Supery achts get ever bigger and more luxurious and thus, ever more expensive. But who buys them? Pointer, the research platform of Dutch broadcasting network KRO-NCRV, reveals some of the owners of Dutch built yachts. Buyers losing their anonymity include billionaires Dmitry Rybolovlev, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, and Bernard Arnault.
In the Netherlands, the four major super yacht builders are: Feadship, Heesen, Damen Yachting (formerly Amels) and Oceanco. Orders in this sector remained almost constant over the years, but its turnover increased from a little over 500 million euros in 2006 to 1.5 billion euros in 2018. This points to the trend of ever larger and more luxurious superyachts.
Although a super yacht stands out in the average port, it seems almost impossible to find out who owns it. This is due to the fact that super yachts are generally purchased by companies and not under a billionaire’s own name. Pointer decided to lift a piece of the veil and compiled a list of owners. Some of the highlights of this list are presented below.
The 4693-GT Anna was built by Feadship and sails under the flag of the Cayman Islands. It is currently the largest yacht built by Feadship and was delivered in 2018. Its buyer is Dmitry Rybolovlev from Russia, who made his money in fertilisers.
Picture by Kees Torn.
Built in 2017 by Oceanco, it is both the largest yacht built at this shipyard and the largest yacht built in the Netherlands. The 4500-GT yacht takes the title as it is just a little bit longer than the Anna (361 ft versus 360 ft). It sails under the flag of the Cayman Islands and was built for Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, a former ruler of Qatar.
106.7-metre Black Pearl
The 2864-GT Black Pearl is the world’s largest Dynarig sailing yacht and was delivered by Oceanco in 2018. It can hit a speed of up to 30 knots under sail. Pointer cannot state with absolute certainty that Oleg Burlakov from Russia (active in cement, oil and banking) is the owner, but deems it very likely. It sails under the flag of the Cayman Islands.
In 2015, the 3000-GT Symphony was the first Feadship to cross the 100-metre mark and was the largest yacht built in The Netherlands at that time. It sails under the flag of the Cayman Islands and its likely owner is Bernard Arnault from France. He owns brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moët, Hennessey, and Dior.
The 102-metre Symphony is the largest yacht built at Kaag Island (picture by Frans Berkelaar).
83-metre Here Comes The Sun
The Damen built yacht Here Comes The Sun was delivered in 2017. The 2827-GT yacht was ordered by Alexander Dzhaparidze, active in Russia’s oil industry, and sails under the flag of the Cayman Islands.
77-metre La Datcha
The La Datcha is a 2560-GT luxury expedition yacht and the second yacht from the Damen Yachting SeaXplorer range. It was delivered in 2020. Its owner is Oleg Tinkov, a Russian oligarch, who earned his money in the entertainment and food industry.
Picture by Damen.
70-metre Galactica Super Nova
The Heesen built 1200-GT Galactica Super Nova was delivered in 2016. It sails under the flag of the Cayman Islands. Its likely buyer is Vagit Alekperov an Azerbaijani and Russian businessman and the president of the leading Russian oil company Lukoil. Alekperov is also the owner of Heesen.
109-metre Bravo Eugenia
Although not revealed by Pointer, the 3418-GT Bravo Eugena was bought by Jerry Jones, owner of the American football team Dallas Cowboys. The yacht, named after his wife Genie, cost him 250 million US dollars (almost 225 million euros). This was reported by Mansion Global, which writes about the global real estate market, was able to pinpoint the yacht’s owner by tracking a license for the ship’s radio equipment from the Federal Communications Commission.
Picture by Oceanco.
More superyacht owners have been revealed by Pointer here.
Picture (top): The Black Pearl (by Tom van Oossanen, published in SWZ|Maritime’s September 2019 issue).