ONE OF the world’s biggest – and possibly most futuristic – yachts is finally on its way to meet its new owner, The Sun reports. The 468ft-long £360million yacht, which took four years to build, has been spotted out on the waters in Gibraltar.
It is set to undergo sea trials for a series of rigorous tests in southern Spain before being given to Russian billionaire industrialist Andrey Melnichenko. It has already undergone successful sea trials on the Baltic Sea.
The state-of-the-art yacht is one of the largest sailing yachts in the world after work was finished in Kiel, the capital of northern German state Schleswig-Holstein. The impressive boat boasts eight decks, which are connected by multiple lifts.
It also has free-floating spiral staircases and three masts that are taller than Big Ben’s tower and stretch up from the extraordinary wedge-shaped boat hull. One of the masts is accessible from the inside, but the crew won’t need to climb them – the boat’s sails unfurl at the touch of a button.
The masts are technical masterpieces, and can rotate to make the most of the wind when out at sea. The high-gloss ship will have the power to dash across the waves at speeds of up to 20.8knots (24mph).
The ship also boasts a garage fit for four vehicles and a submarine, as well as a helipad on the bow. It has a high-tech digital control system which is operated with a touch-sensitive sheet of black glass in the bridge.
Superyachtfan.com has detailed some of the yacht’s hidden specifications. The website reports the boat is powered by a “hybrid diesel-electric package with controllable pitch propellers”.
It’s designed to accommodate 20 guests and a crew of 54. The yacht has left Kiel for an unspecified destination in southern Spain. As the boat made its way there, Mr Melnichenko’s Project Director, Dirk Kloosterman, said: “This has been the most challenging assignment of my career.
“I am confident Sailing Yacht A will be the world’s greatest yacht in terms of design and technology for the years ahead. “Her beauty is breathtaking, and Philippe Starck’s astonishing design and ultimate vision will be the subject of many conversations wherever she travels around the globe.
“We look forward to the final delivery to the owner.” Melnichenko, who will receive his prized boat in the spring, has imaginatively named his new boat “Sailing Yacht A”. The one-letter name was chosen to ensure that his newest toy comes in first place in every shipping register.
Romantics might assume that the ship’s name also pays homage to his wife Aleksandra. The superyacht reportedly set Melnichenko back by around £360million, although there are no official figures for the sale.
It was created by French star-designer Philippe Starck and built by German Naval Yards, Nobiskrug. Speaking on his design, Starck described the boat as “more of a fish than a building”.
Melnichenko, 44, who is married to model Aleksandra Melnichenko, 39, and is the father of a young daughter, has an estimated net worth of around £10.7billion, making him the 11th richest person in Russia and the 97th wealthiest person in the world.
The Russian made his billions founding the fertiliser producer EuroChem, coal producer Suek, and power generator SGK.