform for the University of Geneva (UNIGE), has a top speed of 14 knots and is home to up to nine crew members at a time, including scientists. It is stuffed with atmospheric instruments, some of which are prototypes developed by the university and for the past four months has been analysing the Gulf Stream to collect data that might inform scientists about climate change.
It is the first time the impressive catamaran has visited the UK and it will be docked at Canary Wharf from tomorrow until Monday 2nd September to show off its solar panels that can generate 480 kwh on a sunny day. It is pictured in New York
The vessel is a scientific research platform for the University of Geneva (UNIGE), has a top speed of 14 knots and is home to up to nine crew members at a time, including scientists.Led by Professor Martin Beniston, climatologist and director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences at UNIGE, the research team studied the key parameters of climate regulation, focusing on aerosols and phytoplankton. Their aim is to improve the understanding of complex interactions between the ocean and atmosphere, as well as the role these interactions play in climate change. He said: 'The PlanetSolar DeepWater expedition has allowed intensive testing in real-world conditions of a number of ocean and atmospheric instruments, some of which are prototypes.
'There is now a wealth of physical, chemical, and biological data housed at the University of Geneva, and which is beginning to undergo exhaustive scientific scrutiny.
Here, the boat has 'closed' its solar panels allowing it to dock more easily. It also pulls them in when sea conditions are very rough
The boat is approximately 35m long and 23m wide, depending on whether the solar panels are closed. In this image you can see the Statue of Liberty to the left. 'Although the data has not been analysed yet, we have noticed some very interesting trends, especially with regards to the production of aerosols by sea sprays,' he said. The boat is approximately 35m long and 23m wide, depending on whether the solar panels are closed - when it is docked or experiencing very rough conditions at sea - or open, in most instances at sea.
The boat travels at an average speed of five knots and uses a staggering 512 square metres of
photovoltaic panels to power six blocks of lithium-ion batteries.
The boat is stuffed with atmospheric instruments, some of which are prototypes and for the past four months has been analysing the Gulf Stream to collect data that might inform scientists about climate change. It is pictured on a visit to New York
The boat travels at an average speed of 5 knots and uses a staggering 512 square metres of photovoltaic panels to power six blocks of lithium-ion batteries. Despite this it is is light, durable and completely silent. Crossing the Atlantic in 22 days, the speedy solar boat compares favourably with a 40 foot sailing ship, which usually takes around 35 days to cross the ocean. The university believes it clearly demonstrates the possibilities of solar power for sea travel, with massive implications for sustainable tourism and transport. With zero fuel requirements and zero carbon emissions, the boat can take to the open seas for months at a time, so long as the sun continues to rise.
With zero fuel requirements and zero carbon emissions, the boat can take to the open seas for months at a time, so long as the sun continues to rise. This is the high-tech control panel
With a carbon structure, the boat is light, durable and completely silent
Professor Beniston said: 'The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar has positive benefits for scientific study and exploration, allowing for pollution-free research to be carried out in the vicinity of the boat.' The boat also plays an educational role as the scientists are keen to raise awareness about environmental issues. One of the aims of the recent expedition, which stopped at Miami, New York, Boston, Halifax and St. John’s before journeying to London, is to promote the use of solar technology.
One of the aims of the recent expedition, which stopped at Miami, New York (pictured) Boston, Halifax and St. John¿s before journeying to London, is to promote the use of solar technology. The next stop is Paris. It was designed by Craig Loomes from New Zealand after months of research into creating the optimum dimensions and design of the double-hulled vessel. Engineers optimised the energy collection and storage as well as the boat’s aerodynamics, propulsion systems and choice of building materials. The light scientific vessel has a carbon structure and is its name is inspired by the literary mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien and literally means 'power of the sun'. After visiting London, the boat will cross the English Channel and will then dock in Paris.
On the move: The yacht, which was minus its bow section, was quickly taken to a larger 220-metre dock so engineers could continue the awesome project.
Super-secretive: The £400million megayacht, known only as Project Azzam, is rumoured to have been commissioned by the Saudi Royal Family
This is the next super-yacht set to hit the world's oceans - which comes complete with its own functioning volcano and floating tropical islands.
The vessel - dubbed the 'Tropical island Paradise' - has been designed by British boat builders Yacht Island Design, from Derby, Derbys - some 90 miles from the sea.
The extravagant 295ft ship boasts a towering volcano with a cascading waterfall which feeds the swimming pool.
'Any kind of guests who are selected by the owner will totally be satisfied when they are on board.'
|Ultimate relaxation: Guests on board would also be treated to hot tubs looking out on to the ocean and a golf green for refining your long game|
IMPRESSIVE? YES, IT IS
'Eos is so large that while she is on the river her masts will be the first thing visitors see as they drive in.
Billionaires who are planning to berth their giant luxury vessels in London for the summer include Microsoft founder Bill Gates whose superyacht Gogypus will drop anchor at the Royal Docks in East London, five miles from the Olympic Stadium.
She adds: ‘The heat is so intense in southern Turkey that being indoors part of the day is a necessity.
‘Everything has been so overblown on these vast yachts with cinemas and so forth, but this is far more elegant.’
The main deck is a vast salon, with a bar on one side. A second bar in the sky-lounge area will create a ‘moodier more evening feel’. On the top deck is a whirlpool bath. The interior is done out in a palate of soft greys.
