Robert Frank has written an interesting page one article for today’s (June 17, 2008 ) Wall Street Journal entitled Smooth Sailing Gets Ugly With Russian Billionaire’s New Yacht. (subscription required)
The article profiles 36 year old Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko latest contribution to the SuperDuper yacht category and it’s another example that money does not necessarily equate with taste.
IMHO, this Philippe Starck designed yacht, which is simply named “A”, looks like a turtled battleship. I love a lot of Starck’s work including the classic Ara III he designed for his own use in Venice and which is named after his daughter but he should probably stick to projects on dry land because this is one of the most hideous vessels ever to sail the seas.
While longer than a football field, A barely ranks among the 10 largest private yachts in the world, trailing just behind Octopus, the 416-footer owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The cost — at least $300 million — is also not a record. Eclipse, the unfinished yacht of fellow Russian Roman Abramovich, is more than 500 feet long and cost at least $100 million more. Mr. Melnichenko’s boat, at cruising speed, burns about 691 gallons of diesel fuel per hour.
The reason A is stirring up the boat world is its radical design. Created by Philippe Starck, the superstar French designer of lemon squeezers and luxury hotels, A is a deliberate slap in the face to an industry known for its classic conformity.
Here’s a YouTube video of “A”
One can only ask “Why?”
Photo credit: Monoco Eye
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