Superyacht for sale: Russian billionaire puts his $300m luxury vessel on the market – complete with bomb-proof glass and a rotating bed – after he splashed out $450m on an even bigger boat
- Billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, said to be the world’s 139th richest person, has put Motor Yacht A on the market
- It resembles a military-style submarine and boasts an enormous master cabin with glass that is bomb-proof
- Melnichenko and his wife, former model Aleksandra, are upgrading to an even bigger superyacht, at 468.5ft
A striking submarine-inspired superyacht owned by a Russian tycoon has reportedly gone on the market – and it could fetch as much as $300million (£209million).
Billionaire industrialist Andrey Melnichenko, who has made his vast fortune with investments in coal, fertilisers and banking, has no need for Motor Yacht A after replacing it with the grander Sailing Yacht A.
With three swimming pools, including one with a glass floor, luxurious cabins and an unconventional design that has proven to be somewhat controversial, the 390ft Motor Yacht A is one of the 25 largest superyachts in the world.
TALE OF THE TAPE: HOW DOES MOTOR YACHT A STACK UP AGAINST SAILING YACHT A?
Billionaire Andrey Melnichenko currently owns two of the world’s largest superyachts. Here’s how they stack up:
Motor Yacht A
Builder: Blohm + Voss (Hamburg, Germany)
Designer: Philippe Starck
Cost: Reported $320million (£223million)
Length: 119 metres (390ft)
World’s 21st largest superyacht
Maximum speed: 23 knots (26 mph)
Cruising speed: 19.5 knots (22 mph)
Sailing Yacht A
Launched: Still under construction, sea trials in 2015
Builder: Nobiskrug (Rendsburg, Germany)
Designer: Philippe Starck
Cost: Reported $450million (£313million)
Length: 142.8 metres (468.5ft)
World’s 9th largest superyacht
Maximum speed: 21 knots (24mph)
Cruising speed: 16 knots (18 mph)
Melnichenko, who is said to have a net worth of $10.2bn (£7.1bn), is one of the richest people in the world, spending a reported $320million (£223million) on the custom-built Motor Yacht A.
Launched in 2008, the luxury vessel resembles a military-style submarine, but is nothing short of extravagant.
It boasts an opulent lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows, wood and leather furniture, and a spacious owner’s cabin that is larger than most apartments in London or New York and is said to have bomb-proof glass and a rotating bed.
Three spa pools with current-generating technology are spread throughout the yacht, and one has a glass floor that passengers can look into from the lower deck, reported Yacht Harbour.
There are seven luxurious cabins for up to 14 guests and accommodation for 42 crew members.
Powered by two diesel engines, the yacht has a top speed of 23 knots (26.4 mph) and a cruising speed of 19.5 knots (22.4 mph), with a range of 6,500 nautical miles. Over the years it has been spotted in places such as Honolulu, Malibu, Monaco, Puerto Rico, Turkey and Thailand.
Once called the ‘king of bling’ by Tatler, the Belarus-born Melnichenko lives a glamorous, jet-setting lifestyle with his wife, Aleksandra, a former model and pop star from Serbia. In addition to two massive yachts, he owners a customised Boeing 737 private jet, a villa in the French Riviera, a penthouse in New York and a sprawling estate near Ascot, England.
A spokesperson for Melnichenko said he could ‘neither confirm nor deny or offer comment on’ reports that Motor Yacht A is for sale.
It was built by leading shipyard Blohm + Voss in Hamburg, Germany, and designed by Frenchman Philippe Starck, a renowned contemporary designer who is responsible for the look of Melnichenko’s new toy, Sailing Yacht A.
Born in Gomel, Belarus, during Soviet rule, 44-year-old Andrey Melnichenko is one of the richest citizens of Russia and the world, with a reported net worth of $10.2bn (£7.1bn), according to Forbes.
That puts the self-made billionaire industrialist in 139th spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s wealthiest people.
Called the ‘king of bling’ by Tatler in 2014, Melnichenko, a father of one, amassed his vast fortune in the banking, energy and mining sectors, and, Forbes reported, is the majority owner of nitrogen and phosphate fertiliser producer EuroChem, SUEK (Siberian Coal Energy Company), one of the world’s largest coal producers, and Siberian power generator SGK.
Together with his wife, Aleksandra, a former model and pop star from Serbia, who turns 39 this year, he forms one of the most glamorous couples in the world.
The couple met in the South of France in 2003 and within two years were married in the same spot in an extravagant $29million wedding which included performances by pop stars Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera, along with Spanish singing legend Julio Iglesias.
Moscow-based Melnichenko paid singer Jennifer Lopez $2million to perform at his wife’s lavish 30th birthday bash at their English mansion in Ascot, and the pair regularly throws sailing parties attended by the rich and famous.
In 2008, rocker Lenny Kravitz performed at their third wedding anniversary bash on Motor Yacht A. Three years later rapper Snoop Dogg entertained partygoers in a specially-built mirrored disco room while Aleksandra partied in a lime-green Givenchy mermaid gown.
Mrs Melnichenko once told Harper’s Bazaar: ‘The boat is perfect for parties, and we are always looking forward to the next one.’
In addition to two of the world’s largest superyachts and a sprawling estate in Berkshire, west of London, the couple owns a villa in the French Riviera, a duplex penthouse in New York, a flat in London and a customised Boeing 737 private jet.
Their multimillion-dollar art collection includes works by French impressionist painter Claude Monet.
