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Microsoft billionaire’s $60 million superyacht is a warship on vacation. Known as the father of MS Word and Excel, Charles Simonyi once worked as a night watchman in a computer lab. His yacht has a helipad and when cruising the massive ship is quieter than a Rolls Royce Phantom.

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SKAT Yacht – Masterful $60M Superyacht

The Hungary native worked at Microsoft for over two decades, leaving in 2002 to start his own company.

The yacht was designed as a home away from home for Simonyi, with minimalist features penned by design house Espen Øino International.

The design house also contributed to the interior design and Marco Zanini. Lurssen built the ship in their Bremen shipyard, delivering her in 2002.

DJI 0795 4

SKAT yacht interior

Marco Zanini and Espen Øino International penned the interior of the luxurious SKAT yacht.

Minimalism defines the interior, and although she forgoes the lavish luxury of the average superyacht, she has many beautiful features that make her a comfortable home away from home for the owner.

The impressive interior of SKAT features an elevator that serves all four decks, a leisure platform with a Jacuzzi, and a gymnasium that is located centrally on the yacht. A helipad serves a McDonnell Douglas 500N Helicopter on the upper aft deck.

The 70m yacht can accommodate 12 guests across one master suite, four doubles, and two twins.

There is accommodation for 18 crew members on board. She was built as a home and not as a charter yacht for the software engineer owner.

The interior design is focused on a clean and uncluttered look. The ship has a near-frameless bridge deck that is enclosed and offers panoramic views of the water.

The ‘capsule’ is protected as the boat spends a lot of time in Scandinavia and has to let in as much light as possible.

The beach club opens to allow guests to enjoy a swim platform and houses several water toys in the full-beam garage. The crew areas were designed with crew satisfaction in mind.

The owner uses SKAT as a home away from home, so crew satisfaction was influential in the design process.

image 1

Lurssen shipbuilders built the SKAT yacht at their Bremen shipyard in Germany. Espen Øino International executed the exterior design for the vessel.

The SKAT yacht was delivered in 2002, and she was last refitted in 2021.

Her exterior is undoubtedly striking with its grey color, imposing lines, and multiple windows. The owner is a software engineer, and the yacht was designed to reflect his vocation.

DJI 0764 1


The 70.7m yacht has a beam of 14.02m and a draft of 3.76m. The SKAT’s volume measures 1998 gross tons and is powered by 2 MTU engines.

SKAT has a cruising speed of 14.3 knots and a top speed of 18.1 knots. She has a range of 4600 nautical miles. SKAT has an annual running cost of $3 – $6 million.

image 2

SKAT yacht in Gibraltar

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the skat yacht owner

  • Impressions

the skat yacht owner

The 70-metre yacht SKAT was built to be a comfortable second home, with iconic exterior design by Espen Øino and interior design by Marco Zanini. Comfort and performance were essential with noise and vibration levels extremely low at cruising speeds. The construction brief called for as much light as possible, which resulted in a glass conservatory on the bridge deck, which allows natural light to shine in from above and below while affording magnificent views of the yacht's surroundings. With a very clean layout and separation, the lower decks are entirely dedicated to technical spaces, crew and services. They received the same level of attention to design and detail as the owner and guest accommodation on the upper decks. Delivered in 2002, the size and quality of these crew spaces is still outstanding even today.

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The iconic 71m Lürssen superyacht Skat is new on the market

  • The iconic 71m Lürssen superyacht Skat is new on the market
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the skat yacht owner

Skat , which length is 71m, has an ultra-modern stabilization system, reducing roll motion effect for a smoother cruising experience.

The interior configuration of the boat has been designed to accommodate up to 12 guests in 6 cabins, including a master suite,   2 twin cabins,  4 double cabins.

the skat yacht owner

Aft of the bridge deck features an amazing  open-air dining area, which can offer nice dinner time for 12 guests at the al fresco table.

the skat yacht owner

The use of reflective materials such as steel and aluminum creates a unique grey look. As the owners requested the windows create a bridge-deck to draw in even more light inside.

the skat yacht owner

The private interior dining room is featured with split tables, which are conventing into a single long table.

the skat yacht owner

The owner's suite is located forward with its bathroom which is equipped with shower, bathtub, and vanity stations. The main saloon which can be used as a cinema, the dining room, and the main deck aft with a swim platform and a beach club are all around the corner.

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Skat Charter Yacht


This Yacht is not for Charter*


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SKAT yacht NOT for charter*

70.7m  /  231'11 | lurssen | 2002 / 2022.

Owner & Guests

Cabin Configuration

  • Previous Yacht

Special Features:

  • Elevator for easy access between floors
  • Impressive 4,600nm range
  • Recent refit in 2022
  • Lloyds Register ✠ 100A1, SSC Yacht (P) Mono, G6, , ✠ LMC , UMS classification
  • Award winning

The award winning 70.7m/231'11" motor yacht 'Skat' was built by Lurssen in Germany at their Bremen shipyard. Her interior is styled by design house Marco Zanini and she was completed in 2002. This luxury vessel's exterior design is the work of Espen Oeino and she was last refitted in 2022.

Guest Accommodation

Skat has been designed to comfortably accommodate up to 12 guests in 6 suites. Additionally, there are 2 staff cabins aboard. She is also capable of carrying up to 18 crew onboard to ensure a relaxed luxury yacht experience.

Onboard Comfort & Entertainment

Her features include an elevator, beach club, gym and air conditioning.

Range & Performance

Skat is built with a steel hull and aluminium superstructure, with teak decks. Powered by twin diesel MTU (16V 4000 M70) 16-cylinder 2,682hp engines running at 2000rpm, she comfortably cruises at 15 knots, reaches a maximum speed of 18 knots with a range of up to 4,600 nautical miles from her 224,000 litre fuel tanks at 14 knots. An advanced stabilisation system on board promises exceptional comfort levels at anchor or on any voyage. Her water tanks store around 62,000 Litres of fresh water. She was built to Lloyds Register ✠ 100A1, SSC Yacht (P) Mono, G6, , ✠ LMC , UMS classification society rules.

*Charter Skat Motor Yacht

Motor yacht Skat is currently not believed to be available for private Charter. To view similar yachts for charter , or contact your Yacht Charter Broker for information about renting a luxury charter yacht.

Skat Yacht Owner, Captain or marketing company

'Yacht Charter Fleet' is a free information service, if your yacht is available for charter please contact us with details and photos and we will update our records.

Skat Photos

Skat Yacht

Skat Awards & Nominations

  • International Superyacht Society Awards 2003 Best Power 43m+ Winner

NOTE to U.S. Customs & Border Protection


M/Y Skat


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Skat: Inside the Iconic Lürssen Yacht

The iconic, military inspired  Lürssen superyacht Skat is listed for sale with Fraser . BOAT takes a look around...

Launched in 2002, Skat  features a military inspired exterior penned by Espen Øino and is built from steel and aluminium.

A bird's eye view of the legendary yacht reveals the helipad aft and standout sun deck forward, complete with a Jacuzzi.

The Main Deck Aft

The aft main deck is expansive and open with fixed and loose seating, coffee tables and buffet servers either side. One buffet has a push button bar that opens with bottle storage and the port side also opens with a sink and fridge.

Main Dining

The intimate interior dining room is equipped with split teak-topped tables that can also be converted into a single long table large enough to seat 12 guests.

The Main Saloon

The main saloon doubles as a cinema with a flexible seating arrangement and large screen television.

The Informal Saloon

The Marco Zanini designed interior is flooded with natural light thanks to Skat's massive windows that extend full width out over the main deck.

The Bridge Deck Aft

Aft of the bridge deck is the open air dining area, which is light, bright and airy. A total of 12 guests can be seated at the al fresco dining table, which is flanked by a lounging area and U-shaped seating area opposite.

The Sun Deck

Outside deck spaces on Skat are plentiful The standout superyacht Jacuzzi sits on the sun deck flanked by sun beds.

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Sybaris: How Perini Navi brought a yachting dream to life

Art-loving, sailing-obsessed yacht owner Bill Duker has poured his life’s passions into Sybaris . Marilyn Mower tours this ground-breaking and life-changing 70 metre ketch

“When my son, West, was about seven years old, I bought a Palmer Johnson sailing yacht named Shanakee . We would go sailing and imagine what our perfect yacht would be like. With friends who helped us refine the dream over 20 years, the boat became our daily conversation. So more than the creating of a high performance yacht, more than the creation of a work of art, it’s been the thing that’s bonded me and my son.”

These words are from Bill Duker’s address to the guests assembled in Viareggio to celebrate the completion of Sybaris , Duker’s Perini Navi ketch, which, at 70 metres, is the largest sailing yacht launched in Italy to date. It is not a coincidence that the yacht’s name is the same as that ancient Italian city-state known for wealth and a lifestyle of extreme luxury and pleasure seeking. “I have three passions — art, poetry and sailing. This boat combines all three,” he says.

Take a closer look at the 70 metre sailing superyacht Sybaris . Photos: Giuliano Sargentini

Duker is a softly spoken, amiable man who likes projects and enticing people to be creative and thorough. Witness his push for R&D at Perini Navi. As Burak Akgül, managing director of sales, marketing and design, says: “We began talking to the client in 2010 at about the time we had committed to move from the 56 metre to the 60 metre model. We developed this fully custom all aluminium hull interpretation of the 60 especially for him. It has serious performance capability, compared with other recent launches. On a scale of Seahawk to P2 , it’s more like P2 .”

So determined was he to wring every bit of performance out of Perini, Duker brought naval architect Philippe Briand into the mix to evaluate and fine tune the builder’s design work. “The design of the yacht existed, the GA existed and the initial naval architectural plans had been drawn,” says Briand. “The specifications, the main dimensions, the displacement, the centres of gravity and the height of the masts, as well as draught, [had been] defined and approved by the owner. For the final stages, we worked on the hull lines, the appendages and the sailplan. It is a bigger intellectual challenge to [re]design the existing [hull] for tomorrow as opposed to start from scratch.”

In 2012, Briand’s office conducted CFD tests of the hull lines and made 37 changes, including modifying the waterline length and wetted surface and redrawing the bow and stern shapes. The swing keel and single rudder were optimised, as was the vessel’s stability versus overall weight.

Calling the owner a forward-thinking man with very modern tastes, Perini design chief Franco Romani said the brief for Sybaris challenged his team “to create a new interpretation of their design language. The near vertical bow combined with the low profile superstructure has resulted in a new look for Perini.”

Perhaps the biggest change was moving the mizzen mast back 3.3 metres to improve airflow over the mizzen sail for more driving force and to create space for a mizzen staysail. This sail, flown in apparent winds of 50 to 100 degrees, adds 0.6 knots of speed. “It wasn’t our intention to design a racing yacht,” says Briand, “but we can guarantee Sybaris is a cruising yacht with the potential of sailing excitement.”

In its turn, Perini upped the performance of its electric furling drums and captive sheeting winches, delivering speeds beyond those of its previous benchmark, Seahawk . The powerful sailplan on Sybaris uses North Sails’ 3Di technology and relies on two carbon fibre masts stretching 71.59 metres and 60.96 metres above the water, supplied by Rondal, with Carbolink composite stays and Kevlar running rigging. Controlled by Perini’s latest generation electric winches and software, the system allows the yacht to be sailed entirely from the cockpit consoles.


Sybaris is also breaking new ground for the builder in terms of power management. Two variable speed generators supply electrical power via a DC bus to the vessel’s main electrical grid with the potential to store excess power in a 137kWh lithium polymer battery pack that provides two to three hours of silent operation capability, according to Akgül.

Repositioning the mizzen mast also improves the flow of the main and flybridge deck layouts as it shifts the bottom of the mizzen spar away from the aft glass doors of the main saloon, allowing a large, round dining table to take pride of place under the flybridge overhang. The table is milled from titanium, its base looking like a geared drum and its top scribing a rose petal pattern matched in the overhead — a nod to Duker’s estate, Rosehill, near Albany, New York.

In fact, nearly all the exposed metal on Sybaris is bead-blasted titanium or a smoky bronze. “We chose titanium for the way it looks against the natural American ash millwork, and because the owner wanted something fresh and different,” says Peter Hawrylewicz of PH Design . Although this Miami-based architect and designer is new to yacht design, Sybaris is his 12th project for Duker. Yet she didn’t start out as his project.


“We knew he was interviewing designers and, because it was a yacht, we didn’t consider that he would consider us. One night he took my partner and me to dinner and asked what we thought about taking on the Sybaris project. It was a big surprise. The interior company, Genesis Yachtline , had already been given the contract for the joinery and built-ins,” Hawrylewicz recalls. “Knowing how long Bill had been thinking of this boat was daunting.”

The brief was fairly simple: a neutral path. “Even though we didn’t know all the works of art yet, we knew the interior of Sybaris would be lavished with art from the owner’s contemporary collection and this set the theme,” said the architect. “That also ramped up the pressure on developing the lighting plan. We began developing that plan from the first sketches,” Hawrylewicz says, “selecting the amount and type of lighting we wanted first.”

Aside from major statement fixtures such as chandeliers and sconces, which were designed by Lindsey Adelman, Hawrylewicz developed the fixtures such as the wall washers and down lights that fit in architectural recesses next to each door. By directing light away from the intersection of surfaces butting against walls or ceilings, for example, and by leaving tiny gaps instead, he’s created a sensation of even more space, as if there is something behind the gap that you can’t see.


“The team at Perini was an amazing mentor to us,” says Ken Lieber of PH Design. Interestingly, it was Genesis Yachtline’s first Perini project as well. All furniture and surfaces were built offsite and finished before being taken to the yacht for assembly.

Sybaris updates strong features of the Perini Navi design DNA both inside and out. On deck, for example, the recessed cockpit aft of the saloon is still an engaging outdoor living/dining space, but the sweep of terraced steps to it flows beautifully and emphasises the luxury of space that the extra 10 metres delivers. All the furniture, including the bronze end tables with slab marble tops, are from the team at PH Design.

The saloon is open plan, with no structural supports blocking the views. This is no mean feat since there is the load of an 18 metre superyacht sundeck above and the torque of the mainsheet to defuse. The forward bulkhead divides the guest areas from the superyacht wheelhouse , butler’s pantry and the crew stairs to the galley and their quarters.


There are no built-in cabinets in the saloon on Sybaris . Instead four groupings of bureaus, looking like steampunk versions of Louis Vuitton steamer trunks covered in alligator hide, are attached to the walls by titanium straps. The drawers hold glassware and crockery. For handrails around the room, teak batons within titanium turnbuckles add a vintage nautical theme. A dining table is anchored by an ambitious Adelman chandelier and a Ron English Guernica-esque painting commissioned by Duker. Wool and silk carpets by SHIIR of Chicago appear as mirror images in their soft grey and bronze pattern.

The overheads throughout Sybaris are soft matt titanium. Because the cambered overheads on the main deck are 2.1 metres high at window level, the darker material does not cramp the room. It softly reflects and diffuses light and adds a certain liveliness.

“Titanium was entirely Bill’s idea,” says Hawrylewicz. “He said ‘I want to do metal ceilings’ and I thought he meant a thin sheet of painted material, but no, he meant real titanium sheets.” These are rendered in large squares with nearly seamless joints. Titanium, for all its fireproofness and anti-corrosion capability, proved to be a tough material for the yard.


Welded joints tend to leave keloid scars and in the end there was only one subcontractor who could finish the work, from deck rails to the tiny piercings of the overheads for speakers, to both the builder’s and owner’s satisfaction. “If you can dream it, Perini will find a way to build it,” says Duker. “To me, that challenge is why you build a boat.”

Perini Navi aficionados will recall that a superyacht staircase amidships on centreline is the typical access from the saloon to the accommodation for owner and guests. There have been versions with landings, versions with multiple access points and even a spiral. Sybaris delivers a straight fore and aft run of steps but, like the IM Pei pyramid at the Louvre, the staircase is also the way that light — and in this case an epic amount of it — is ushered below to the accommodation lobby, from where all the cabins are entered through very hip titanium-clad submarine doors, with the logo of the bull of Sybaris in the centre of the opening mechanism.

