And now for something completely different. Steve Jobs’ 256-foot superyacht Venus, built by Feadship and completed in 2012, a year after his death, has been out and about this season and was most recently drone-videoed as it squeezed through the Simpson Bay drawbridge in St. Maarten. According to the Insider’s St. Maarten Island Guide, the yacht had been in SXM for two weeks and on Saturday headed out on a private charter.
In superyacht lingo, I guess Venus is what you’d call a “Simpson-Max” vessel, as in there is no possible way it could be any bigger and still fit through this bridge:
Got hand it to the skipper: he (or she?) has got some cojones for sure.
But what I really want to talk about is the boat’s appearance. Steve Jobs was justifiably renowned for his sense of taste and style when it came to electronic devices, but somehow, IMHO, it doesn’t seem to translate too well to boats.
Jobs worked with designer Philippe Starck in developing the boat and the goal was to create a minimalist superyacht, which, pardon me for saying so, is a gross oxymoron in and of itself. The boat, as you can see here, looks quite good in a forward quarter shot:
But the aft quarter is more problematic:
Particularly when you close up the garage doors.
To me from these angles it looks like an ugly slab-sided gun emplacement. The “fortress pillbox” aesthetic is particularly noticeable when you consider the bridge, where the ship is controlled by a battery of seven iMac monitors.
According to an interesting article in the French version of Vanity Fair, in which Starck both brags about his connection to Jobs and complains about Jobs’ anal personality and ego (takes one to know one is all I can say), Jobs was particularly interested in the interior design. Unfortunately, there are no photos available yet of the boat’s living spaces, except you can see a bit of one interesting-looking space way up forward in the bow in this shot:
I’m guessing there is no collision bulkhead. There’s really no point in having one of those if you’re going to live forward of it. Note also the Jacuzzi and lounge area up on the foredeck, which is likely a big PITA for line-handlers when docking. And the anchor deploys from much further aft than usual, so I’m wondering how much she sails around when lying to a hook. Though I suppose the answer to that problem is to just set both of them.
Bonus video: This is Venus noodling around the harbor at Horta on Faial in the Azores. You can see how awkward she looks at certain angles: