The next time you pick up a lightbulb or tool at Home Depot, you are helping pay for 1/10 of a second of running expenses for DreAMBoat, the new 295 foot Oceanco megayacht owned by Arthur M. Blank, the founder of Home Depot. The capitalized letters in the yacht’s name refer to his initials. Estimated cost in the area of $180 million.
It will be really interesting to see if the new Christensen facility in Tennessee can revive large yacht construction in the USA. Initial drawings show a huge facility which could conceivably build up to 13 yachts at once, and the yard is designed to build in steel and aluminum in addition to Christensen’s usual fiberglass construction.
In the past, Christensen built a semi-standard 150-foot yacht that was considered “OK” but not even close to top European standards. Several years ago Christensen was rocked by internal strife and ownership questions that eventually ended up with Lukens taking control. Not sure if he is respected in the industry or not.
There is no reason why large yachts can’t be built in the USA successfully – look at our prowess building airplanes, cars, rocket ships, refineries etc. – but most of our once-flourishing yacht builders like Palmer Johnson, Burger, Trinity, Westship, and Broward are either gone or barely surviving. The only US yacht builders operating full-tilt are Delta and Westport.
Tennessee does not exactly have a heritage of yacht building, but neither did Taiwan and there are some excellent yachts coming out of Taiwan nowadays.
This is taking the megayacht experience to an almost absurd level. Some guy (or lady) built a 200 foot support yacht to trail behind a 280 foot mothership.
The support yacht carries the “toys” – a series of large and small yacht tenders including a high-speed power cat propelled by 4 monster outboards, several jeep-type ATV’s, a full diving center and space for the helicopter. The support yacht is staffed by a crew of 20, supplementing what I would guess is a crew of 25 to 30 on the Feadship mother yacht.
I kind of get it, since a single yacht big enough for all this junk would be around 450 feet long, effectively barring it from docking in any yacht harbor or from anchoring in most yacht harbors. It still seems a bit extreme for sure.
Herb Chambers goes radical! New England autodealer magnate Herb Chambers has built a series of huge yachts all named “Excellence.” So far they have been sleek and sophisticated but relatively conventional.
Not his new 250’+ megayacht – it features a weird reverse bow – it may be called a “scythe” bow – and some insane glasswork. I sort of like the whole thing although I have doubts about the bow. If you want to experience the new Excellence first-hand, Chambers usually charters his yachts. I would guess the new one would go for a paltry $1 million/week or thereabouts.
Herb’s probably pretty anxious to unload his earlier Excellence so you can probably snatch it up for a mere $75 million or so.
Been exceedingly dilatory about posting photos of interesting (to me, anyway) boats that pass by our place in Stuart. Herewith a few I’ve seen over the past winter that I deemed worth photographing for one or more reasons:
Above left, new Greenline 39, an interesting powerboat I believe built in Slovenia or Poland. You can equip these with hybrid diesel/electric drives. I appreciate the “sunroom” salon – glass from deck to roof with a big sliding door by the helm seat. Aft end of the salon is all glass too. Very light inside! Slashing line of ports in the hull for staterooms. I like the interesting sheer line and aft-raked cabin pillar and matching transom rake.
In center is a sturdy, competent-looking offshore sloop, name Mamzel, notable for distinctive, slightly repellent mustard hull color and plethora of dorade vents ventilating everywhere belowdeck. I think the flag is Canadian – can’t quite tell – but the name may be French. Boat to the right pleases me no end – I applaud folks with the creativity, perseverance and skill to build their dream. A home-built micro-cruiser power catamaran, slipping along with outboard power, solar panels on the cabin top, very, very distinctive yellow and lilac color treatment. Lovely touch — tiny dinghy perched on the transom, painted the same yellow as the mothership. What fun.