Enormous sheets of laminated tempered glass form the “walls” of the stair column. Hawrylewicz had originally drawn them as a single piece, but no sources yet exist for tempering such large panels of glass. Each of the staircase walls weighs 600 kilograms and they are elastically anchored to the decks above and below. Massive floating oak steps, suspended from the glass with titanium pins, usher guests below.


There are six cabins on the lower deck of Sybaris , including a master suite that takes advantage of the yacht’s full 13 metre beam to create a space to spoil the owner in surroundings of American ash. A superyacht office is situated to starboard with the king-sized bed offset to port. Lindsey Adelman bronze and porcelain sconces above the bed flank an art feature of layers of wood relief that looks a bit topographical. The element was a deliberate contrast to the machined look of many of the pieces in the room and the titanium overhead.

Four pieces of contemporary art dominate the owner’s cabin, which Duker refers to as the poetic centre of Sybaris . Colourful pieces by Roberto Matta, Bäast and Rafa Macarrón contrast with the simple décor while Invisible Domain by Mars-1 opposite his desk seems particularly appropriate.


The bed surround showcases another of the design features in the boat, the mortise and tenon style joinery details that are left exposed. It continues in the full-beam his and hers bathrooms, with their simple palette of ash, stone and titanium. “The simpler the palette, the larger the space,” shares Hawrylewicz. “My goal at the end of the day was to create a yacht that is comfortable, beautiful and perhaps even memorable.”

Or, as the owner wrote in a poem he dashed off on his iPhone thanking his designer:

The ability to conceive the idea To place it in the spot exactly where To light it as if it were in a dream And make it all so simple seem

First published in the June 2017 edition of Boat International

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Best of the Best: Q & A With PH Design Founder Peter Hawrylewicz

The designer discusses the work he did on the perini navi sybaris., michael verdon, michael verdon's most recent stories.

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Peter Hawrylewicz

The founder of PH Design talks with Robb Report contributor Michael Verdon about the interior of ‘Sybaris,’ his first yacht project.

How did Bill Duker, the owner of ‘Sybaris,’ find you? Bill has been a client for 25 years. He first hired me to design his home on Miami Beach when I was working on Gianni Versace’s home. We have developed a great relationship since then.

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This was your first yacht project? Yes, and I did not want to blow it, partly because of my friendship with Bill. Also, there are only so many yacht commissions in the world, so it is a scarce pearl to squander. Bill told me that if I can think it, they will build it. In other words, he was granting me the artistic freedom to exceed my expectations and to meet his.

What was the initial concept? He wanted a state-of-the-art yacht with an interior to show his modern-art collection to its greatest advantage. I wanted the interior to be modern, warm, and personal, depleted of clutter and embellishments, yet rich in detail. Bill inspires people naturally. I wanted his boat to do the same.

Perini Navi Sybaris

How did you choose titanium as a base material? We used it throughout the boat, in the ceilings, furniture, hardware, and railings. I like the titanium ceilings. They provide a muted reflective surface for the interior volumes that I find compelling. Almost all of the furniture on board was designed by me for ‘Sybaris.’ Many pieces have components cast in bronze or titanium. There are challenges with titanium. The material is strong and resilient but can be difficult to work with.

Were you happy with the results? Whether the titanium was welded, cut, cast, or folded, Genesis Yachtline and Perini Navi supervised the work excellently. They were successful at every turn.

Your favorite feature? The large cockpit table on the aft deck. It is made of concentric titanium rings and is mimicked in a tempered reflection in the titanium ceiling above. The design is based on an unfurling rose, a meaningful emblem for the Duker family.

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By SuperyachtNews 18 May 2016

The Pursuit of Pleasure

As perini navi’s largest sailing yacht since the maltese falcon, the presentation of 70m sybaris was a significant event for the italian boat builder.….

Image for article The Pursuit of Pleasure

As Perini Navi’s largest sailing yacht since The Maltese Falcon , the presentation earlier this month of 70m Sybaris at the Picchiotti yard in La Spezia was a significant event for the Italian boat builder. A collaboration between Perini Navi's in-house team and the French naval architect Philippe Briand, Sybaris represents an innovative evolution in the company’s drive for design and engineering excellence at a difficult time for the super sailing yacht market.

From the left, Milena Perini, Bill Duker, Fabio Perini, Burak Akgul, Fabio Boschi  

The presentation coincided with the appointment of Luca Boldrini (formerly with the Ferretti Group) as sales director of Picchiotti. In January, a meeting of the Group’s shareholders under the chairmanship of Fabio Boschi announced a share capital increase of 15 million euros, and in February naval architect Stèphane Leveel (formerly with Tripp Design) was welcomed to the Perini Navi design team.

Sybaris features a Sealium alloy hull with a variable-draught centreboard keel for enhanced sailing performance and access into shallow bays or marinas. The exterior profile is noticeably sleeker than previous models with a less pronounced sheerline and a more vertical bow. The restyled superstructure is topped with an expansive flying bridge of 18m in length — reportedly the largest of any sailing yacht afloat.


The powerful sail plan of more than 5,800sqm relies on two carbon fibre masts supplied by Rondal with composite stays and Kevlar running rigging. Equipped with the latest sail handling technology controlled by Perini’s new electric captive winches and software, the system means the yacht can be sailed entirely from the cockpit consoles. 

Arguably the most decisive technical step forward is the power management system. Comprising two variable-speed generators supplying electrical power via a DC bus to the vessel’s main electrical grid with the potential to store excess power in lithium polymer batteries, the set-up improves efficiency, reduces emissions and provides a silent anchor mode at night or in protected areas with the generators switched off.

“ Sybaris raised numerous technical and aesthetic challenges,” says Burak Akgul, managing director of sales, marketing and design at Perini Navi. “But where there’s a will there’s a way, and the result is a uniquely beautiful sailing yacht that pushes the boundaries of design in every conceivable way.”

At 850gt and named after the ancient Greek settlement in southern Italy whose population was renowned for its pursuit of life’s pleasures, Sybaris provided Miami-based PH Design with an ample template for the interior styling. Working on his first yacht project, studio founder Peter Hawrylewicz has created the serenely sophisticated interior the owner desired. Exquisite materials and details abound. Instead of built-in credenzas, for example, the 151-sqm main salon features sculpted pillars milled from solid titanium to support ‘floating’ Louis Vuitton-style travel trunks clad with alligator skin.

Peter Hawrylewicz (image by Justin Ratcliffe)  

“The effect is modern with a remote reminiscence of Old World travel,” says the designer. “The allure lies in the confluence of these two temperaments.”  

Following her presentation, Sybaris will go through intensive sea trails prior to delivery, scheduled for this summer and keenly anticipated by her owner. 

  Bill Duker (image by Justin Ratcliffe)

“This is obviously an exciting time for us,” said American owner Bill Duker in La Spezia. “ Sybaris is a project that started a very long time ago when my son and I would sit in the aft cockpit of the boat we then had, Shanakee , and talk about the boat of our dreams. Over the past 20 years that dream has matured a great deal, and what it became was a dream about collaboration and synergy to create a masterpiece of beauty and performance.”  

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Step aboard 230-foot sailing superyacht Sybaris, owned by William Duker

The same owner as the newly listed $65M Apogee penthouse

A goliath sailing veseel out at sea

The reason William Duker just listed his Apogee penthouse (for $65 million) in Miami Beach is to travel around the world on his marvelous sailing superyacht.

Meet the 230-foot Sybaris, which is currently docked near the Miami Beach Marina off Terminal Isle. Launched in May, it is one of the largest sailing yachts on earth, and came to life after Duker beat cancer, per Boat International .

He set out to build a statement vessel.

“The boat kept growing in order to bring the lines down and make it look as sleek as it does. We thought it’d be a 56 metre, but then I started thinking that it had to be special, it had to be different. And there are already 10 or 11 or so 56 metres; I didn’t want hull number 12. I wanted something people could see from half a mile away and say, ‘Hey, there’s Sybaris ’,” Duker says.

Check out Duker’s favorite features.

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A Year in Focus: Sybaris Takes the World by Storm

By Ben Roberts

In May, Perini Navi launched the 70-metre sailing yacht Sybaris . We continue our look in to 2016 by capturing the rise of Sybaris, one man’s search for the perfect sailing experience that took the year by storm and marked a new era for the Italian master-craftsmen.

After being invited to step on board shortly after her launch in May, witnessed an early glance into a project which represented a 20-year dream in the making for owner Bill Duker.

From the days of sitting with his son on the aft of their first boat and drawing their dream vessel to the celebrations surrounding its launch, Sybaris is much more than just Italy’s largest sailing yacht.

The most advanced large-scale Perini Navi project since the creation of The Maltese Falcon – which was launched at the builder’s Turkish facilities – and with well-documented performance ability, Sybaris is a marriage of art and technology.

“We wanted to build a boat that combined great art in the interior, put it in a setting that the interior of the boat itself was a piece of art, and then set that interior within a superyacht that was also a masterpiece. Not only a masterpiece of beauty, but a masterpiece of performance.”  Explains Sybaris Owner Bill Duker during the launch ceremony in May. caught up with Perini Navi and Sybaris at the Monaco Yacht Show to get a closer look at the stunning interiors by PH Design on camera (above).

Taking numerous awards over 2016 - including ‘Best Interior’ at the Monaco Yacht Show Gala - this is a yacht with an acclaim worthy of the 20-year journey it took from paper to port.

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A glimpse of the S/Y Sybaris – the 70m sailing yacht with the Best Interior this year

Inside S/Y Sybaris – the 70m sailing yacht with the Best Interior this year.

Perini Navi 70m S/Y Sybaris won “Best Interior Award” at 2016 Monaco Yacht Show. From 28 September to 1 October 2016, the 26th Monaco Yacht Show celebrated the best that Superyachts have on offer with 34,000 participants from around the world.

Delivered to her owner, American Bill Duker, earlier this month Sybaris sailing yacht is the latest addition to Perini Navi’s fleet of 61 superyachts . Designed and built by Perini Navi, with input from Philippe Briand on the hull lines and sail plan, the 70m ketch is the largest sailing yacht ever built in Italy (877 GT) and second in the Perini Navi fleet to the iconic Maltese Falcon (88m).

Combining Perini Navi’s continuous research into new technical solutions, the original design was thoroughly revisited and has resulted in an extraordinary yacht, one which captures the advanced engineering and styling that define a Perini Navi. The 70m S/Y Sybaris was presented with the ‘Best Interior’ award for her stunning interiors masterminded by PH Design of Miami.

The brand new sailing yacht built by the Italian shipyard was awarded for the design and bespoke work made on her interior areas made by the yacht designers Peter Hawrylewicz and Ken Lieber. The award was given on stage to her owner Bill Duker.

“A Perini is not only a yacht, it is a style of life and Sybaris proves this,” commented Fabio Boschi, President of Perini Navi on the occasion of the press presentation onboard Sybaris.

Perini Navi also showcased the 38m S/Y Dahlak. Both Sybaris and Dahlak feature Perini Navi’s latest generation sail handling and stored power systems.

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The Haves and the Have-Yachts

By Evan Osnos

In the Victorian era, it was said that the length of a man’s boat, in feet, should match his age, in years. The Victorians would have had some questions at the fortieth annual Palm Beach International Boat Show, which convened this March on Florida’s Gold Coast. A typical offering: a two-hundred-and-three-foot superyacht named Sea Owl, selling secondhand for ninety million dollars. The owner, Robert Mercer, the hedge-fund tycoon and Republican donor, was throwing in furniture and accessories, including several auxiliary boats, a Steinway piano, a variety of frescoes, and a security system that requires fingerprint recognition. Nevertheless, Mercer’s package was a modest one; the largest superyachts are more than five hundred feet, on a scale with naval destroyers, and cost six or seven times what he was asking.

For the small, tight-lipped community around the world’s biggest yachts, the Palm Beach show has the promising air of spring training. On the cusp of the summer season, it affords brokers and builders and owners (or attendants from their family offices) a chance to huddle over the latest merchandise and to gather intelligence: Who’s getting in? Who’s getting out? And, most pressingly, who’s ogling a bigger boat?

On the docks, brokers parse the crowd according to a taxonomy of potential. Guests asking for tours face a gantlet of greeters, trained to distinguish “superrich clients” from “ineligible visitors,” in the words of Emma Spence, a former greeter at the Palm Beach show. Spence looked for promising clues (the right shoes, jewelry, pets) as well as for red flags (cameras, ornate business cards, clothes with pop-culture references). For greeters from elsewhere, Palm Beach is a challenging assignment. Unlike in Europe, where money can still produce some visible tells—Hunter Wellies, a Barbour jacket—the habits of wealth in Florida offer little that’s reliable. One colleague resorted to binoculars, to spot a passerby with a hundred-thousand-dollar watch. According to Spence, people judged to have insufficient buying power are quietly marked for “dissuasion.”

For the uninitiated, a pleasure boat the length of a football field can be bewildering. Andy Cohen, the talk-show host, recalled his first visit to a superyacht owned by the media mogul Barry Diller: “I was like the Beverly Hillbillies.” The boats have grown so vast that some owners place unique works of art outside the elevator on each deck, so that lost guests don’t barge into the wrong stateroom.

At the Palm Beach show, I lingered in front of a gracious vessel called Namasté, until I was dissuaded by a wooden placard: “Private yacht, no boarding, no paparazzi.” In a nearby berth was a two-hundred-and-eighty-foot superyacht called Bold, which was styled like a warship, with its own helicopter hangar, three Sea-Doos, two sailboats, and a color scheme of gunmetal gray. The rugged look is a trend; “explorer” vessels, equipped to handle remote journeys, are the sport-utility vehicles of yachting.

If you hail from the realm of ineligible visitors, you may not be aware that we are living through the “greatest boom in the yacht business that’s ever existed,” as Bob Denison—whose firm, Denison Yachting, is one of the world’s largest brokers—told me. “Every broker, every builder, up and down the docks, is having some of the best years they’ve ever experienced.” In 2021, the industry sold a record eight hundred and eighty-seven superyachts worldwide, nearly twice the previous year’s total. With more than a thousand new superyachts on order, shipyards are so backed up that clients unaccustomed to being told no have been shunted to waiting lists.

One reason for the increased demand for yachts is the pandemic. Some buyers invoke social distancing; others, an existential awakening. John Staluppi, of Palm Beach Gardens, who made a fortune from car dealerships, is looking to upgrade from his current, sixty-million-dollar yacht. “When you’re forty or fifty years old, you say, ‘I’ve got plenty of time,’ ” he told me. But, at seventy-five, he is ready to throw in an extra fifteen million if it will spare him three years of waiting. “Is your life worth five million dollars a year? I think so,” he said. A deeper reason for the demand is the widening imbalance of wealth. Since 1990, the United States’ supply of billionaires has increased from sixty-six to more than seven hundred, even as the median hourly wage has risen only twenty per cent. In that time, the number of truly giant yachts—those longer than two hundred and fifty feet—has climbed from less than ten to more than a hundred and seventy. Raphael Sauleau, the C.E.O. of Fraser Yachts, told me bluntly, “ COVID and wealth—a perfect storm for us.”

And yet the marina in Palm Beach was thrumming with anxiety. Ever since the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, launched his assault on Ukraine, the superyacht world has come under scrutiny. At a port in Spain, a Ukrainian engineer named Taras Ostapchuk, working aboard a ship that he said was owned by a Russian arms dealer, threw open the sea valves and tried to sink it to the bottom of the harbor. Under arrest, he told a judge, “I would do it again.” Then he returned to Ukraine and joined the military. Western allies, in the hope of pressuring Putin to withdraw, have sought to cut off Russian oligarchs from businesses and luxuries abroad. “We are coming for your ill-begotten gains,” President Joe Biden declared, in his State of the Union address.

Nobody can say precisely how many of Putin’s associates own superyachts—known to professionals as “white boats”—because the white-boat world is notoriously opaque. Owners tend to hide behind shell companies, registered in obscure tax havens, attended by private bankers and lawyers. But, with unusual alacrity, authorities have used subpoenas and police powers to freeze boats suspected of having links to the Russian élite. In Spain, the government detained a hundred-and-fifty-million-dollar yacht associated with Sergei Chemezov, the head of the conglomerate Rostec, whose bond with Putin reaches back to their time as K.G.B. officers in East Germany. (As in many cases, the boat is not registered to Chemezov; the official owner is a shell company connected to his stepdaughter, a teacher whose salary is likely about twenty-two hundred dollars a month.) In Germany, authorities impounded the world’s most voluminous yacht, Dilbar, for its ties to the mining-and-telecom tycoon Alisher Usmanov. And in Italy police have grabbed a veritable armada, including a boat owned by one of Russia’s richest men, Alexei Mordashov, and a colossus suspected of belonging to Putin himself, the four-hundred-and-fifty-nine-foot Scheherazade.

