When it comes to superyachts, people tend to save their attention for builds that have actually been delivered. The forthcoming Project Y721, on the other hand, deserves inspection well before its due date; not just because it has been commissioned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. What’s fascinating about the Jeff Bezos superyacht? It’s reportedly so ridiculously big, it needs a ridiculously big second support yacht just for the helipad.
Scheduled for delivery later this year, the 127-metre long superyacht will reportedly set Bezos back over US$500 million (AU$636.5 million) – chump change for the world’s richest bloke, of course – and is currently being built by Dutch yachtmaker, Oceanco.
Given Oceanco’s involvement, speculation surrounding the Jeff Bezos superyacht are assuming that it will be based on the yachtmaker’s famous Black Pearl, which is pictured above.
What We Know About The Design Of Project Y721
There is no question that the new Jeff Bezos superyacht will be the largest sailing yacht ever built in the Netherlands. So far the internet rumour mill is buzzing with speculation that Project Y721 will essentially be a bigger version of the Black Pearl. The award-winning, 106-metre-long superyacht also has three masts and has since become one of the most recognisable builds in the world – perhaps even more so than the 108-metre-long Bravo Eugenia, which Oceanco built for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
To date, no images have been released of Bezos’ new superyacht. Oceanco have been so tight-lipped about the project, which they have been working on for the past few years, that we don’t even have visuals of anything to do with the construction.
We can, however, assume a number of features for Project Y721 based on the design language used for the Black Pearl, and the features onboard.
Black Pearl was built by Oceanco back in 2016 and delivered two years later, constructed with a steel hull and aluminium superstructure in collaboration with Nuvolari-Lenard, and Dykstra Naval Architects. Head of Interior Design at Nuvolari-Lenard, Valentina Zannier, worked with French architect Gerard Villate, as well as Ken Freivokh, BMT Nigel Gee, and Gerard P. Villate, to curate a raft of lavish features including extensive outdoor living spaces and two enormous spa pools.
Three portholes run along the Black Pearl’s main deck bulwark to help crate an arc from the sundeck hardtop through to the main deck aft. This flowing superstructure and a single-level engine room helps maintain a total interior volume of 2,700GT – enough space for 6 cabins and 12 guests. Onboard, guests can spread out across the multi-level atrium, which has a glass lift, and enjoy the spa pools, hot tub, and a beach club cinema.
Technically progressive, the Black Pearl is driven by an innovative DynaRig sailing system, which gives it the ability to cross the Atlantic without burning even a litre of fossil fuel. This makes it one of the most ecological sailing yachts ever made, complemented by a special propulsion system that harvest kinetic energy under sail. The engineering also allows for a more efficient set-up, with one push of a button setting the superyacht’s 2,877 square metres worth of sails in just 7 minutes.
Black Pearl is rated for top sailing speeds of 30 knots.
Where Is Project Y721 Being Built?
Project Y721 will be moved to a new shipyard for completion next month, where Oceanco will refine the billionaire’s passion project so that it spans several decks and features three enormous masts.
As previously mentioned, Project Y721 will have its own support yacht with a helipad, just in case the imposing main yacht wasn’t enough to reiterate just how much this industry has swelled in the past year. This is due to the main yacht’s tremendous scale and requisite sails, leaving little room to fit a helipad.
The support yacht will, reportedly, be used to store a number of other “toys” for Bezos, including a personal submarine, aircraft, super cars, and anything else that won’t be able to fit on the enormous main vessel. Although the actual size of Jeff Bezos’ superyacht’s yacht has yet to be revealed, along with details regarding how the two will travel in tandem while cruising the open seas.
Superyacht Demand Is Through The Roof
It seems the global COVID-19 pandemic has only strengthened to resolve of the ultra-rich, who are now increasingly looking towards ambitious sailing yachts, perhaps as a way to to more frequently travel on the open seas where they don’t heave to deal with pitiful land-dwellers.
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, US boat sales saw a 13-year high in 2020. When considering the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the skyrocketing demand makes perfect sense. Most land-based galas and lavish parties were cancelled, so the super rich turned attention to the open seas as a way to take a trip, host private events, socialise, and seek some privacy away from the ever-prying eyes of the paparazzi.
The COVID-19 pandemic only serving to accentuate the divide between the world’s richest people. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the upper echelons of society managed to add another US$1.8 trillion (AU$2.2 trillion) to their collective wealth. Orders for new superyacht builds were apparently pumping by the time US summer rolled around, eschewing the idea that the pandemic would supress all transport industries and allowing the super rich to further indulge their seafaring fantasies.
As reported by Bloomberg, Sam Tucker, head of superyacht research at London-based VesselsValue, there has been massive demand industry wide.
“The market’s been roaring,” says Tucker.
“It’s impossible to get a slot in a new-build yard… they’re totally booked.”
“The second hand-market is red hot,” he added. Which is no surprise, given the second-hand market for just about everything is going gangbusters at the moment, from cars and basketball cards, to these extravagant sailing yachts.
Megayacht icons Azimut Benetti Group currently have almost three dozen superyachts in the order book, a surge in demand the group’s vice president, Giovanna Vitelli, explains rather profoundly.
“The type of wealth has changed, but not the wealth itself,” says Vitelli.
“This is the difference with 2008, when the [global financial] crisis was really widespread.”