Left photo is terrific pair of global voyagers from opposite ends of the spectrum. Sailboat is classic double-ended Colin-Archer style cutter, outboard rudder, bowsprit, simple and ready for long voyages. Powerboat is also ready for long voyages, but it’s a $multi-million Nordhavn trawler. One crew eats beans and takes cold showers; the other sips Chardonnay while watching a big screen TV. Who has more fun? Center photo is not clear – the boat was far off – but you can make out the insanely pretty lines of this good-sized downeaster. Wow, what a supremely pretty sheer line. Moving through the water with minimal fuss, maximum authority. The yacht on the right is clearly a Hunt-design – no one else captures that crisp, almost military look like Hunt. All business, great name – Oblivious – no doubt capable, I see it heading in and out the St. Lucie inlet regularly, someone has a great time on this handsome yacht.
Haven’t put out a Boats to Note email for a long time – just busy. But I have dozens of boats I find interesting/admirable/
Left: The noted Sparkman & Stepehens-designed ketch “Yankee” built in 1959 by famous global sailors Irving and Exy Johnson. They owned several wonderful yachts and wrote terrific books about their years taking teens on scholastic cruising adventures.
Middle: Just the cutest little mini-pilothouse powerboat imaginable, out for a daytrip with a couple precariously perched on the saloon roof and a guy watching the scenery slide by from a bow cockpit. Minimal speed, maximum fun.
Right: Complete opposite! Sleek, almost ominous Italian Stallion high-speed cruiser from Riva. Very high quality, bloody expensive, not bad looking example of the macho yachting genre.
Left: Old, old wooden ketch, note long overhangs, really long bowsprit, long boomkin, gaff rig. Tiny portlights but two skylights will throw light belowdecks. NYYC burgee, not sure designer/builder, a labor of love for sure.
Middle: Appealing, jaunty downeast sedan cruiser named “New Moon..” Aft mast tilted down to go under bridges, no T-top protection for lone helmsman in cozy fly bridge. Ultra-simple dinghy stowage – just heave it into the cockpit and let some protrude.
Right: Unusual schooner named “Irony”, combines modern cut-off transom paired with long bowsprit, low freeboard, masts slightly curved and raked aft. Two separate deckhouses, sweet sheer, sleek modern schooner.
Left and center: two photos of salty, double-ended pilothouse trawler, almost certainly built in Holland or thereabouts. Named “Esprit”, home port a long way away –Seward, Alaska. Look carefully at left photo and see two young girls clambering up over pilothouse window – next photo shows them happily dancing as Esprit rumbles north on the ICW. There must be a wonderful story there. Right photo is a Freedom 40 cat ketch named “Monday Morning” , designed and built by innovative yachtsman Garry Hoyt. It was considered highly radical when it was introduced, but many were sold and Garry went on to build other cat ketch sailboats. After selling the business, he started Alerion yachts building classic-looking sailboats paired with fin keel, fast underbodies. A lot of them were sold and are popular today. Gary was a very clever guy.
One of world’s most successful hedge funders, Ray Dalio, is putting his money to work on something cool. He is building a huge (285’) research expedition vessel to help ecology work on oceans around the globe. I believe it is a conversion of an existing commercial ship, but it is almost all new. It is due to launch anytime. I think Dalio owned (and may still own) a completely opposite vessel – a sleek Italian Stallion, macho-man Mangusta 165.
There is a Norwegian guy who is building an even bigger research expedition ship to do ocean research.
Happy to know billionaires are actively working to save the oceans. A very good use of their money.
An odd but probably fun regatta for mega sailing yachts built by Perini Navi. Most – really all – Perini Navi’s are luxurious, heavy sailing yachts, fitted with posh, paneled accommodations. Many are sailed from a pilothouse or flybridge, with spa pools, enormous tenders and four-star service. Not exactly hard core racing. Their performance is best described as “leisurely” – not sure if any merit “sparkling” or “zippy.”
Kind of like racing around Watkins Glen in a flock of Bentleys. But the shore parties must have been fun.
I guess $40 Million or thereabouts is a good price, but not a steal for this abandoned 300 ft megayacht. It would take $150 million to $30 million to recreate it, but it is 18 years old and was built by a slightly secondary builder, Oceanco. I’m sure a new owner will invest $5 million or so to spruce up the interior and cosmetics, repair any major mechanical issues and try to flip it for $75 million.