In Palm Beach, the yachting community worried that the same scrutiny might be applied to them. “Say your superyacht is in Asia, and there’s some big conflict where China invades Taiwan,” Denison told me. “China could spin it as ‘Look at these American oligarchs!’ ” He wondered if the seizures of superyachts marked a growing political animus toward the very rich. “Whenever things are economically or politically disruptive,” he said, “it’s hard to justify taking an insane amount of money and just putting it into something that costs a lot to maintain, depreciates, and is only used for having a good time.”

Nobody pretends that a superyacht is a productive place to stash your wealth. In a column this spring headlined “ A SUPERYACHT IS A TERRIBLE ASSET ,” the Financial Times observed, “Owning a superyacht is like owning a stack of 10 Van Goghs, only you are holding them over your head as you tread water, trying to keep them dry.”

Not so long ago, status transactions among the élite were denominated in Old Masters and in the sculptures of the Italian Renaissance. Joseph Duveen, the dominant art dealer of the early twentieth century, kept the oligarchs of his day—Andrew Mellon, Jules Bache, J. P. Morgan—jockeying over Donatellos and Van Dycks. “When you pay high for the priceless,” he liked to say, “you’re getting it cheap.”

Man talking to woman who is holding a baby keeping the dog and another child entertained and cooking.

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In the nineteen-fifties, the height of aspirational style was fine French furniture—F.F.F., as it became known in certain precincts of Fifth Avenue and Palm Beach. Before long, more and more money was going airborne. Hugh Hefner, a pioneer in the private-jet era, decked out a plane he called Big Bunny, where he entertained Elvis Presley, Raquel Welch, and James Caan. The oil baron Armand Hammer circled the globe on his Boeing 727, paying bribes and recording evidence on microphones hidden in his cufflinks. But, once it seemed that every plutocrat had a plane, the thrill was gone.

In any case, an airplane is just transportation. A big ship is a floating manse, with a hierarchy written right into the nomenclature. If it has a crew working aboard, it’s a yacht. If it’s more than ninety-eight feet, it’s a superyacht. After that, definitions are debated, but people generally agree that anything more than two hundred and thirty feet is a megayacht, and more than two hundred and ninety-five is a gigayacht. The world contains about fifty-four hundred superyachts, and about a hundred gigayachts.

For the moment, a gigayacht is the most expensive item that our species has figured out how to own. In 2019, the hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin bought a quadruplex on Central Park South for two hundred and forty million dollars, the highest price ever paid for a home in America. In May, an unknown buyer spent about a hundred and ninety-five million on an Andy Warhol silk-screen portrait of Marilyn Monroe. In luxury-yacht terms, those are ordinary numbers. “There are a lot of boats in build well over two hundred and fifty million dollars,” Jamie Edmiston, a broker in Monaco and London, told me. His buyers are getting younger and more inclined to spend long stretches at sea. “High-speed Internet, telephony, modern communications have made working easier,” he said. “Plus, people made a lot more money earlier in life.”

A Silicon Valley C.E.O. told me that one appeal of boats is that they can “absorb the most excess capital.” He explained, “Rationally, it would seem to make sense for people to spend half a billion dollars on their house and then fifty million on the boat that they’re on for two weeks a year, right? But it’s gone the other way. People don’t want to live in a hundred-thousand-square-foot house. Optically, it’s weird. But a half-billion-dollar boat, actually, is quite nice.” Staluppi, of Palm Beach Gardens, is content to spend three or four times as much on his yachts as on his homes. Part of the appeal is flexibility. “If you’re on your boat and you don’t like your neighbor, you tell the captain, ‘Let’s go to a different place,’ ” he said. On land, escaping a bad neighbor requires more work: “You got to try and buy him out or make it uncomfortable or something.” The preference for sea-based investment has altered the proportions of taste. Until recently, the Silicon Valley C.E.O. said, “a fifty-metre boat was considered a good-sized boat. Now that would be a little bit embarrassing.” In the past twenty years, the length of the average luxury yacht has grown by a third, to a hundred and sixty feet.

Thorstein Veblen, the economist who published “The Theory of the Leisure Class,” in 1899, argued that the power of “conspicuous consumption” sprang not from artful finery but from sheer needlessness. “In order to be reputable,” he wrote, “it must be wasteful.” In the yachting world, stories circulate about exotic deliveries by helicopter or seaplane: Dom Pérignon, bagels from Zabar’s, sex workers, a rare melon from the island of Hokkaido. The industry excels at selling you things that you didn’t know you needed. When you flip through the yachting press, it’s easy to wonder how you’ve gone this long without a personal submarine, or a cryosauna that “blasts you with cold” down to minus one hundred and ten degrees Celsius, or the full menagerie of “exclusive leathers,” such as eel and stingray.

But these shrines to excess capital exist in a conditional state of visibility: they are meant to be unmistakable to a slender stratum of society—and all but unseen by everyone else. Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the yachting community was straining to manage its reputation as a gusher of carbon emissions (one well-stocked diesel yacht is estimated to produce as much greenhouse gas as fifteen hundred passenger cars), not to mention the fact that the world of white boats is overwhelmingly white. In a candid aside to a French documentarian, the American yachtsman Bill Duker said, “If the rest of the world learns what it’s like to live on a yacht like this, they’re gonna bring back the guillotine.” The Dutch press recently reported that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, was building a sailing yacht so tall that the city of Rotterdam might temporarily dismantle a bridge that had survived the Nazis in order to let the boat pass to the open sea. Rotterdammers were not pleased. On Facebook, a local man urged people to “take a box of rotten eggs with you and let’s throw them en masse at Jeff’s superyacht when it sails through.” At least thirteen thousand people expressed interest. Amid the uproar, a deputy mayor announced that the dismantling plan had been abandoned “for the time being.” (Bezos modelled his yacht partly on one owned by his friend Barry Diller, who has hosted him many times. The appreciation eventually extended to personnel, and Bezos hired one of Diller’s captains.)

As social media has heightened the scrutiny of extraordinary wealth, some of the very people who created those platforms have sought less observable places to spend it. But they occasionally indulge in some coded provocation. In 2006, when the venture capitalist Tom Perkins unveiled his boat in Istanbul, most passersby saw it adorned in colorful flags, but people who could read semaphore were able to make out a message: “Rarely does one have the privilege to witness vulgar ostentation displayed on such a scale.” As a longtime owner told me, “If you don’t have some guilt about it, you’re a rat.”

Alex Finley, a former C.I.A. officer who has seen yachts proliferate near her home in Barcelona, has weighed the superyacht era and its discontents in writings and on Twitter, using the hashtag #YachtWatch. “To me, the yachts are not just yachts,” she told me. “In Russia’s case, these are the embodiment of oligarchs helping a dictator destabilize our democracy while utilizing our democracy to their benefit.” But, Finley added, it’s a mistake to think the toxic symbolism applies only to Russia. “The yachts tell a whole story about a Faustian capitalism—this idea that we’re ready to sell democracy for short-term profit,” she said. “They’re registered offshore. They use every loophole that we’ve put in place for illicit money and tax havens. So they play a role in this battle, writ large, between autocracy and democracy.”

After a morning on the docks at the Palm Beach show, I headed to a more secluded marina nearby, which had been set aside for what an attendant called “the really big hardware.” It felt less like a trade show than like a boutique resort, with a swimming pool and a terrace restaurant. Kevin Merrigan, a relaxed Californian with horn-rimmed glasses and a high forehead pinked by the sun, was waiting for me at the stern of Unbridled, a superyacht with a brilliant blue hull that gave it the feel of a personal cruise ship. He invited me to the bridge deck, where a giant screen showed silent video of dolphins at play.

Merrigan is the chairman of the brokerage Northrop & Johnson, which has ridden the tide of growing boats and wealth since 1949. Lounging on a sofa mounded with throw pillows, he projected a nearly postcoital level of contentment. He had recently sold the boat we were on, accepted an offer for a behemoth beside us, and begun negotiating the sale of yet another. “This client owns three big yachts,” he said. “It’s a hobby for him. We’re at a hundred and ninety-one feet now, and last night he said, ‘You know, what do you think about getting a two hundred and fifty?’ ” Merrigan laughed. “And I was, like, ‘Can’t you just have dinner?’ ”

Among yacht owners, there are some unwritten rules of stratification: a Dutch-built boat will hold its value better than an Italian; a custom design will likely get more respect than a “series yacht”; and, if you want to disparage another man’s boat, say that it looks like a wedding cake. But, in the end, nothing says as much about a yacht, or its owner, as the delicate matter of L.O.A.—length over all.

The imperative is not usually length for length’s sake (though the longtime owner told me that at times there is an aspect of “phallic sizing”). “L.O.A.” is a byword for grandeur. In most cases, pleasure yachts are permitted to carry no more than twelve passengers, a rule set by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, which was conceived after the sinking of the Titanic. But those limits do not apply to crew. “So, you might have anything between twelve and fifty crew looking after those twelve guests,” Edmiston, the broker, said. “It’s a level of service you cannot really contemplate until you’ve been fortunate enough to experience it.”

As yachts have grown more capacious, and the limits on passengers have not, more and more space on board has been devoted to staff and to novelties. The latest fashions include IMAX theatres, hospital equipment that tests for dozens of pathogens, and ski rooms where guests can suit up for a helicopter trip to a mountaintop. The longtime owner, who had returned the previous day from his yacht, told me, “No one today—except for assholes and ridiculous people—lives on land in what you would call a deep and broad luxe life. Yes, people have nice houses and all of that, but it’s unlikely that the ratio of staff to them is what it is on a boat.” After a moment, he added, “Boats are the last place that I think you can get away with it.”

Even among the truly rich, there is a gap between the haves and the have-yachts. One boating guest told me about a conversation with a famous friend who keeps one of the world’s largest yachts. “He said, ‘The boat is the last vestige of what real wealth can do.’ What he meant is, You have a chef, and I have a chef. You have a driver, and I have a driver. You can fly privately, and I fly privately. So, the one place where I can make clear to the world that I am in a different fucking category than you is the boat.”

After Merrigan and I took a tour of Unbridled, he led me out to a waiting tender, staffed by a crew member with an earpiece on a coil. The tender, Merrigan said, would ferry me back to the busy main dock of the Palm Beach show. We bounced across the waves under a pristine sky, and pulled into the marina, where my fellow-gawkers were still trying to talk their way past the greeters. As I walked back into the scrum, Namasté was still there, but it looked smaller than I remembered.

For owners and their guests, a white boat provides a discreet marketplace for the exchange of trust, patronage, and validation. To diagram the precise workings of that trade—the customs and anxieties, strategies and slights—I talked to Brendan O’Shannassy, a veteran captain who is a curator of white-boat lore. Raised in Western Australia, O’Shannassy joined the Navy as a young man, and eventually found his way to skippering some of the world’s biggest yachts. He has worked for Paul Allen, the late co-founder of Microsoft, along with a few other billionaires he declines to name. Now in his early fifties, with patient green eyes and tufts of curly brown hair, O’Shannassy has had a vantage from which to monitor the social traffic. “It’s all gracious, and everyone’s kiss-kiss,” he said. “But there’s a lot going on in the background.”

O’Shannassy once worked for an owner who limited the number of newspapers on board, so that he could watch his guests wait and squirm. “It was a mind game amongst the billionaires. There were six couples, and three newspapers,” he said, adding, “They were ranking themselves constantly.” On some boats, O’Shannassy has found himself playing host in the awkward minutes after guests arrive. “A lot of them are savants, but some are very un-socially aware,” he said. “They need someone to be social and charming for them.” Once everyone settles in, O’Shannassy has learned, there is often a subtle shift, when a mogul or a politician or a pop star starts to loosen up in ways that are rarely possible on land. “Your security is relaxed—they’re not on your hip,” he said. “You’re not worried about paparazzi. So you’ve got all this extra space, both mental and physical.”

O’Shannassy has come to see big boats as a space where powerful “solar systems” converge and combine. “It is implicit in every interaction that their sharing of information will benefit both parties; it is an obsession with billionaires to do favours for each other. A referral, an introduction, an insight—it all matters,” he wrote in “Superyacht Captain,” a new memoir. A guest told O’Shannassy that, after a lavish display of hospitality, he finally understood the business case for buying a boat. “One deal secured on board will pay it all back many times over,” the guest said, “and it is pretty hard to say no after your kids have been hosted so well for a week.”

Take the case of David Geffen, the former music and film executive. He is long retired, but he hosts friends (and potential friends) on the four-hundred-and-fifty-four-foot Rising Sun, which has a double-height cinema, a spa and salon, and a staff of fifty-seven. In 2017, shortly after Barack and Michelle Obama departed the White House, they were photographed on Geffen’s boat in French Polynesia, accompanied by Bruce Springsteen, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, and Rita Wilson. For Geffen, the boat keeps him connected to the upper echelons of power. There are wealthier Americans, but not many of them have a boat so delectable that it can induce both a Democratic President and the workingman’s crooner to risk the aroma of hypocrisy.

The binding effect pays dividends for guests, too. Once people reach a certain level of fame, they tend to conclude that its greatest advantage is access. Spend a week at sea together, lingering over meals, observing one another floundering on a paddleboard, and you have something of value for years to come. Call to ask for an investment, an introduction, an internship for a wayward nephew, and you’ll at least get the call returned. It’s a mutually reinforcing circle of validation: she’s here, I’m here, we’re here.

But, if you want to get invited back, you are wise to remember your part of the bargain. If you work with movie stars, bring fresh gossip. If you’re on Wall Street, bring an insight or two. Don’t make the transaction obvious, but don’t forget why you’re there. “When I see the guest list,” O’Shannassy wrote, “I am aware, even if not all names are familiar, that all have been chosen for a purpose.”

For O’Shannassy, there is something comforting about the status anxieties of people who have everything. He recalled a visit to the Italian island of Sardinia, where his employer asked him for a tour of the boats nearby. Riding together on a tender, they passed one colossus after another, some twice the size of the owner’s superyacht. Eventually, the man cut the excursion short. “Take me back to my yacht, please,” he said. They motored in silence for a while. “There was a time when my yacht was the most beautiful in the bay,” he said at last. “How do I keep up with this new money?”

The summer season in the Mediterranean cranks up in May, when the really big hardware heads east from Florida and the Caribbean to escape the coming hurricanes, and reconvenes along the coasts of France, Italy, and Spain. At the center is the Principality of Monaco, the sun-washed tax haven that calls itself the “world’s capital of advanced yachting.” In Monaco, which is among the richest countries on earth, superyachts bob in the marina like bath toys.

Angry child yells at music teacher.

The nearest hotel room at a price that would not get me fired was an Airbnb over the border with France. But an acquaintance put me on the phone with the Yacht Club de Monaco, a members-only establishment created by the late monarch His Serene Highness Prince Rainier III, whom the Web site describes as “a true visionary in every respect.” The club occasionally rents rooms—“cabins,” as they’re called—to visitors in town on yacht-related matters. Claudia Batthyany, the elegant director of special projects, showed me to my cabin and later explained that the club does not aspire to be a hotel. “We are an association ,” she said. “Otherwise, it becomes”—she gave a gentle wince—“not that exclusive.”

Inside my cabin, I quickly came to understand that I would never be fully satisfied anywhere else again. The space was silent and aromatically upscale, bathed in soft sunlight that swept through a wall of glass overlooking the water. If I was getting a sudden rush of the onboard experience, that was no accident. The clubhouse was designed by the British architect Lord Norman Foster to evoke the opulent indulgence of ocean liners of the interwar years, like the Queen Mary. I found a handwritten welcome note, on embossed club stationery, set alongside an orchid and an assemblage of chocolate truffles: “The whole team remains at your entire disposal to make your stay a wonderful experience. Yours sincerely, Service Members.” I saluted the nameless Service Members, toiling for the comfort of their guests. Looking out at the water, I thought, intrusively, of a line from Santiago, Hemingway’s old man of the sea. “Do not think about sin,” he told himself. “It is much too late for that and there are people who are paid to do it.”

