A boat lover from a young age, this superstar and prolific designer usually lives on a boat or near the water where he can easily hop onto one of seven craft of all persuasions that he owns. Surprisingly, though the ocean is central to his life, he has only designed a handful of boats and yachts to date.
Blohm + Voss built the yacht, originally known as Eco in 1991 for Emilio Azcarraga, a Mexican media magnate. It was a leap forward in the yachting industry in many ways. The innovative Eco was the first pleasure vessel to combine a composite superstructure and a metallic hull, for instance. She also had a futuristic design by Martin Francis, with bubble-like windows all around the front of the superstructure.
Blohm + Voss has built several of the Middle East’s iconic vessels, including Golden Odyssey. Saudi Prince Khaled Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz owns Golden Odyssey, the largest of his “Golden Fleet”. The explorer-style yacht often navigates with the Marco Yachts-built support yacht Golden Shadow, the 98-foot sport fisherman Golden Osprey, and the Golden Eye Cessna 280 seaplane equipped with Wipaire floats.
Although facts pertaining to the restoration of this historic British-built yacht are largely unavailable, rumors abound. Perhaps Nahlin’s future is destined to be as extraordinary as her past. Widowed heiress Lady Yule wanted to see the world and commissioned the glorious yacht in 1929, circumnavigating the globe before making the yacht available for charter.
Tim Heywood and Terence Disdale collaborated on this yacht launched in 2008 allegedly for mining billionaire Alberto Bailleres. Bailleres, one of Mexico’s richest entrepreneurs has diversified investments in mining, insurance, retail and commercial real estate, and figures on Forbes’ 2012 list of billionaires with a fortune estimated at 16.5 billion.
Michael Leach Design created Palladium to suit the lifestyle of an active entrepreneur they had worked with on the 205-foot Amels Solemar, his previous yacht. The design reflects the owner’s love for watersports. The designers were tasked with creating lots of headroom inside and sporty lines outside, and opted for design solutions that yield a radically new styling.
Lady Moura was, at the time of her 1990 launch, one of—if not the most—expensive yachts ever built. She also has the distinct honor of keeping the same owner, Saudi billionaire Nasser Al-Rashid, since her launch. Her build required four years of collaboration between Italian designer and architect Luigi Sturchio and German shipyard Blohm + Voss.
Philippe Starck and Martin Francis collaborated on the design of this strikingly innovative yacht built by the German shipyard Blohm + Voss for young and forward-thinking Russian entrepreneur Andrey Melnichenko. For the first few years after her launch, the owner kept the interior of this stunning yacht a well-guarded secret, but he did allow a few select photos to be published.
In 2001, Platinum Yachts acquired the enormous unfinished carcass and 250 containers full of spare parts and worked four years on finishing this giant. The Andrew Winch-styled Dubai, features a 10,000 sq.-m painted surface finished in Awlgrip Snow White, and stylistic enhancements in stainless steel around portholes and large windows.
Eclipse took the crown as the reigning queen of private yachts in 2010 and, so far, has not been unseated. Rather stylish for her estimated 13,000 gross tons and 72-foot (22-meter beam), Eclipse owes her styling to UK-based designer Terence Disdale who also worked on Pelorus, once the flagship of Roman Abramovich’s fleet.
Chemistry between designer and client is vital for a successful outcome. Michael Leach and Mark Smith, partners at Hampshire-based Michael Leach Design (MLD), clearly had a dynamic interaction with the owner of the 312-foot Palladium. Leach and Smith, who studied industrial/transportation design a year apart at the same college, complement each other perfectly and found common ground with the owner.