Dimitri Semenikhin, founder of Yacht Harbour, told MailOnline Travel: ‘Motor Yacht A is a unique boat in terms of its design and there is quite literally nothing like it on the market.
‘If they were to find a buyer who would fall in love with the design, the price could go as far up as $300million.
‘It will, however, be a tough sell at such a price as the design is very polarising. People even hate or love it, and the yacht has less interior and exterior living space than what you would typically expect on a yacht this size.’
He added: ‘What makes A so unique is its shape and one-of-a-kind design that has organised living space on board in a very unusual way.
‘The buyer would have to be interested in at least a form of modern art and enjoy this typical design choice.
‘I’ve seen Motor Yacht A quite a few times in Monaco. It’s extremely noticeable anywhere it goes, you can always find people snapping shots of it or pointing to it from the shore.
‘When you pass close to it, you do realise how huge and tall it is. The first open deck is also very high which makes it feel very secure.’
If Motor Yacht A finds a buyer it would likely prove to be the biggest sales of all time. Last year, the 439ft superyacht Serene was sold by Russian billionaire Yuri Scheffler for about $350million (£244million), Yacht Harbour reported.
With the behemoth Sailing Yacht A, the 44-year-old oligarch decided it was time to upgrade to a brand new, custom-built vessel that offers more space and the latest in luxury and technology.
Featuring another unconventional design, Sailing Yacht A reportedly cost as much as $450million (£313million) to build, or about $20million (£14million) per guest.
It is ninth largest superyacht in the world, at a length of 468.5ft, and remains under construction at a dry dock after undergoing sea trials in 2015, said Melnichenko’s spokesman.
The public was given its first look at the megayacht at Nobiskrug’s shipyard in Rendsburg, Germany, last year.
The eight-deck vessel has masts that are nearly 330ft tall, eclipsing the height of London’s Elizabeth Tower, which houses the Great Bell known as Big Ben, plus an underwater observation room with thick glass.
It also boasts a digital control system that has a touch sensitive sheet of black glass, allowing the crew to raise and lower the sails and anchor with the swipe of their fingers.
Sailing Yacht A’s keel incorporates one of the largest single pieces of curved glass ever made at 193 square feet, creating an observation pod on the bottom deck, and it is powered by a hybrid diesel-electric system at a top speed of 21 knots (24 mph).
While it may be slightly slower than Motor Yacht A, it is much larger and more luxurious with enough cabins to accommodate 20 guests and 54 crew members.
Semenikhin said: ‘The new Sailing Yacht A is extremely different from any sailing yacht built before. It is much larger and has much more volume than any other sailing yacht.’
While the focus is on its extravagance, Sailing Yacht A is one of the most advanced vessels of its kind and pushes boundaries in terms of maritime and sailing technology, naval design and nautical engineering.
It builds on the pioneering use of nautical engineering used in Motor Yacht A, which used a knife-like hull shape to leave almost no wake.
The carbon fibre masts were built by Magma Structures and will be the largest and most highly loaded composite freestanding structures in the world.
The main mast is so large that it contains a small room inside.
While they’re usually associated with Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern royalty, nearly half of the world’s superyachts are owned by extremely wealthy Americans and Britons, a new study has found.
Multimillion-pound price tags and steep upkeep costs make ownership an incredibly exclusive club, with the first-ever report on luxury yachts revealing that there are just 4,476 in the world.
Of those, 33 per cent of owners are from the US and 11 per cent are from Britain.
In third place, Italy is home to five per cent of all owners, followed by Australia (four per cent) and Russia (three per cent), said the report from London-based yacht management firm Camper & Nicholsons and London-based Wealth-X, which analyses the spending habits of the super-rich.
In 2015, the world’s owners spent a combined $22bn (£15.2bn) to operate their yachts.
An estimated $2.68bn (£1.8bn) was spent on sales in 2015, down 18 per cent on 2014’s figures largely due to the US dollar’s strength against the euro. However, orders increased slightly to 166.
The largest yacht that exchanged hands in 2015 was the 133.9-metre (439ft) Serene, the 14th largest superyacht in the world.
It was originally owned by Russian tycoon Yuri Scheffler and was rented by Microsoft head Bill Gates, the world’s wealthiest person, in 2014.
The report found that the average value of a superyacht – defined as a vessel measuring 30 metres (98ft) or more – has dropped to $10million (£7million) from around $16million (£11.1million) in 2011, and the average length is 41 metres (134ft).
The largest superyacht in the world, the Azzam, owned by United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is 180.6 metres (592.5ft).
The report is the first of its kind on the world’s one per cent and their taste for luxury vessels.
Like private jets, superyachts are one of the ultimate symbols of fame and fortune, and a flashy way to flaunt one’s wealth in places such as the Mediterranean or Caribbean.
However, a generation of new and younger owners is setting new trends with a desire for rare and tailored experiences to confirm their high status, the report said.
While the Mediterranean and Caribbean are traditional superyacht destinations, owners are increasingly looking to visit exotic places such as the Galapagos Islands, Asia or Antarctica, meaning the demand for ice-breaking hulls and long-range capabilities is on the up.
They are also fitting their floating palaces with gyms, spas, swimming pools, cinema rooms and brighter open-plan interiors, and bringing personal trainers, nutritionists, therapists and other professionals with them.
In terms of water toys, personal watercraft no longer cut it, as owners want the latest gadgets, including skibobs and hoverboards.
The report analysed data from 211,000 people who have a minimum net worth of $30million (£20.8million).
They account for 0.003 per cent of the world’s population and have a collective net worth of nearly $30trillion (£20.8trillion).