I had been assured that the Service Members would cheerfully bring dinner, as they might on board, but I was eager to see more of my surroundings. I consulted the club’s summer dress code. It called for white trousers and a blue blazer, and it discouraged improvisation: “No pocket handkerchief is to be worn above the top breast-pocket bearing the Club’s coat of arms.” The handkerchief rule seemed navigable, but I did not possess white trousers, so I skirted the lobby and took refuge in the bar. At a table behind me, a man with flushed cheeks and a British accent had a head start. “You’re a shitty negotiator,” he told another man, with a laugh. “Maybe sales is not your game.” A few seats away, an American woman was explaining to a foreign friend how to talk with conservatives: “If they say, ‘The earth is flat,’ you say, ‘Well, I’ve sailed around it, so I’m not so sure about that.’ ”

In the morning, I had an appointment for coffee with Gaëlle Tallarida, the managing director of the Monaco Yacht Show, which the Daily Mail has called the “most shamelessly ostentatious display of yachts in the world.” Tallarida was not born to that milieu; she grew up on the French side of the border, swimming at public beaches with a view of boats sailing from the marina. But she had a knack for highly organized spectacle. While getting a business degree, she worked on a student theatre festival and found it thrilling. Afterward, she got a job in corporate events, and in 1998 she was hired at the yacht show as a trainee.

With this year’s show five months off, Tallarida was already getting calls about what she described as “the most complex part of my work”: deciding which owners get the most desirable spots in the marina. “As you can imagine, they’ve got very big egos,” she said. “On top of that, I’m a woman. They are sometimes arriving and saying”—she pointed into the distance, pantomiming a decree—“ ‘O.K., I want that!  ’ ”

Just about everyone wants his superyacht to be viewed from the side, so that its full splendor is visible. Most harbors, however, have a limited number of berths with a side view; in Monaco, there are only twelve, with prime spots arrayed along a concrete dike across from the club. “We reserve the dike for the biggest yachts,” Tallarida said. But try telling that to a man who blew his fortune on a small superyacht.

Whenever possible, Tallarida presents her verdicts as a matter of safety: the layout must insure that “in case of an emergency, any boat can go out.” If owners insist on preferential placement, she encourages a yachting version of the Golden Rule: “What if, next year, I do that to you? Against you?”

Does that work? I asked. She shrugged. “They say, ‘Eh.’ ” Some would gladly risk being a victim next year in order to be a victor now. In the most awful moment of her career, she said, a man who was unhappy with his berth berated her face to face. “I was in the office, feeling like a little girl, with my daddy shouting at me. I said, ‘O.K., O.K., I’m going to give you the spot.’ ”

Securing just the right place, it must be said, carries value. Back at the yacht club, I was on my terrace, enjoying the latest delivery by the Service Members—an airy French omelette and a glass of preternaturally fresh orange juice. I thought guiltily of my wife, at home with our kids, who had sent a text overnight alerting me to a maintenance issue that she described as “a toilet debacle.”

Then I was distracted by the sight of a man on a yacht in the marina below. He was staring up at me. I went back to my brunch, but, when I looked again, there he was—a middle-aged man, on a mid-tier yacht, juiceless, on a greige banquette, staring up at my perfect terrace. A surprising sensation started in my chest and moved outward like a warm glow: the unmistakable pang of superiority.

That afternoon, I made my way to the bar, to meet the yacht club’s general secretary, Bernard d’Alessandri, for a history lesson. The general secretary was up to code: white trousers, blue blazer, club crest over the heart. He has silver hair, black eyebrows, and a tan that evokes high-end leather. “I was a sailing teacher before this,” he said, and gestured toward the marina. “It was not like this. It was a village.”

Before there were yacht clubs, there were jachten , from the Dutch word for “hunt.” In the seventeenth century, wealthy residents of Amsterdam created fast-moving boats to meet incoming cargo ships before they hit port, in order to check out the merchandise. Soon, the Dutch owners were racing one another, and yachting spread across Europe. After a visit to Holland in 1697, Peter the Great returned to Russia with a zeal for pleasure craft, and he later opened Nevsky Flot, one of the world’s first yacht clubs, in St. Petersburg.

For a while, many of the biggest yachts were symbols of state power. In 1863, the viceroy of Egypt, Isma’il Pasha, ordered up a steel leviathan called El Mahrousa, which was the world’s longest yacht for a remarkable hundred and nineteen years, until the title was claimed by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. In the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt received guests aboard the U.S.S. Potomac, which had a false smokestack containing a hidden elevator, so that the President could move by wheelchair between decks.

But yachts were finding new patrons outside politics. In 1954, the Greek shipping baron Aristotle Onassis bought a Canadian Navy frigate and spent four million dollars turning it into Christina O, which served as his home for months on end—and, at various times, as a home to his companions Maria Callas, Greta Garbo, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Christina O had its flourishes—a Renoir in the master suite, a swimming pool with a mosaic bottom that rose to become a dance floor—but none were more distinctive than the appointments in the bar, which included whales’ teeth carved into pornographic scenes from the Odyssey and stools upholstered in whale foreskins.

For Onassis, the extraordinary investments in Christina O were part of an epic tit for tat with his archrival, Stavros Niarchos, a fellow shipping tycoon, which was so entrenched that it continued even after Onassis’s death, in 1975. Six years later, Niarchos launched a yacht fifty-five feet longer than Christina O: Atlantis II, which featured a swimming pool on a gyroscope so that the water would not slosh in heavy seas. Atlantis II, now moored in Monaco, sat before the general secretary and me as we talked.

Over the years, d’Alessandri had watched waves of new buyers arrive from one industry after another. “First, it was the oil. After, it was the telecommunications. Now, they are making money with crypto,” he said. “And, each time, it’s another size of the boat, another design.” What began as symbols of state power had come to represent more diffuse aristocracies—the fortunes built on carbon, capital, and data that migrated across borders. As early as 1908, the English writer G. K. Chesterton wondered what the big boats foretold of a nation’s fabric. “The poor man really has a stake in the country,” he wrote. “The rich man hasn’t; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht.”

Each iteration of fortune left its imprint on the industry. Sheikhs, who tend to cruise in the world’s hottest places, wanted baroque indoor spaces and were uninterested in sundecks. Silicon Valley favored acres of beige, more Sonoma than Saudi. And buyers from Eastern Europe became so abundant that shipyards perfected the onboard banya , a traditional Russian sauna stocked with birch and eucalyptus. The collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1991, had minted a generation of new billionaires, whose approach to money inspired a popular Russian joke: One oligarch brags to another, “Look at this new tie. It cost me two hundred bucks!” To which the other replies, “You moron. You could’ve bought the same one for a thousand!”

In 1998, around the time that the Russian economy imploded, the young tycoon Roman Abramovich reportedly bought a secondhand yacht called Sussurro—Italian for “whisper”—which had been so carefully engineered for speed that each individual screw was weighed before installation. Soon, Russians were competing to own the costliest ships. “If the most expensive yacht in the world was small, they would still want it,” Maria Pevchikh, a Russian investigator who helps lead the Anti-Corruption Foundation, told me.

In 2008, a thirty-six-year-old industrialist named Andrey Melnichenko spent some three hundred million dollars on Motor Yacht A, a radical experiment conceived by the French designer Philippe Starck, with a dagger-shaped hull and a bulbous tower topped by a master bedroom set on a turntable that pivots to capture the best view. The shape was ridiculed as “a giant finger pointing at you” and “one of the most hideous vessels ever to sail,” but it marked a new prominence for Russian money at sea. Today, post-Soviet élites are thought to own a fifth of the world’s gigayachts.

Even Putin has signalled his appreciation, being photographed on yachts in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. In an explosive report in 2012, Boris Nemtsov, a former Deputy Prime Minister, accused Putin of amassing a storehouse of outrageous luxuries, including four yachts, twenty homes, and dozens of private aircraft. Less than three years later, Nemtsov was fatally shot while crossing a bridge near the Kremlin. The Russian government, which officially reports that Putin collects a salary of about a hundred and forty thousand dollars and possesses a modest apartment in Moscow, denied any involvement.

Many of the largest, most flamboyant gigayachts are designed in Monaco, at a sleek waterfront studio occupied by the naval architect Espen Øino. At sixty, Øino has a boyish mop and the mild countenance of a country parson. He grew up in a small town in Norway, the heir to a humble maritime tradition. “My forefathers built wooden rowing boats for four generations,” he told me. In the late eighties, he was designing sailboats when his firm won a commission to design a megayacht for Emilio Azcárraga, the autocratic Mexican who built Televisa into the world’s largest Spanish-language broadcaster. Azcárraga was nicknamed El Tigre, for his streak of white hair and his comfort with confrontation; he kept a chair in his office that was unusually high off the ground, so that visitors’ feet dangled like children’s.

In early meetings, Øino recalled, Azcárraga grew frustrated that the ideas were not dazzling enough. “You must understand,” he said. “I don’t go to port very often with my boats, but, when I do, I want my presence to be felt.”

The final design was suitably arresting; after the boat was completed, Øino had no shortage of commissions. In 1998, he was approached by Paul Allen, of Microsoft, to build a yacht that opened the way for the Goliaths that followed. The result, called Octopus, was so large that it contained a submarine marina in its belly, as well as a helicopter hangar that could be converted into an outdoor performance space. Mick Jagger and Bono played on occasion. I asked Øino why owners obsessed with secrecy seem determined to build the world’s most conspicuous machines. He compared it to a luxury car with tinted windows. “People can’t see you, but you’re still in that expensive, impressive thing,” he said. “We all need to feel that we’re important in one way or another.”

Two people standing on city sidewalk on hot summer day.

In recent months, Øino has seen some of his creations detained by governments in the sanctions campaign. When we spoke, he condemned the news coverage. “Yacht equals Russian equals evil equals money,” he said disdainfully. “It’s a bit tragic, because the yachts have become synonymous with the bad guys in a James Bond movie.”

What about Scheherazade, the giant yacht that U.S. officials have alleged is held by a Russian businessman for Putin’s use? Øino, who designed the ship, rejected the idea. “We have designed two yachts for heads of state, and I can tell you that they’re completely different, in terms of the layout and everything, from Scheherazade.” He meant that the details said plutocrat, not autocrat.

For the time being, Scheherazade and other Øino creations under detention across Europe have entered a strange legal purgatory. As lawyers for the owners battle to keep the ships from being permanently confiscated, local governments are duty-bound to maintain them until a resolution is reached. In a comment recorded by a hot mike in June, Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national-security adviser, marvelled that “people are basically being paid to maintain Russian superyachts on behalf of the United States government.” (It usually costs about ten per cent of a yacht’s construction price to keep it afloat each year. In May, officials in Fiji complained that a detained yacht was costing them more than a hundred and seventy-one thousand dollars a day.)

Stranger still are the Russian yachts on the lam. Among them is Melnichenko’s much maligned Motor Yacht A. On March 9th, Melnichenko was sanctioned by the European Union, and although he denied having close ties to Russia’s leadership, Italy seized one of his yachts—a six-hundred-million-dollar sailboat. But Motor Yacht A slipped away before anyone could grab it. Then the boat turned off the transponder required by international maritime rules, so that its location could no longer be tracked. The last ping was somewhere near the Maldives, before it went dark on the high seas.

The very largest yachts come from Dutch and German shipyards, which have experience in naval vessels, known as “gray boats.” But the majority of superyachts are built in Italy, partly because owners prefer to visit the Mediterranean during construction. (A British designer advises those who are weighing their choices to take the geography seriously, “unless you like schnitzel.”)

In the past twenty-two years, nobody has built more superyachts than the Vitellis, an Italian family whose patriarch, Paolo Vitelli, got his start in the seventies, manufacturing smaller boats near a lake in the mountains. By 1985, their company, Azimut, had grown large enough to buy the Benetti shipyards, which had been building enormous yachts since the nineteenth century. Today, the combined company builds its largest boats near the sea, but the family still works in the hill town of Avigliana, where a medieval monastery towers above a valley. When I visited in April, Giovanna Vitelli, the vice-president and the founder’s daughter, led me through the experience of customizing a yacht.

“We’re using more and more virtual reality,” she said, and a staffer fitted me with a headset. When the screen blinked on, I was inside a 3-D mockup of a yacht that is not yet on the market. I wandered around my suite for a while, checking out swivel chairs, a modish sideboard, blond wood panelling on the walls. It was convincing enough that I collided with a real-life desk.

After we finished with the headset, it was time to pick the décor. The industry encourages an introspective evaluation: What do you want your yacht to say about you? I was handed a vibrant selection of wood, marble, leather, and carpet. The choices felt suddenly grave. Was I cut out for the chiselled look of Cream Vesuvio, or should I accept that I’m a gray Cardoso Stone? For carpets, I liked the idea of Chablis Corn White—Paris and the prairie, together at last. But, for extra seating, was it worth splurging for the V.I.P. Vanity Pouf?

Some designs revolve around a single piece of art. The most expensive painting ever sold, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” reportedly was hung on the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s four-hundred-and-thirty-nine-foot yacht Serene, after the Louvre rejected a Saudi demand that it hang next to the “Mona Lisa.” Art conservators blanched at the risks that excess humidity and fluctuating temperatures could pose to a five-hundred-year-old painting. Often, collectors who want to display masterpieces at sea commission replicas.

If you’ve just put half a billion dollars into a boat, you may have qualms about the truism that material things bring less happiness than experiences do. But this, too, can be finessed. Andrew Grant Super, a co-founder of the “experiential yachting” firm Berkeley Rand, told me that he served a uniquely overstimulated clientele: “We call them the bored billionaires.” He outlined a few of his experience products. “We can plot half of the Pacific Ocean with coördinates, to map out the Battle of Midway,” he said. “We re-create the full-blown battles of the giant ships from America and Japan. The kids have haptic guns and haptic vests. We put the smell of cordite and cannon fire on board, pumping around them.” For those who aren’t soothed by the scent of cordite, Super offered an alternative. “We fly 3-D-printed, architectural freestanding restaurants into the middle of the Maldives, on a sand shelf that can only last another eight hours before it disappears.”

For some, the thrill lies in the engineering. Staluppi, born in Brooklyn, was an auto mechanic who had no experience with the sea until his boss asked him to soup up a boat. “I took the six-cylinder engines out and put V-8 engines in,” he recalled. Once he started commissioning boats of his own, he built scale models to conduct tests in water tanks. “I knew I could never have the biggest boat in the world, so I says, ‘You know what? I want to build the fastest yacht in the world.’ The Aga Khan had the fastest yacht, and we just blew right by him.”

In Italy, after decking out my notional yacht, I headed south along the coast, to Tuscan shipyards that have evolved with each turn in the country’s history. Close to the Carrara quarries, which yielded the marble that Michelangelo turned into David, ships were constructed in the nineteenth century, to transport giant blocks of stone. Down the coast, the yards in Livorno made warships under the Fascists, until they were bombed by the Allies. Later, they began making and refitting luxury yachts. Inside the front gate of a Benetti shipyard in Livorno, a set of models depicted the firm’s famous modern creations. Most notable was the megayacht Nabila, built in 1980 for the high-living arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, with a hundred rooms and a disco that was the site of legendary decadence. (Khashoggi’s budget for prostitution was so extravagant that a French prosecutor later estimated he paid at least half a million dollars to a single madam in a single year.)

In 1987, shortly before Khashoggi was indicted for mail fraud and obstruction of justice (he was eventually acquitted), the yacht was sold to the real-estate developer Donald Trump, who renamed it Trump Princess. Trump was never comfortable on a boat—“Couldn’t get off fast enough,” he once said—but he liked to impress people with his yacht’s splendor. In 1991, while three billion dollars in debt, Trump ceded the vessel to creditors. Later in life, though, he discovered enthusiastic support among what he called “our beautiful boaters,” and he came to see quality watercraft as a mark of virtue—a way of beating the so-called élite. “We got better houses, apartments, we got nicer boats, we’re smarter than they are,” he told a crowd in Fargo, North Dakota. “Let’s call ourselves, from now on, the super-élite.”