Bernerd says: ‘The client prefers a more contemporary, fresh feel. When you walk in, you’re met with subdued grey limestone, and a sleek grey wood floor.
'The ceilings are in white lacquer, and there is layered off-white leather. It is very sleek.’
A huge bespoke bookcase is the main feature in the library, again made of grey wood. The main staircase is made of polished plaster, with grey oak stairs and burnt orange detail on the handrails.
Bernerd says the scale of the vessel in dry dock is immense.
‘It reminds me of being taken to the London Science Museum as a child,’ she adds. ‘It’s like a dinosaur skeleton, the scaffold of ribs, and the height. It towers over you, the scale is overwhelming’.
Bernerd is also working on the art collection that will adorn the interior of the finished yacht.
Dickie Bannenberg is another London-based designer with yacht design in his veins.
His late father Jon pioneered yacht design in the Sixties, creating classic boats including Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi’s yacht Nabil, which is now owned by Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Alsaud. Jon Bannenberg also designed the interiors of John Paul Getty’s 262ft yacht Talitha G.
His son says: ‘While there is still a big middle ground of a fairly corporate and anodyne look, designers are increasingly trying to introduce some sort of individuality, on the basis that anyone commissioning this sort of yacht, with the price tag it commands, has a right to expect something that is one-off.
‘You don’t want to walk onto an impressive 150ft vessel and find it has a slightly ho-hum feel.’
For the 150ft yacht Raasta, Bannenberg’s studio commissioned a sculptor to make a series of handmade bronze wall lights at £2,000 apiece.
And for the 200ft Bacarella, the British sculptor Richard Kindersley carved a large stone map to be placed in the bridge deck lobby. Made from five pieces of Lake District slate, it depicts sea horses and dolphins, alongside marine-inspired quotes from Yoko Ono.
But that’s nothing compared to a project recently completed by yacht designer Remi Tessier, who created a five-storey atrium in polished stainless steel and glass, studded with tiny LED lights making the walls sparkle like diamonds.
The billionaire U.S. industrialist Dennis Washington has just completed a four-year project building a superyacht, Attessa IV.
He says: ‘I set out to build the ultimate family boat. I’ve tried to make every room an experience. A great gym and spa, just to make it fun for family and friends.’
It is believed he spent $50 million on the yacht — and an extraordinary $200 million refurbishing it. But, then, he can afford it. Gucci stainless steel lounge chairs decorate the decks, while a huge pool dominates the outside.
A helicopter perches at one end of the vessel, waiting to ferry guests to shore. It has four guest cabins, and everything from the curtains to the air conditioning is operated by remote control.
The outrageous cost, quite simply, doesn’t matter. As Monte Fino yacht designers say: ‘Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.’
As Camilla Storey, a PR executive co-ordinating Olympic party events, says: ‘We will have the entire financial industry, everybody from the worlds of business, sport and entertainment, all coming together. That is a unique opportunity.
‘Do these people want to be lost in the hubbub, immersed in the tourist crowds, or do they want to be watching it, waited on hand and foot, from the top of one of the world’s most exclusive yachts?’
German Luftwaffe boat runs aground during round-island race on the Isle of Wight
You may have all the trappings of wealth, all the luxury that money can buy, and all the time to enjoy it in.
But they say that eventually all this gets boring, and that life is dull without a sense of adventure and curiosity.
Which is where this just-launched superyacht comes in - for the 74-meter RV Pegaso not only comes with all the flatscreen TVs and en-suite bathrooms befitting a luxury ship, but also a fully operational 'floating laboratory'.
The RV in the name stands for Research Vessel, and just in case there is any doubt, the ship also has a submarine on-board - and a team of marine biologists ready to do your bidding.
Researching a life of luxury: The RV Pegaso is half-dedicated to giving its owner a wonderful yacht trip, and half of it is dedicated to state-of-the-art scientific research
The Pegaso provides en-suite bathrooms, widescreen TVs, a luxurious cabin - and an on-board submarine and dive-room
Under the sea: The submarine can launch from the Pegaso, and take visitors and scientists on underwater trips for research or for pleasure
Actually, the six-million yacht comes with one string attached - that the owner can have as much or as little involvement in sea research as they wish, but they must allow the biologists to be on board, travel with them, and work on projects.
Pegaso Marine chief executive Alex Flemming said: 'The historic perception of the superyacht set is the south of France, drinking champagne and having a lovely time.
'But suddenly people are going: #Hang on a second. I can go somewhere further afield and be a part of something bigger."
'This is about getting the most out of time and also feeling as though they're doing some good.'
Ship in the yard: The Pegaso under construction, where it was specially adapted as a sea-lab
In the shipyard: The yacht dwarfs admirers as it prepares to launch
Is this cramped? Not really, when you consider it is the submarine cabin
The vessel's purchaser is actually very keen to get his hands dirty in research.
The anonymous owner has previously owned four yachts, and traveled the world twice - and toldf the boat manufacturers that he wanted to do 'something different' with the new purchase.
The boat's dining area has been converted into a laboratory and fitted with equipment that can tag endangered marine life and monitor water pollution levels.
A decompresson chamber and diving equipment - including oxygen machines- allow guests to take deep dives from the yacht - and if that is not enough, the five-man submarine will take people down even further.