Jeff Bezos can already rejoice in his latest eccentricity. The founder of Amazon, whose fortune estimated by Forbes reaches 137,000 million dollars, has disbursed 500 million dollars to get hold of one of the largest sailing yachts in the world. The ship, which is already in her possession, had to go through a long and controversial path before reaching a safe port.
Based on the premise that buying a leisure boat is not as easy as buying a car (although buying a car in these times is not a party either), Bezos’ whim was custom built by one of the most reputable companies in the sector. . We are talking about Oceanco, which in order to make the ambitious project a reality, resorted to different facilities located in the Netherlands.
This is how this project developed
Possibly to celebrate his becoming the richest person in modern history, the businessman is believed to have commissioned the sailing yacht in 2018, but the news didn’t start to circulate until years later, specifically in 2021. At that time, media such as Bloomberg echoed the first leaked details and described the industry’s movements as “fiercely secret”.
However, one thing seemed to be very clear: the luxury boat industry had begun to grow in the midst of the pandemic. Orders for yachts had increased to such an extent that it was almost impossible to get available shipyards to build them, even paying millions for them. The Bezos project, as he had started earlier, was on the right track.
The problems, however, would come later. Oceanco wanted to complete most of the construction of the yacht, known internally as Y721 and later “Koru”, at its astillero de Alblasserdam, in the Netherlands. The initial plans for the project called for the assembly of three enormous masts each about 70 meters high, but they faced a major obstacle: the yacht would not be able to pass under the He Def bridge.
He Def Bridge
Oceanco did not come up with a better idea than to present a petition to the city council to temporarily dismantle the upper part of the bridge. If the authorities gave the go-ahead, the boat could sail out to sea to meet its owner later. Well, things were not that simple. The bridge was considered a historical monument of the place that even the city council itself had promised to protect.
The He Def had been severely damaged during World War II, but after its last restoration in 2017, it was agreed not to touch it again. Earlier this year, rumors of work to remove the bridge reached the ears of the locals, who quickly adopted a protest attitude.
Many locals began to organize through Facebook groups to throw eggs at the yacht in question if it tried to go over the bridge. The rejection of Oceanco’s request even went further. “Are we going to bow our heads to Jeff Bezos just to give him his boat of leisure?” Paul van de Laar, head of the history department at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, told the Financial Times.
With so many voices against it, the company stepped back and ceased its attempts to convince the authorities to dismantle the historic bridge. Under Dutch freedom of information legislation, Trouw accessed documents indicating that Oceanco had changed its mind due to the risks of acts of vandalism against the yacht, a situation that threatened the safety of his employees.
The manufacturer chose to finish the construction of the yacht in Greenside, a few kilometers away. In August of last year, before dawn and in complete silence, Oceanco moved the vessel between one shipyard and the other without the masts, that is, without the elements that prevented it from crossing He Def. There, precisely, the last construction tasks were completed until it was delivered to its new owner in the first quarter of this year.
The second largest sailing yacht in the world
Koru, at 127.1 meters in length, is considered the second largest sailing yacht in the world. She stands behind the Sailing Yacht A of Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, who has 142.8 meters in length, but which in 2022 was confiscated in Italy, according to The Guardian. Bezos’ boat boasts a conservative design with a dark hull that contrasts with its white mast.
The yacht has a hybrid propulsion system. If the weather is good, she can navigate using her sails. But if she needs extra boost, a hybrid (diesel) engine comes into play that drives the propellers. Unfortunately there are no further details about the technology aboard Jeff Bezos’ new ship or the amenities he and his guests will be able to enjoy. It is known, however, that it does not have a heliport.
Although the latter will not be a problem for the employer. Koru will sail accompanied by a support ship called Abeona. It is a luxury “yatito” of 75 million dollars which, in addition to a heliport, will have enough space to transport and deploy auxiliary boats, jet skis, diving equipment and even mini-submarines. In other words, a 75-meter fun center capable of transporting up to 40 people.
The last thing that is known is that Koru is already 100% operational. In fact, Jeff Bezos along with his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, according to the New York Post, have been seen enjoying the boat off the coast of Spain, in the Balearic Sea of the Iberian Peninsula. At the moment, Abeona has not been seen in action, but everything seems to indicate that the Amazon founder’s yacht soap opera is over.
Images: Daniel Oberhaus | Oceanco | PVL83
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