In the age of oversharing, yachts are a final sanctum of secrecy, even for some of the world’s most inveterate talkers. Oprah, after returning from her sojourn with the Obamas, rebuffed questions from reporters. “What happens on the boat stays on the boat,” she said. “We talked, and everybody else did a lot of paddleboarding.”

I interviewed six American superyacht owners at length, and almost all insisted on anonymity or held forth with stupefying blandness. “Great family time,” one said. Another confessed, “It’s really hard to talk about it without being ridiculed.” None needed to be reminded of David Geffen’s misadventure during the early weeks of the pandemic, when he Instagrammed a photo of his yacht in the Grenadines and posted that he was “avoiding the virus” and “hoping everybody is staying safe.” It drew thousands of responses, many marked #EatTheRich, others summoning a range of nautical menaces: “At least the pirates have his location now.”

The yachts extend a tradition of seclusion as the ultimate luxury. The Medici, in sixteenth-century Florence, built elevated passageways, or corridoi , high over the city to escape what a scholar called the “clash of classes, the randomness, the smells and confusions” of pedestrian life below. More recently, owners of prized town houses in London have headed in the other direction, building three-story basements so vast that their construction can require mining engineers—a trend that researchers in the United Kingdom named “luxified troglodytism.”

Water conveys a particular autonomy, whether it’s ringing the foot of a castle or separating a private island from the mainland. Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist, gave startup funding to the Seasteading Institute, a nonprofit group co-founded by Milton Friedman’s grandson, which seeks to create floating mini-states—an endeavor that Thiel considered part of his libertarian project to “escape from politics in all its forms.” Until that fantasy is realized, a white boat can provide a start. A recent feature in Boat International , a glossy trade magazine, noted that the new hundred-and-twenty-five-million-dollar megayacht Victorious has four generators and “six months’ autonomy” at sea. The builder, Vural Ak, explained, “In case of emergency, god forbid, you can live in open water without going to shore and keep your food stored, make your water from the sea.”

Much of the time, superyachts dwell beyond the reach of ordinary law enforcement. They cruise in international waters, and, when they dock, local cops tend to give them a wide berth; the boats often have private security, and their owners may well be friends with the Prime Minister. According to leaked documents known as the Paradise Papers, handlers proposed that the Saudi crown prince take delivery of a four-hundred-and-twenty-million-dollar yacht in “international waters in the western Mediterranean,” where the sale could avoid taxes.

Builders and designers rarely advertise beyond the trade press, and they scrupulously avoid leaks. At Lürssen, a German shipbuilding firm, projects are described internally strictly by reference number and code name. “We are not in the business for the glory,” Peter Lürssen, the C.E.O., told a reporter. The closest thing to an encyclopedia of yacht ownership is a site called SuperYachtFan, run by a longtime researcher who identifies himself only as Peter, with a disclaimer that he relies partly on “rumors” but makes efforts to confirm them. In an e-mail, he told me that he studies shell companies, navigation routes, paparazzi photos, and local media in various languages to maintain a database with more than thirteen hundred supposed owners. Some ask him to remove their names, but he thinks that members of that economic echelon should regard the attention as a “fact of life.”

To work in the industry, staff must adhere to the culture of secrecy, often enforced by N.D.A.s. On one yacht, O’Shannassy, the captain, learned to communicate in code with the helicopter pilot who regularly flew the owner from Switzerland to the Mediterranean. Before takeoff, the pilot would call with a cryptic report on whether the party included the presence of a Pomeranian. If any guest happened to overhear, their cover story was that a customs declaration required details about pets. In fact, the lapdog was a constant companion of the owner’s wife; if the Pomeranian was in the helicopter, so was she. “If no dog was in the helicopter,” O’Shannassy recalled, the owner was bringing “somebody else.” It was the captain’s duty to rebroadcast the news across the yacht’s internal radio: “Helicopter launched, no dog, I repeat no dog today”—the signal for the crew to ready the main cabin for the mistress, instead of the wife. They swapped out dresses, family photos, bathroom supplies, favored drinks in the fridge. On one occasion, the code got garbled, and the helicopter landed with an unanticipated Pomeranian. Afterward, the owner summoned O’Shannassy and said, “Brendan, I hope you never have such a situation, but if you do I recommend making sure the correct dresses are hanging when your wife comes into your room.”

In the hierarchy on board a yacht, the most delicate duties tend to trickle down to the least powerful. Yacht crew—yachties, as they’re known—trade manual labor and obedience for cash and adventure. On a well-staffed boat, the “interior team” operates at a forensic level of detail: they’ll use Q-tips to polish the rim of your toilet, tweezers to lift your fried-chicken crumbs from the teak, a toothbrush to clean the treads of your staircase.

Many are English-speaking twentysomethings, who find work by doing the “dock walk,” passing out résumés at marinas. The deals can be alluring: thirty-five hundred dollars a month for deckhands; fifty thousand dollars in tips for a decent summer in the Med. For captains, the size of the boat matters—they tend to earn about a thousand dollars per foot per year.

Yachties are an attractive lot, a community of the toned and chipper, which does not happen by chance; their résumés circulate with head shots. Before Andy Cohen was a talk-show host, he was the head of production and development at Bravo, where he green-lighted a reality show about a yacht crew: “It’s a total pressure cooker, and they’re actually living together while they’re working. Oh, and by the way, half of them are having sex with each other. What’s not going to be a hit about that?” The result, the gleefully seamy “Below Deck,” has been among the network’s top-rated shows for nearly a decade.

Billboard that resembles on for an injury lawyer but is actually of a woman saying I told you so.

To stay in the business, captains and crew must absorb varying degrees of petty tyranny. An owner once gave O’Shannassy “a verbal beating” for failing to negotiate a lower price on champagne flutes etched with the yacht’s logo. In such moments, the captain responds with a deferential mantra: “There is no excuse. Your instruction was clear. I can only endeavor to make it better for next time.”

The job comes with perilously little protection. A big yacht is effectively a corporation with a rigid hierarchy and no H.R. department. In recent years, the industry has fielded increasingly outspoken complaints about sexual abuse, toxic impunity, and a disregard for mental health. A 2018 survey by the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network found that more than half of the women who work as yacht crew had experienced harassment, discrimination, or bullying on board. More than four-fifths of the men and women surveyed reported low morale.

Karine Rayson worked on yachts for four years, rising to the position of “chief stew,” or stewardess. Eventually, she found herself “thinking of business ideas while vacuuming,” and tiring of the culture of entitlement. She recalled an episode in the Maldives when “a guest took a Jet Ski and smashed into a marine reserve. That damaged the coral, and broke his Jet Ski, so he had to clamber over the rocks and find his way to the shore. It was a private hotel, and the security got him and said, ‘Look, there’s a large fine, you have to pay.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry, the boat will pay for it.’ ” Rayson went back to school and became a psychotherapist. After a period of counselling inmates in maximum-security prisons, she now works with yacht crew, who meet with her online from around the world.

Rayson’s clients report a range of scenarios beyond the boundaries of ordinary employment: guests who did so much cocaine that they had no appetite for a chef’s meals; armed men who raided a boat offshore and threatened to take crew members to another country; owners who vowed that if a young stew told anyone about abuse she suffered on board they’d call in the Mafia and “skin me alive.” Bound by N.D.A.s, crew at sea have little recourse.“We were paranoid that our e-mails were being reviewed, or we were getting bugged,” Rayson said.

She runs an “exit strategy” course to help crew find jobs when they’re back on land. The adjustment isn’t easy, she said: “You’re getting paid good money to clean a toilet. So, when you take your C.V. to land-based employers, they might question your skill set.” Despite the stresses of yachting work, Rayson said, “a lot of them struggle with integration into land-based life, because they have all their bills paid for them, so they don’t pay for food. They don’t pay for rent. It’s a huge shock.”

It doesn’t take long at sea to learn that nothing is too rich to rust. The ocean air tarnishes metal ten times as fast as on land; saltwater infiltrates from below. Left untouched, a single corroding ulcer will puncture tanks, seize a motor, even collapse a hull. There are tricks, of course—shield sensitive parts with resin, have your staff buff away blemishes—but you can insulate a machine from its surroundings for only so long.

Hang around the superyacht world for a while and you see the metaphor everywhere. Four months after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the war had eaten a hole in his myths of competence. The Western campaign to isolate him and his oligarchs was proving more durable than most had predicted. Even if the seizures of yachts were mired in legal disputes, Finley, the former C.I.A. officer, saw them as a vital “pressure point.” She said, “The oligarchs supported Putin because he provided stable authoritarianism, and he can no longer guarantee that stability. And that’s when you start to have cracks.”

For all its profits from Russian clients, the yachting industry was unsentimental. Brokers stripped photos of Russian yachts from their Web sites; Lürssen, the German builder, sent questionnaires to clients asking who, exactly, they were. Business was roaring, and, if some Russians were cast out of the have-yachts, other buyers would replace them.

On a cloudless morning in Viareggio, a Tuscan town that builds almost a fifth of the world’s superyachts, a family of first-time owners from Tel Aviv made the final, fraught preparations. Down by the docks, their new boat was suspended above the water on slings, ready to be lowered for its official launch. The scene was set for a ceremony: white flags in the wind, a plexiglass lectern. It felt like the obverse of the dockside scrum at the Palm Beach show; by this point in the buying process, nobody was getting vetted through binoculars. Waitresses handed out glasses of wine. The yacht venders were in suits, but the new owners were in upscale Euro casual: untucked linen, tight jeans, twelve-hundred-dollar Prada sneakers. The family declined to speak to me (and the company declined to identify them). They had come asking for a smaller boat, but the sales staff had talked them up to a hundred and eleven feet. The Victorians would have been impressed.

The C.E.O. of Azimut Benetti, Marco Valle, was in a buoyant mood. “Sun. Breeze. Perfect day to launch a boat, right?” he told the owners. He applauded them for taking the “first step up the big staircase.” The selling of the next vessel had already begun.

Hanging aloft, their yacht looked like an artifact in the making; it was easy to imagine a future civilization sifting the sediment and discovering that an earlier society had engaged in a building spree of sumptuous arks, with accommodations for dozens of servants but only a few lucky passengers, plus the occasional Pomeranian.

We approached the hull, where a bottle of spumante hung from a ribbon in Italian colors. Two members of the family pulled back the bottle and slung it against the yacht. It bounced off and failed to shatter. “Oh, that’s bad luck,” a woman murmured beside me. Tales of that unhappy omen abound. In one memorable case, the bottle failed to break on Zaca, a schooner that belonged to Errol Flynn. In the years that followed, the crew mutinied and the boat sank; after being re-floated, it became the setting for Flynn’s descent into cocaine, alcohol, orgies, and drug smuggling. When Flynn died, new owners brought in an archdeacon for an onboard exorcism.

In the present case, the bottle broke on the second hit, and confetti rained down. As the family crowded around their yacht for photos, I asked Valle, the C.E.O., about the shortage of new boats. “Twenty-six years I’ve been in the nautical business—never been like this,” he said. He couldn’t hire enough welders and carpenters. “I don’t know for how long it will last, but we’ll try to get the profits right now.”

Whatever comes, the white-boat world is preparing to insure future profits, too. In recent years, big builders and brokers have sponsored a rebranding campaign dedicated to “improving the perception of superyachting.” (Among its recommendations: fewer ads with girls in bikinis and high heels.) The goal is partly to defuse #EatTheRich, but mostly it is to soothe skittish buyers. Even the dramatic increase in yacht ownership has not kept up with forecasts of the global growth in billionaires—a disparity that represents the “one dark cloud we can see on the horizon,” as Øino, the naval architect, said during an industry talk in Norway. He warned his colleagues that they needed to reach those “potential yacht owners who, for some reason, have decided not to step up to the plate.”

But, to a certain kind of yacht buyer, even aggressive scrutiny can feel like an advertisement—a reminder that, with enough access and cash, you can ride out almost any storm. In April, weeks after the fugitive Motor Yacht A went silent, it was rediscovered in physical form, buffed to a shine and moored along a creek in the United Arab Emirates. The owner, Melnichenko, had been sanctioned by the E.U., Switzerland, Australia, and the U.K. Yet the Emirates had rejected requests to join those sanctions and had become a favored wartime haven for Russian money. Motor Yacht A was once again arrayed in almost plain sight, like semaphore flags in the wind. ♦

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Bill Duker Luxury Yacht – Sybaris

Luxury Sailing Yacht Sybaris is a 70 m / 229′8″ sailing vessel. She was built by Perini Navi in 2016.

With a beam of 13.24 m and a draft of 4.54 m, she has an aluminium hull and aluminium superstructure. She is powered by MTU engines of 1930 hp each. The sailing yacht can accommodate guests in cabins and an exterior design by Philippe Briand.

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Commissioned for serial yacht owner Bill Duker, Sybaris is one of the largest yachts built by Italian yard Perini Navi to date, second only to the 88 metre Maltese Falcon.

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Her carbon-fiber rig includes two masts, which measure 72 and 62 metre’s respectively. Naval architecture, exterior design and sail plan optimization are all by Philippe Briand, while her interiors were styled by PH Design. Accommodation is for 12 guests, split across six cabins, and her total interior volume of 870 gross tonne’s also allows for a crew of up to 11.


Luxury Sailing Yacht Sybaris Interior


The subtle nature of Sybaris, even with her imposing 72 and 61 metre main and mizzen masts, is astounding. The performance under sail has the makings of a cutting-edge classic, and the resounding core of her creation is to house art, while becoming a masterpiece herself.

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Interiors notebook: Peter Hawrylewicz on designing Sybaris

As first yacht interior design commissions go, 70 metre sailing yacht Sybaris is quite the debut performance. Peter Hawrylewicz, co-founder of PH Design , takes us inside the creation of Bill Duker's beautiful yacht and expands on his design ethos.

I was shocked when Bill Duker asked us to design his Perini Sybaris . He’d been a client for years but we’d never done a yacht and there were others far more qualified. He tasked us with creating a floating gallery: the result is warm, modern, subtle interiors which let the art stand out.

I’ve always taken a “bones first, bonnets later” approach to land-based interiors and Sybaris was no different. We did have the advantage of starting with a blank piece of paper, though, which we rarely do on land.

One of the most beautiful sights in the world is a boat glowing alone on a dark sea. The direction of natural light on a boat is unpredictable so good lighting design is imperative on yachts. It’s a great way of creating intimacy or making spaces feel bigger.

I appreciate the enthusiasm designers bring to their superyacht projects but I don’t always like the outcome. Yachts that take a more-is-more approach can leave one wanting. Restraint adds clarity.

Yachts are all about economy of space. Guest cabins should be like Japanese mystery boxes where surfaces slide, swing and part to reveal compartments beneath. The trick is making it look effortless.

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The largest yachts owned by tech billionaires, from Mark Zuckerberg to Jeff Bezos

  • Megayachts have become a status symbol for the richest of the rich.
  • In recent years, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg have splurged on enormous boats.
  • These are the biggest yachts owned by tech billionaires.

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The average Joe celebrating a personal renaissance after, say, the end of a long-term relationship or when approaching a fresh decade might commemorate it with an ankle tattoo or a sports car. But if you're a billionaire, you may instead spend hundreds of millions on a yacht .

A few years after he and his wife divorced, Jeff Bezos shelled out on a megayacht. Last year, Bezos debuted the 127-meter vessel "Koru," a Māori symbol that signifies a fresh start — perhaps referring to that with his fiancée Lauren Sanchez.

Earlier this year, just before his 40th birthday, Mark Zuckerberg became the rumored owner of a yacht originally built for a Russian oligarch.

Superyachts have increasingly become ultrawealthy status symbols , providing highly secluded leisure and networking sites. They are — even more so than real estate — the single most expensive asset you can own.

"It's a bit of a celebration of your success in life, of wealth," Giovanna Vitelli, the chair of the Azimut Benetti Group, the world's biggest producer of superyachts, told Business Insider.

While many tech billionaires have bought yachts, the richest of the rich, like Bezos, Zuckerberg, and Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison, have gone bigger. Their boats are virtual palaces at sea, decked with amenities like gyms, spas, pools, nightclubs, and movie theaters.

A look at these megayachts — broadly defined as over 70 meters long, mostly custom-built, and often costing nine figures — offers a glimpse into how the .00001% lives. It's something few others will ever get to experience. Even chartering a yacht of this size for a week typically costs upwards of $1 million.

One major thing that hundreds of millions of dollars can buy is privacy. There are likely yachts that have not been publicly recorded or registered — for example, Evan Spiegel is rumored to own the 94-meter megayacht Bliss. In an industry ruled by discretion , deciphering who owns what is typically an exercise in stringing together many clues.

Here are the largest yachts owned by tech billionaires, listed in order of length.

Jeff Bezos: Koru and Abeona

bill duker new yacht

Amazon founder Bezos' $500 million megayacht, the 127-meter Koru, made a splash last year as she crisscrossed the Mediterranean in her first summer at sea, with her 75-meter support vessel Abeona in tow.

The sailing yacht, which is hard to miss thanks to her massive size and unique design, was host to Bezos and his fiancée Lauren Sanchez's famous friends . The couple held an engagement party on board, which reportedly drew guests including Bill Gates, Ari Emanuel, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Just a week later, they were seen on the streets of Dubrovnik, Croatia, with Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry, and Usher.

Even before her completion, Koru made headlines. She drew the ire of some Dutch people, who vowed to hurl eggs after she was announced a historic bridge in Rotterdam might be taken apart to allow the Oceanco boat through. Luckily, the shipyard made alternative plans, and an egg crisis was averted.

Among yacht world insiders , Koru is widely praised for her craftsmanship.

"I heard back in 2018 or something that somebody had ordered a classic sailing yacht," one superyacht expert told BI. "You order 125 meters, that's not really going to be classic. But it is. I think it's pretty cool."

Mark Zuckerberg: Launchpad

bill duker new yacht

Earlier this year, the yacht world was rife with rumors that Zuckerberg purchased Launchpad, a 118-meter superyacht originally designed for a sanctioned Russian businessman.

The ship made her maiden voyage in March, going from Gibraltar to St. Maarten and mooring in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Little is known about her interior, but photos show a large swimming pool and helipad. Her price, too, has been kept under wraps but is said to be nine figures.

Eric Schmidt: Whisper

bill duker new yacht

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt made waves last year when he agreed to buy the Alfa Nero , the yacht of a sanctioned Russian oligarch, for $67 million in an auction conducted by Antigua and Barbuda. But he backed out of the deal following legal issues over her true owner. He quietly purchased Kismet instead. The 95-meter-long Lürssen-built boat was formerly owned by the Jacksonville Jaguar's billionaire owner Shahid Khan . Schmidt renamed her Whisper.

The ship can fit 12 guests and a crew of 28, according to Moran Yacht & Ship, which oversaw her construction. She features a master deck with a private jacuzzi, full-service spa, lap pool, movie theater, and outdoor fireplace.

While her final sale price was not public, she was listed for 149 million euros (about $161 million at current exchange rates), and at a charity auction in January, one week aboard the ship went for $2.4 million, according to industry outlet Yacht Charter Fleet.

Barry Diller: Eos

bill duker new yacht

Barry Diller , the chairman of digital media company IAC, co-owns the megayacht Eos with his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg , who is immortalized by a figurehead sculpture by Anh Duong.

One of the largest private sailing yachts in the world, the three-masted Lürssen schooner measures 93 meters long. She took three years to be built before being delivered to Diller in 2009, and since then, little has come to light about her interior and features.

The power couple has hosted many celebrities on the Eos, which spends her summers crisscrossing the Mediterranean and New Year ' s Eve in St. Barts . Over the years, guests have included Oprah Winfrey, Emma Thompson, Anderson Cooper, and Bezos, leading some to believe she provided inspiration for his Koru.

Jim Clark: Athena

bill duker new yacht

Netscape founder Jim Clark purchased the 90-meter sailing yacht Athena in 2004.

"I could easily have built a 50- or 60-meter motor yacht that would have had the same space as Athena, but I was never really interested in building a motor yacht," he told Boat International in 2016. "To my eye, she's one of the most gorgeous large sailing yachts, maybe the most gorgeous large sailing yacht in the world."

Athena has room for 10 guests and 21 crewmembers, and the only change Clark says he'd make in her design is adding more space for his kids.

"If I was forced to change something, I would convert the office on the lower deck into a children's room," he said.

The former Stanford professor tried to sell her at various points — listing her for $95 million in 2012 , $69 million in 2016, and $59 million in 2017 — but she has yet to change hands.

Larry Ellison: Musashi

bill duker new yacht

Oracle founder Larry Ellison has owned several superyachts over the years, including the Katana, the Ronin, and the Rising Sun — which he sold to fellow billionaire David Geffen .

He purchased his current boat, Musashi, in 2011 for a reported $160 million from custom-yacht giant Feadship.

Named after a famous samurai warrior, the 88-meter-long yacht has both Japanese and Art Deco-inspired design elements. She also boasts amenities including an elevator, swimming pool, beauty salon, gym, and basketball court.

Ellison is known for his extravagant spending — private islands, jets, a tennis tournament — and yachting is among his favorite and most expensive hobbies. He took up racing them in the 1990s and financed the America's Cup-winning BMW Oracle Racing team .

Laurene Powell Jobs: Venus

bill duker new yacht

Steve Jobs' wife, investor and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, inherited a nearly finished 78-meter yacht named Venus when the Apple cofounder died in 2011.

After spending years vacationing on Ellison's yachts, Jobs wanted one for himself. He designed Venus with French starchitect and decorator Philippe Starck , and she was worth $130 million at completion.

"Venus comes from the philosophy of minimum," Starck said of her design. "The elegance of the minimum, approaching dematerialization."

Jobs and Starck began working together in 2007, the designer told Vanity Fair , and held monthly meetings over four years. Venus was delivered in 2012 to Jobs' specification: six identical cabins, a design to ensure spaces of absolute silence, and the most up-to-date technology.

"There will never again be a boat of that quality again. Because never again will two madmen come together to accomplish such a task," Starck told the magazine. "It was not a yacht that Steve and I were constructing, we were embarked on a philosophical action, implemented according to a quasi-religious process. We formed a single brain with four lobes."

Charles Simonyi: Norn

bill duker new yacht

Early Microsoft employee Charles Simonyi has purchased two megayachts from the German shipyard Lürssen: the 90-meter Norn and 71-meter Skat.

Delivered in 2023, Norn is full of luxe features, including an outdoor cinema and a pool floor that lifts to become a light-up dancefloor. She shares a militaristic style with Skat , which Simonyi sold in 2021.

Skats's name is derived from the Danish word for treasure, and she had a listing price of 56.5 million euros and was launched in 2002.

"The yacht is to be home away from my home in Seattle, and its style should match the style of the house, adapted for the practicalities of the sea," Simonyi once said .

Sergey Brin: Dragonfly

bill duker new yacht

Google cofounder Sergey Brin has built a flotilla of yachts, boats, and toys known as the "Fly Fleet."

Named after a once-secret Google product , the largest of Brin's armada is the sleek Dragonfly , which boasts a movie theater and a helipad. The 73-meter-long vessel was built by the Australian shipyard Silver Yachts and can fit up to 18 guests and 16 crew members, according to SuperYacht Times.

Also in his fleet is the superyacht Butterfly, a mere 38 meters long. Often moored in the Bay Area, her crewmembers spend their downtime kitesurfing and giving swimming lessons to local kids.

The rest of his marine lineup includes a smaller boat called Firefly, as well as Jet Skis, foilboards, dinghies, and kiteboards. She takes a team of 50 full-time employees to manage, steer, and maintain the entire operation.

Sindhu Sundar contributed to an earlier version of this story.

Correction: May 6, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misstated Giovanna Vitelli's title. She is the chair of the Azimut Benetti Group, not a vice president.

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Killer whales attack and sink 50-foot yacht in Strait of Gibraltar: Spanish officials

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A pod of killer whales attacked and sunk a yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar, between Spain and Morocco, officials confirmed to ABC News.

Two people were on board the vessel when the incident occurred Sunday at 9 a.m. local time, according to Spain's maritime authority.

The nearly 50-foot yacht, named The Alboran Cognac, was 15 miles from Cabo Espartel in Morocco when an unknown number of orcas began ramming it.

The couple alerted Spanish authorities and a rescue team arrived to extricate them from the vessel an hour after the attack, though officials were unable to salvage the sinking boat.

There have been approximately 700 orca attacks since 2020, according to GT Orca Atlantica, a conservation group, and officials believe there are more than 37 orcas in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The Strait of Gibraltar connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, separating Europe from Africa.

"During the summer and autumn of 2020, interaction events began to occur between several specimens of this species and vessels, mainly sailboats, both in the Strait of Gibraltar and in the waters of the Galician coast," according to Spanish government officials. "These interactions have ranged from persistent approaches to ships, to ramming the hull and rudder, causing various types of damage, which continue today."

It's unclear whyorcasattack boats, though experts hypothesize the marine mammals could be targeting vessels for sport or they feel threatened.

According to a study in Biological Conservation , a peer-reviewed journal, "sophisticated learning abilities" have been found to exist in orcas.

In June 2023, racing yachts in the Strait of Gibraltar had a close encounter with a pod oforcas, race officials said at the time.

Crew members aboard a rival pair of 65-foot yachts were on the final leg of The Ocean Race, a global sailing competition, when they reported being intercepted by killer whales as their boats approached the Strait of Gibraltar.

No fatalities were reported in the incident, according to officials.

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Up, Up and Not OK: Letting Go of Balloons Could Soon Be Illegal in Florida

In an effort to curb microplastics and marine pollution, state lawmakers voted to ban intentional releases.

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A pink balloon, half-deflated, floats in blue ocean water with a pink ribbon dragging behind it.

By Cara Buckley

Balloons released in the sky don’t go to heaven. They often end up in oceans and waterways, where they’re 32 times more likely to kill seabirds than other types of plastic debris. Despite this, humans like to release them en masse, be it to celebrate a loved one’s life or a wedding, or to reveal the gender of a baby.

The practice is on the verge of becoming illegal in Florida, where the legislature has joined a growing number of states to ban the intentional release of balloons outdoors. The Florida ban is expected to be signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and would take effect July 1.

Florida is at the forefront of a dizzying and contentious array of statewide bans, outlawing lab grown meat , certain books from school libraries and classrooms, and most abortions after six weeks . But the balloon ban is rare for garnering widespread bipartisan support. It was championed by environmentalists and sponsored by two Republican lawmakers from the Tampa Bay area, Linda Chaney, a state representative and Nick DiCeglie, a state senator.

“Balloons contribute to the increase in microplastic pollution which is harmful to every living thing including humans, polluting our air and drinking water,” Ms. Chaney wrote in an email.

“My hope is that this bill changes the culture, making people more aware of litter in general, including balloons,” she said.

Ms. Chaney said she first heard about the perils of balloon debris in 2020. Aquatic animals often mistake balloons for jellyfish and feel full after eating them, essentially starving from the inside out. Ribbons affixed to balloons entangle turtles and manatees. Balloons also pose a threat to land animals. In her research, Ms. Chaney learned about a pregnant cow that died after ingesting a balloon while grazing. The unborn calf died too.

The bill closes a loophole in an existing Florida law that allowed for the outdoor release of up to nine balloons per person in any 24-hour period, a provision that critics say didn’t achieve the goal of reducing marine trash.

The new legislation makes it clear that balloons can pose an environmental hazard, supporters say. It equates intentionally releasing a balloon filled with a gas lighter than air with littering, a noncriminal offense that carries a fine of $150. The ban also applies to outdoor releases of any balloons described by manufacturers as biodegradable.

The ban does not restrict the sale of balloons by party suppliers or manufacturers; they could still be used indoors or as decorations outdoors if properly secured.

Balloons released by a government agency or for government sanctioned scientific purposes would be exempt from the new law. Hot air balloons recovered after launch or balloons released by children aged 6 and younger would also be exempt.

The bill counts among its supporters the Florida Retail Association as well as the Coalition for Responsible Celebration, a trade association for balloon distributors and party stores, which in a statement said it recognized “the importance of promoting responsible balloon usage and ensuring safe access to these joy-inspiring products.”

The legislation marks a win for environmentalists hamstrung by Florida legislation known as the “ban on bans,” which prohibits counties and local municipalities from regulating single use plastics and plastic bags.

Jon Paul “J. P.” Brooker, director of Florida conservation for the nonprofit group Ocean Conservancy, said that increased concern about the health of beaches, a major driver of tourism, helped conservationists and lawmakers find common ground.

“Florida is its beaches,” Mr. Brooker said, “People are not going to flock by millions to them if they’re trashed and there’s dead animals and plastic and trash all over.”

Mr. Brooker said while it remains to be seen how vigorously police will enforce the ban, the fact that they will be able to issue tickets was a good thing. “More than anything,” he added,” it gives us in the environmental community an opportunity to educate the public as to why it’s bad.”

Public sentiment in Florida against balloon releases has been growing. Earlier this year, the city of Miami Beach adopted an ordinance banning party balloons from public marinas, marine facilities, parks and public beaches. This followed the arrest of two people in 2022 who were filmed popping balloons aboard a chartered yacht and letting the remnants fall into Biscayne Bay.

The balloon release ban follows another environmental win in the state. For more than 30 years, Mr. Brooker said cigarettes were the number one form of trash found on the state’s beaches. Then in 2022, the state passed a law allowing local governments to restrict cigarette smoking and vaping on public beaches and parks. More than 50 counties and municipalities, accounting for more than 500 miles of the state’s 1,350 miles of coastline, have since outlawed smoking and vaping on beaches, Mr. Brooker said.

“This isn’t just the bailiwick of progressives, and it’s certainly not something that draws the enmity of conservatives,” Mr. Brooker said. “It’s all Floridians banding together to protect Florida’s beaches that are the backbone of our economy and the underpinning of our cultural identity.”

According to Emma Haydocy, Florida policy manager for the Surfrider Foundation, seven other states have cracked down on outdoor balloon releases. And just last week, lawmakers in North Carolina filed their version of the Florida legislation.

In lieu of releasing balloons, conservationists are urging people to instead plant a tree or toss flower petals into the water.

“There are so many other ways of celebrating that are not detrimental,” Ms. Haydocy said.

Cara Buckley is a reporter on the climate team at The Times who focuses on people working toward climate solutions. More about Cara Buckley

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bill duker new yacht

To celebrate _Sybaris _being named Sailing Yacht of the Year at the World Superyacht Awards 2017, we bring you this interview from our archive, in which Duker gave us the inside story on the build of the Perini Navi yacht. Superyacht owner Bill Duker was always the man with a plan - until, as he tells Stewart Campbell and Sacha Bonsor, a health scare forced his life philosophy to change.

Bill Duker, owner of the newly launched 70m sailing yacht Sybaris, discusses his original vision for the project as well as his favourite features on board.F...

To celebrate _Sybaris _being named Sailing Yacht of the Year at the World Superyacht Awards 2017, we bring you this interview from our archive, in which Duker gave us the inside story on the build of the Perini Navi yacht. Superyacht owner Bill Duker was always the man with a plan - until, as he tells Stewart Campbell and Sacha Bonsor, a health scare forced his life philosophy to change....

This is Sybaris, one man's dream turned Italy's largest sailing yacht. Shortly after her technical launch and mast stepping operations, we arrived at the Perini Navi Group 's Picchiotti shipyard in La Spezia to step on board the 70 metre ketch during her official launch ceremony. This is Perini Navi's most advanced project since the ...

Bill Duker chats to The Superyacht Owner about his long-awaited 70m Perini Navi build. How is S/Y Sybaris progressing? I expect that the boat will be delivered sometime in early to mid August. In the meantime, engineering and interior work are coming to completion and sea trials should begin in April. I am pleased with the high quality of the ...

These words are from Bill Duker's address to the guests assembled in Viareggio to celebrate the completion of Sybaris, Duker's Perini Navi ketch, which, at 70 metres, is the largest sailing yacht launched in Italy to date. It is not a coincidence that the yacht's name is the same as that ancient Italian city-state known for wealth and a ...

The founder of PH Design talks with Robb Report contributor Michael Verdon about the interior of 'Sybaris,' his first yacht project.. How did Bill Duker, the owner of 'Sybaris,' find you ...

Delivered to her American owner, Bill Duker, earlier this month, Sybaris is the latest addition to the company's fleet of 61 superyachts. Designed and built by Perini Navi, with input from Philippe Briand on the hull lines and sail plan, the 70m ketch is the largest sailing yacht ever built in Italy (877 GT) and second in the Perini Navi fleet ...

Bill Duker (image by Justin Ratcliffe) "This is obviously an exciting time for us," said American owner Bill Duker in La Spezia. "Sybaris is a project that started a very long time ago when my son and I would sit in the aft cockpit of the boat we then had, Shanakee, and talk about the boat of our dreams. Over the past 20 years that dream ...

The same owner as the newly listed $65M Apogee penthouse. By Josh Baumgard Dec 2, 2016, 10:50am EST. Sybaris is the reason William Duker is selling his $65M penthouse. via Boat International. The ...

The yacht was built for Bill Duker. Who is Bill Duker? He is a former New York lawyer, who later founded Amici LLC. He was born in 1954. He is married to Sharon. They have a son named West. Duker was the owner of the sailing yacht Sybaris and the Feadship motor yacht Rasselas. He sold Sybaris in 2018. Amici

In May, Perini Navi launched the 70-metre sailing yacht

The brand new sailing yacht built by the Italian shipyard was awarded for the design and bespoke work made on her interior areas made by the yacht designers Peter Hawrylewicz and Ken Lieber. The award was given on stage to her owner Bill Duker. "A Perini is not only a yacht, it is a style of life and Sybaris proves this," commented Fabio ...

In a candid aside to a French documentarian, the American yachtsman Bill Duker said, "If the rest of the world learns what it's like to live on a yacht like this, they're gonna bring back ...

Mega Yacht. Luxury Sailing Yacht Sybaris is a 70 m / 229′8″ sailing vessel. She was built by Perini Navi in 2016. With a beam of 13.24 m and a draft of 4.54 m, she has an aluminium hull and aluminium superstructure. She is powered by MTU engines of 1930 hp each. The sailing yacht can accommodate guests in cabins and an exterior design by ...

View Bill Duker's profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. ... CEO at IYC - The International Yacht Company, driving global growth. ... New York, NY. Connect william ...

As first yacht interior design commissions go, 70 metre sailing yacht Sybaris is quite the debut performance. Peter Hawrylewicz, co-founder of PH Design, takes us inside the creation of Bill Duker's beautiful yacht and expands on his design ethos.. I was shocked when Bill Duker asked us to design his Perini Sybaris.He'd been a client for years but we'd never done a yacht and there were ...

The 95-meter-long Lürssen-built boat was formerly owned by the Jacksonville Jaguar's billionaire owner Shahid Khan. Schmidt renamed her Whisper. The ship, which can fit 12 guests and a crew of 28 ...

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 1:21PM. A pod of killer whales attacked and sunk a yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar, between Spain and Morocco, on Sunday morning, officials confirmed to ABC News. Two people ...

May 14 (UPI) -- Rescuers saved two crew members from a sinking sailing yacht after an orca pod attacked it off the Strait of Gibraltar in Moroccan waters. The 49-foot sailing yacht Alboran Cognac ...

A residential and industrial region in the south-east of Mocsow. It was founded on the spot of two villages: Chagino (what is now the Moscow Oil Refinery) and Ryazantsevo (demolished in 1979). in 1960 the town was incorporated into the City of Moscow as a district. Population - 45,000 people (2002). The district is one of the most polluted residential areas in Moscow, due to the Moscow Oil ...

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, greets U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, prior to their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

Sample Bill of Lading 183 shipment records available. Date. 2022-07-28 . Shipper Name "Mercatus Nova Company" Llc . Shipper Address. ELEKTROSTAL'SKOYE SHOSSE 1-A MOSCO NOGINSK 142410 RUSSIAN FEDERATION . Notify Party Name. ... 55 Water Street, 42nd Floor New York, ...

Constructing a new custom house is a huge and multifaceted undertaking, so it's important to find custom house builders in Elektrostal', Moscow Oblast, Russia you can trust to bring your vision to life, as well as keep the process under control from start to finish. Although a construction job is never without surprises and challenges ...

It sure looks like Mark Zuckerberg is taking a brand new superyacht out to celebrate his 40th birthday

  • It seems as if Mark Zuckerberg will celebrate his 40th birthday on the  megayacht, Launchpad .
  • The yachting world has speculated for months that the Meta CEO is the owner of the vessel.
  • Now, both the boat and Zuckerberg's private jet have landed in Panama.

Insider Today

All signs point to Mark Zuckerberg celebrating his 40th birthday on what many speculate is his brand-new superyacht Launchpad .

The boating world has been buzzing about Launchpad — a 118-meter yacht built by the Dutch shipyard Feadship — for months, with rumors swirling that her owner is none other than the Meta CEO. But in the yachting world, where privacy is paramount , no party would confirm her owner.

"It is Feadship's standard policy to never divulge any information about our yachts with reference to ownership, costs, or delivery, etc," Feadship, the ship's builder, wrote to Business Insider in March. "Whether it is an 18-meter Feadship from the 1960s or a 118-meter Feadship from the 21st century, we do not share private information."

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Representatives for Zuckerberg did not respond to requests for comment from BI.

Now there's even more evidence: The megayacht arrived in Panama on Monday, making her way there from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she's predominantly been moored since she made her maiden voyage across the Atlantic in March, according to public ship-tracking data. Wingman, the support superyacht that he is suspected to have purchased with Launchpad, made the journey with her.

Zuckerberg's plane also landed in Panama on Monday, per a private jet tracker, and if his Instagram is any indication, he was on board.

Putting two and two together — along with the many other clues linking Zuckerberg to the yacht — we can surmise that the Meta CEO is likely kicking off his new decade aboard his new toy.

Little is known about the luxury vessel, which was said to have been built for a sanctioned Russian businessman before it was handed over to the Dutch government, which served as a middleman for the purchase. Her final purchase price is unknown, but it's safe to say a yacht of that size from that shipyard would cost nine figures upfront and six figures a year to maintain.

The few photos of Launchpad available on the industry site SuperYacht Times show there appears to be a helipad and a swimming pool on her main deck.

A vessel of her size can typically sleep dozens of guests and crewmembers and likely has an expansive gym (where Zuckerberg could practice his jiu-jitsu), a spa, a movie room, and a garage to fit plenty of toys like his viral hydrofoil .

Zuckerberg's name was first connected to Launchpad in December when reports swirled that he visited Feadship's shipyard in the Netherlands. By March, yachting blogs like eSysman SuperYachts and Autoevolution suggested he officially snagged the boat at a $300 million price tag. Launchpad also bears the flag of the Marshall Islands, a US territory that is commonplace for American buyers to register their ships.

We will never know for sure whose name is on her title, so unless Zuckerberg confirms he's Launchpad's owner, we will have to wait for an invitation to Zuck's birthday party to confirm.

Watch: The scariest things OceanGate's CEO said about deep-sea diving

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ARTICLES / MAY 16, 2024

New Supreme Court Ruling Impacts Yacht Owners

In the wake of the recent U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on marine insurance policies, yacht owners face a litany of new legal considerations. Fortunately, Lockton is here to help navigate these changes and ensure coverage remains effective.


The situation began after the owner of a yacht submitted a claim for damages incurred when the vessel ran aground off the coast of Florida. The insurance carrier denied the claim, stating that the yacht’s fire suppression system was out of compliance with the terms of its policy. Here’s the kicker: There was no fire onboard the yacht.

It’s not uncommon to find situations where an insurer cites “breach of warranty” to deny a claim when there is an unrelated failure by a policyholder to comply with the terms of a policy. However, that was not how this case was argued.

The issue here was “choice-of-forum,” regarding whether or not the carrier can specify where a lawsuit can be adjudicated. This includes states with a history of legal rulings favoring breach of warranty denials.

The Supreme Court ruled that choice-of-forum provisions have been consistently upheld under maritime law since the late 1950s and ruled in favor of the insurance carrier.

The ruling actually safeguards maritime law, as it gives both insurers and insureds predictability regarding how the terms and conditions of a policy will be interpreted. This is especially important given the inherent mobility of the insured vessel.

So, what’s the problem? Marine insurers typically request New York as their preferred venue for trial. Why? Although the state does not allow carriers to deny claims for unrelated breach of warranty issues, it has a specific clause stating that this law does not apply to marine insurance policies.


As a yacht owner, your best bet is to seek guidance from an insurance broker with deep experience dealing with intricate marine policies. When you work with Lockton, we start by meticulously examining existing insurance contracts to identify potential gaps or areas of concern.

After our analysis, we may recommend designing new insurance contracts or modifying existing ones to better align with your needs and preferences. By leveraging our longstanding carrier relationships, Lockton can often negotiate favorable terms to ensure you have appropriate coverage should you need it.


While the review is being conducted, you can take this time to proactively minimize your potential exposures. This may include investing in safety measures, conducting regular maintenance checks, and adhering to relevant maritime regulations and best practices.

Most importantly, you’ll want to maintain accurate records of correspondence and policy documentation. A paper trail can prove invaluable in the event of a dispute, helping defend claims and facilitating the resolution process.


By leveraging Lockton’s professional guidance and implementing comprehensive risk management strategies, together we can build a winning strategy that safeguards your yacht and gives you peace of mind as you travel the open seas.

To learn more about how Lockton can support owners of motorboats, sail boats, yachts, and mega yachts, visit our website (opens a new window) today.

For additional information regarding the legal implications of this ruling, view Lockton’s article, “ Supreme Court’s marine choice-of-law ruling is a win for insurers, with a silver lining for policyholders (opens a new window) .”

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. Please consult with a Lockton representative for information regarding specific insurance products and services.

by    Private Risk Solutions

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The 10 Best Explorer Yachts for High-Seas Adventures

A 350-foot gigayacht or 60-foot cruiser size isn't what defines an explorer yacht. the devil's in the details when it comes to authenticity., julia zaltzman, julia zaltzman's most recent stories.

  • This Boatmaker Builds 1960s-Inspired Cruisers With a Modern Twist. Here’s How.
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Damen SeaXplorer Superyacht

Unlike fashion trends that seem to move as fast as a Redbull F1 car, the yachting industry takes its time adopting new ideas. There seems to be one exception. Explorer vessels, born out of the owners’ desires to go farther and stay longer, without sacrificing creature comforts, is developing with some urgency.

Several dozen builders and designers are now focusing on explorers, but they are also consulting with adventure travel firms that have a long history of using expedition yachts in remote parts of the globe. ICON Yachts, for example, collaborated with Cookson Adventures and the International Seakeepers Society on its Project Mission in both the overarching design and the details found across the yacht. Adventure outfitter EYOS employs its expertise routinely with Damen’s explorer vessels, most recently with the 190-foot Pink Shadow.   EYOS has a list of 50 features that separate authentic explorers from faux versions that might look the part but lack the necessary infrastructure and design elements.

Long-range cruising, system redundancy for autonomy at sea, and storage to carry specialist equipment like submersibles are some of the requirements that define expedition boats. There’s also deck configuration for the easy launch of tenders and toys, along with strong, ice-class hulls and climate-controlled areas comfort in extreme polar and tropic regions.

We culled through the latest fleet of explorers with multiple lengths and designs, selecting a single feature that we think makes it best in class. Here are 10 of our favorites.

Best Pilothouse: Doggersbank 77 Offshore

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More than 700 Doggersbank motoryachts have been built since the 1960s, with the latest model scheduled for delivery in 2025. The robust, offshore vessels are designed by Dutch studio Vripack for long ocean passages, assisted by a high, flared bow. “It prevents green water from hitting the wheelhouse windows in rough seas, and together with the Portuguese bridge, ensures the captain’s view is not obstructed,” Joost Mertens, Doggersbank fleet manager, told Robb Report . “The yacht’s steel hull ensures the yacht sits better in the water making it less vulnerable to wind and high waves.”

Best Deck Configuration: Columbus Crossover 42

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The Columbus Crossover 42 is defined by both straight and angled surfaces,  tapered stern sections and a concentration of volume in the bow that is becoming on many explorers. What is atypical is the yacht’s compact but flexible dimensions that accommodate a large cockpit tender and a 108-square-foot swimming pool with relaxation areas. Sold to an U.S. customer, it’s scheduled for delivery in 2025.

Best Multipurpose Stern: Bering B165

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Turkish boatbuilder Bering Yachts revealed details of its new 162-foot flagship explorer yacht, the B165 , at the Dubai International Boat Show in March. The yacht can carry 18,400 gallons of fuel, which the builder says will give it a 4,000 nautical mile range when cruising at 12 knots. It also has a 2,640-gallon holding tank. What singles the B165 out among other explorers, however, is its multi-purpose stern area for both function and form. The elongated aft deck has a swimming pool surrounded by sunbeds. When the bulwarks are folded down, the space becomes an even larger overwater terrace. When the pool is not in use, it can be used as a covered storage area for water toys and expedition equipment. The yacht’s two tenders are also stored on the aft, making it a flexible space for both equipment and guests.

Best Family-Friendly Concept: Project Mimer

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This 197-foot expedition concept by Tillberg Design of Sweden caters to family travel with a helicopter pad as well as multiple tenders and toys. It’s pitched by the studio as an introduction to true explorer yachting. It has a functional crew layout for efficient operations and an upper deck owner’s suite with a forward terrace and spa pool. With a hull that will be built to the Polar Code Category, the concept also has an optional helipad aft and long list of toys, from an electric luxury tender and two expedition RIBS to quad bikes, a submersible, Jet Skis, and, of course, an amphibious vehicle. The five-decked yacht sleeps 12 guests with crew quarters for 17 and an additional staff member, such as a nanny.

Best Ice Explorer: Damen SeaXplorer 105

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Damen’s 345-foot SeaXplorer 105 is the largest model in the SeaXplorer range, with exterior design by Azure Yacht Design. The platform was developed under the guidance of expedition specialists EYOS Expeditions, who considered over 150 design criteria, from the hull form and bridge layout to the tender davits and Zodiac boarding arrangements. But it is EYOS’s expertise in the polar regions—it facilitated the first heli-ski charter in Antarctica and the first 3,200-foot sub dive to the Antarctic midnight zone—that gives the vessel its point of difference. The SeaXplorer has an ice-strengthened hull and a specially shaped icebreaking stern to maneuver through rough terrain.

Best Interior: Project Fox

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On top of having a cool name, Project Fox has a bright, contemporary interior, courtesy of London’s Q Design, that is becoming more common on expedition yachts. The full-beam owner’s stateroom is also one of the yacht’s standout features, with its marble en suite and hardwood floors. The salon is also luxe, with white walls that brighten up travel even in areas that are sunlight deprived. Project Fox also has four other staterooms.

Best Autonomy: Project Master

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ICON Yachts’s Project Master was a transoceanic offshore support vessel before the Dutch shipyard began a refit to turn it into an explorer yacht (see before and after inset). It’s equipped with diesel-electric hybrid propulsion, a wide beam for multiple tender spaces, a 7,200-nautical mile range, and flexible cabin arrangements for expedition crew. Other features include a science lab and a certified heli-deck. “The yacht’s helicopter and sub capability mean it can offer assistance in areas with challenging access and little infrastructure,” Micca Ferrero, owner of ICON Yachts, told Robb Report . “The design is for the demands of self-sufficient voyages.”

Best Use of Volume: Arcadia Yachts A96

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The A96 mixes the lines, volume, and open-plan layout of Arcadia’s Sherpa series with the speed, joystick maneuverability, and quality of the yard’s A range. It’s the first Arcadia to have an Igor Lobanov-designed interior, as well as a high bow and high deckheads for traversing rough water. But its big differentiator is the 214 gross tonnes of volume and 24-foot beam that generate big volumes—4,300 square feet of usable space, which is 30 percent more than on other similar-sized yachts. Low bulwarks and lateral walkways emphasize the sense of openness.

Best Bow: Project Shackleton

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This 351-foot build from Lürssen has an inverted bow that looks like an eagle’s beak. The shape is designed to slice through waves with much lower vibration through the hull, while also reducing rock and roll in rough seas. Unlike the quasi-research vessel exteriors of many explorers, this vessel is representative of the changing look of many in this growing segment. 

Best Multi-Mode Hull: Azimut Magellano 60

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The Magellano 60 isn’t technically an explorer yacht. Think of it as a cruiser  designed for some long-distance travel. But it does have one very interesting feature, what its builder Azimut calls a “dual-mode” hull. The semi-planing shape is designed to optimize fuel consumption (and therefore lower emissions) by about 20 percent (compared to similar-sized vessels) at low and medium speeds. The yacht’s bow is also designed to cut through waves for better seakeeping at a range of speeds. The boat cruises very efficiently at 18 knots but will hit a top end of 26, thus delivering the performance of a planing hull with the benefits of a displacement hull.

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FWC identifies boater in Key Biscayne hit-and-run that killed Florida teen ballerina

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The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission has identified the person behind the wheel in the South Florida hit-and-run boating death of 15-year-old Ella Adler on Saturday.

Carlos Guillermo Alonso, 78, of Coral Gables was piloting a 42-foot Boston Whaler in Key Biscayne when officials say his boat struck Ella Riley Adler, 15, a ballerina with the Miami Ballet and granddaughter of U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Michael M. Adler. The teen had been wakeboarding behind another boat and was floating in the water, according to an FWC incident report released Wednesday.

The man piloting the boat that hit the girl sped off to the west without stopping, witnesses said. Adler was retrieved by the other boat but died of her injuries.

The vessel is in custody and Alonso is cooperating with the investigation, the FWC said in a release Tuesday .

Investigators said Tuesday it was unclear if Alonso knew Adler was there or was hit. It is unknown if alcohol was a factor. In a statement from Alonso's attorney Lauren Krasnoff, shared by , Krasnoff said Alonso was unaware he hit anybody and does not drink.

"I will tell you that Bill, who has been boating for 50 years and is a very experienced boater who knows these waters, was out boating by himself on Saturday," Krasnoff said in the statement. "He has no knowledge whatsoever of having been involved in this accident. If he hit Ella that day, he certainly did not know it. Had Bill thought he hit anything, he absolutely would have stopped. But he did not at any point think that he had hit anything, let alone a person.

"He docked his boat in plain sight right behind his house," she said, "and did not even know there was an accident on the water that day until officers showed up at his door."

Witnesses or anyone with video footage or information should contact the FWC at 888-404-FWCC or 888-404-3922 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS or 305-471-8477.

A total reward of up to $20,000 — $10,000 from Adler's family and a combined $10,000 from FWC and Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers — is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and successful prosecution of the driver of the hit-and-run boat incident.

What happened in the boating death of Ella Adler?

At about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11 (the day before Mother's Day), Adler and several others had been enjoying some recreational boating near the Nixon Beach Sandbar in Biscayne Bay, according to the incident report. Adler was wakeboarding behind a 42-foot 2017 Hanse Fjord yacht at the same time as an unidentified female on a wake surfboard.

The two people being towed fell into the water at different times and locations, the incident report said. Adler was wearing a life jacket and had the wakeboard still attached to her feet, an FWC official told NBC6 in Miami , when she was struck by a 42-foot 2020 Boston Whaler.

A witness said the boat did not appear to swerve or slow down when it hit the girl. The yacht towing her immediately spun around back to where she was and began broadcasting distress calls, the witness told NBC6.

Where was Ella Adler killed? Where is Nixon Beach Sandbar in Florida?

The Nixon Beach Sandbar is located in Biscayne Bay, Florida, west of Hurricane Harbor near Miami.

It's a popular destination for recreational boaters and fishing for its white sands and clear shallow waters, and it "turns into a wild party spot every weekend" full of yachts and catamarans, according to the boating site .

The area was named for former president Richard M. Nixon, who owned a home overlooking the water nearby.

Who is Ella Riley Adler of Florida?

Ella Adler was a freshman at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove and a ballerina with the Miami City Ballet. She is the granddaughter of Michael M. Adler, the current U.S. Ambassador to Belgium , according to the Miami Herald .

"We are heartbroken," the school said in a Facebook post Monday morning. "Ella Adler '27 shined in our classrooms and on our stages, and she embodied the mission of Ransom Everglades School. We wish peace and comfort to her family."

Adler appeared in more than 100 performances with the Miami Ballet, including "The Nutcracker," according to her obituary . In school, she performed on the dance team, acted in the school play "Chicago" and was a member of the Ransom Everglades Jewish Students Association.

"You were taken from us way too soon, and the world has been robbed of all the things you could have achieved," her father, Matthew, wrote in a letter read during a funeral service at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach on Monday, the Miami Herald reported . "But you will always be here with us and your friends and family will carry your energy and spirit forever.”

First Lady Jill Biden paid her condolences in person Tuesday, according to a statement from the family.

"We are honored that the First Lady paid a shiva call to our family during this time of immense pain. We are touched by their support and love and we are proud to call the President and First Lady our friends for over 40 years," they said.

The girl's great-aunt Karen Adler started working in President Joe Biden's D.C. office in 1973 when he was still a junior senator from Delaware, according to Jewish Insider , and served as his national finance chair in 2008. Her brother Michael was confirmed as Ambassador to Belgium in 2021 .

Adler is survived by her parents Amanda and Matthew, her brother Jaden, and her sister Adalynn, grandparents Judy and Michael, and Susan and Michael Klaiman, along with several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, contributed to this story.

Watch CBS News

Authorities ID boat operator who fatally struck 15-year-old Ella Adler

By CBS Miami Team

Updated on: May 15, 2024 / 6:46 PM EDT / CBS/CNN

MIAMI - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission identified the boat operator in connection to the death of 15-year-old Ella Adler, who was struck while water skiing in Biscayne Bay on Saturday.

Authorities say Carlos Guillermo Alonso, 78, of Coral Gables, was the boat's operator.

They say he was the only occupant of the vessel on that day, according to the one-page incident report.  

FWC24ON0038760_updated-2 by sergio.candido on Scribd

The boat was discovered behind a home in the Hammocks Oaks neighborhood in Coral Gables. Neighbors described the man who lives in the home as a family man and an experienced boater. They said he was devastated by what happened.

Rodney Barreto, the Chairman of the FWC,  said this about Ella's death, "It's touched our community in a way." 

"When you're 15 years old you don't expect to go out on a boat and not come home." 

The new preliminary FWC report says she had been on a boat with 12 other people and was being towed while on a wakeboard. 

Records show Alonso owns the house where the vessel was seized.

"The gentleman who was driving the boat who is cooperating with us is Mr. Alonso," said Barreto.

"We have some physical evidence that we have recovered that we have sent to our state lab for testing." 

Barreto says officers used witness descriptions to find the boat.

"It was good old-fashioned police work by our officers. 
We asked them to go up and down the canals from Coconut Grove to South Miami. They went up and down the canals with the physical description they had and recognized the boat." 

Batteto said there was no evidence pointing to reckless or drunk driving.

It's not known if the driver will be cited or charged.

"Our job is to gather information and present it to the State Attorney, so they can do their job." 

The loss of Ella Adler prompts this warning from Barreto: "Make sure you pay attention to the water and always look around because things can happen on the water and they can happen very quickly."

"We encourage people to use a lot of caution and go to boating safety schools." 

"Florida has the most registered boats in the country and Miami-Dade has the most registered boats than any county in Florida."


Ella, the granddaughter of US Ambassador to Belgium Michael M. Adler, was water skiing with friends Saturday near the Nixon Beach sandbar when she fell in the water while being towed and was struck by another boat. The operator of that boat never stopped.

An all out search was then launched to find the boat and driver.

On Wednesday, Florida Fish and Wildlife believed they had found it. 

"I am pleased to report that we have a vessel in custody that matches the description given by witnesses," said FWC's George Reynaud. "The boat is in our custody and the owner is cooperating with us."

On Monday morning, hundreds of people attended services for Adler at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach.

On Tuesday, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden stopped by in person to offer her condolences and be with the family.

"We are honored that the First Lady paid a shiva call to our family during this time of immense pain. We are touched by their support and love and we are proud to call the President and First Lady our friends for over 40 years," according to a statement from the family.

Adler was a freshman at Ransom Everglades High School and a ballerina with the Miami City Ballet.

"We are heartbroken," Ransom Everglades posted on Facebook. "Ella Adler '27 shined in our classrooms and on our stages, and she embodied the mission of Ransom Everglades School. We wish peace and comfort to her family."

"We at Miami City Ballet and the Miami City Ballet School are utterly devastated by the heartbreaking news of this tragic accident," said the organization which described Adler as a beloved student and a magnificent dancer who graced their stage. "Our hearts go out to Ella's family, friends, and everyone who had the privilege of knowing and adoring her. As we come together, we will profoundly grieve the loss of Ella, and hold dear the precious memories we were fortunate enough to create with her."

"We extend our deepest condolences to the Adler family at this difficult time," the US Embassy to Belgium said in a statement. "Out of respect for their privacy, we have nothing further."

Anyone who saw the accident or anyone who might have video footage or information about it is urged to call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).


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Savvino-storozhevsky monastery and museum.

Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and Museum

Zvenigorod's most famous sight is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, which was founded in 1398 by the monk Savva from the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, at the invitation and with the support of Prince Yury Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. Savva was later canonised as St Sabbas (Savva) of Storozhev. The monastery late flourished under the reign of Tsar Alexis, who chose the monastery as his family church and often went on pilgrimage there and made lots of donations to it. Most of the monastery’s buildings date from this time. The monastery is heavily fortified with thick walls and six towers, the most impressive of which is the Krasny Tower which also serves as the eastern entrance. The monastery was closed in 1918 and only reopened in 1995. In 1998 Patriarch Alexius II took part in a service to return the relics of St Sabbas to the monastery. Today the monastery has the status of a stauropegic monastery, which is second in status to a lavra. In addition to being a working monastery, it also holds the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum.

Belfry and Neighbouring Churches

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Located near the main entrance is the monastery's belfry which is perhaps the calling card of the monastery due to its uniqueness. It was built in the 1650s and the St Sergius of Radonezh’s Church was opened on the middle tier in the mid-17th century, although it was originally dedicated to the Trinity. The belfry's 35-tonne Great Bladgovestny Bell fell in 1941 and was only restored and returned in 2003. Attached to the belfry is a large refectory and the Transfiguration Church, both of which were built on the orders of Tsar Alexis in the 1650s.  

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To the left of the belfry is another, smaller, refectory which is attached to the Trinity Gate-Church, which was also constructed in the 1650s on the orders of Tsar Alexis who made it his own family church. The church is elaborately decorated with colourful trims and underneath the archway is a beautiful 19th century fresco.

Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral

the skat yacht owner

The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is the oldest building in the monastery and among the oldest buildings in the Moscow Region. It was built between 1404 and 1405 during the lifetime of St Sabbas and using the funds of Prince Yury of Zvenigorod. The white-stone cathedral is a standard four-pillar design with a single golden dome. After the death of St Sabbas he was interred in the cathedral and a new altar dedicated to him was added.

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Under the reign of Tsar Alexis the cathedral was decorated with frescoes by Stepan Ryazanets, some of which remain today. Tsar Alexis also presented the cathedral with a five-tier iconostasis, the top row of icons have been preserved.

Tsaritsa's Chambers

the skat yacht owner

The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is located between the Tsaritsa's Chambers of the left and the Palace of Tsar Alexis on the right. The Tsaritsa's Chambers were built in the mid-17th century for the wife of Tsar Alexey - Tsaritsa Maria Ilinichna Miloskavskaya. The design of the building is influenced by the ancient Russian architectural style. Is prettier than the Tsar's chambers opposite, being red in colour with elaborately decorated window frames and entrance.

the skat yacht owner

At present the Tsaritsa's Chambers houses the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum. Among its displays is an accurate recreation of the interior of a noble lady's chambers including furniture, decorations and a decorated tiled oven, and an exhibition on the history of Zvenigorod and the monastery.

Palace of Tsar Alexis

the skat yacht owner

The Palace of Tsar Alexis was built in the 1650s and is now one of the best surviving examples of non-religious architecture of that era. It was built especially for Tsar Alexis who often visited the monastery on religious pilgrimages. Its most striking feature is its pretty row of nine chimney spouts which resemble towers.

the skat yacht owner

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Orcas again sink yacht near Strait of Gibraltar as high-risk season looms

Two people were rescued after orcas hit the roughly 50-foot Alboran Cognac 14 miles off the coast of Morocco, the 26th orca encounter in the region this year.

the skat yacht owner

The boat-sinking orcas are back.

Around 9 a.m. Sunday near the Strait of Gibraltar, two people on board the roughly 50-foot Alboran Cognac reported blows to the vessel’s hull and saw damage to the rudder as water flowed into the ship, Spain’s maritime rescue agency said.

An unknown number of killer whales had struck again, after hundreds of such encounters in recent years.

Over the radio, responders told the two individuals to put on their life jackets, make sure their GPS locaters were turned on and prepare for emergency evacuation. In the meantime, Spanish and Moroccan rescue agencies began urgently working to save them, locating a nearby oil tanker and electing not to dispatch a helicopter.

After about an hour, that tanker rescued the pair 14 miles off Cape Spartel in northern Morocco, the Spanish Maritime Safety and Rescue Agency (SASEMAR) said in a news release. The boat was left adrift and soon sank.

Spain-based Alboran Charter confirmed its ownership of the sunken vessel and said the individuals were customers. The company declined to say more about what happened or who the clients were.

Iberian orcas sinking a ship is not new. Over the past four years, at least 15 orcas have interacted with hundreds of boats sailing in the waters off Portugal, Spain and Morocco, sinking a handful of vessels in seemingly coordinated ambushes. Some ships have been found with teeth marks; others appear to have been rammed by an orca’s head or body.

On average, there have been 168 interactions each year since 2020, according to Grupo de Trabajo Orca Atlántica, or GTOA, a research group studying the region’s killer whales. GTOA has tracked 26 interactions so far this year, down from 61 through a similar time frame in 2023.

It’s not clear why the orcas have recently bumped, bitten and sank vessels. Some scientists say they are simply being playful, or maybe are curious, or perhaps are coming after boats because of a loss of prey. A handful say the actions could actually be gratifying to the whales.

A leading theory, though, is one of vengeance.

This idea, advanced by a scientist who has studied the encounters, posits that a female orca suffered a traumatic run-in with a boat that led her to start attacking the vessels. And because orcas are intelligent marine mammals that learn behaviors like hunting together, others followed.

But there is disagreement over this theory.

Some scientists argue that the incidents shouldn’t be called “attacks” without knowing the whales’ motives. They fear that label could prompt retaliation by boaters, calling it potentially “harmful” to the critically endangered species with just a few dozen members.

“Science cannot yet explain why the Iberian orcas are doing this, although we repeat that it is more likely related to play/socialising than aggression,” a group of more than 30 scientists wrote in an open letter last summer. “ … When we are at sea, we are in the realm of marine life. We should not punish wildlife for being wild.”

The letter explained that orcas have been observed developing “cultural ‘fads,’” including carrying dead fish on their heads, and the incidents with the boats may be nothing more than a “fashion trend.”

SASEMAR warned that the risk of the encounters is highest between May and August, recommending that boats avoid the area between the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Cádiz to its west. It added that if a boat comes across orcas, it should not stop moving, and instead should head toward the coast and shallower waters. People should not approach the side of the boat and are barred from using measures that could injure or kill the whales.

“It is possible the behaviour, as previous fads have,” the scientists wrote, “will disappear as suddenly as it appeared.”

the skat yacht owner


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  28. Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and Museum

    Zvenigorod's most famous sight is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, which was founded in 1398 by the monk Savva from the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, at the invitation and with the support of Prince Yury Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. Savva was later canonised as St Sabbas (Savva) of Storozhev. The monastery late flourished under the reign of Tsar ...

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    In 1938, it was granted town status. [citation needed]Administrative and municipal status. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is incorporated as Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction is incorporated as Elektrostal Urban Okrug.

  30. Orcas sink yacht near the Strait of Gibraltar, 2 people rescued

    The boat-sinking orcas are back. Around 9 a.m. Sunday near the Strait of Gibraltar, two people on board the roughly 50-foot Alboran Cognac reported blows to the vessel's hull and saw damage to ...