The world’s largest sailing yacht which is taller than London’s Big Ben clock tower and longer than 13 London buses (or three Olympic swimming pools), was impounded in Gibraltar. The Gibraltar Port Authority impounded the ‘Sailing Yacht A’ over claims that its Russian billionaire owner owed the shipbuilder a fee of around €15.3m (£13.3m; $16.3m).
The €400m sleep superyacht was on its way to being delivered to industrialist Andrey Melnichenko. According to Forbes, Melnichenko is the 139th richest man in the world and is worth an estimated of around £10.6 billion. It was reported that following a legal filing from the German shipbuilder, the futuristic-looking vessel has been stuck in Gibraltar. Meanwhile, Gibraltar Admiralty marshal Liam Yeats confirmed that the vessel was under arrest and anchored in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. The industrialist’s spokesman reiterated that this order would be lifted soon.
The Bermuda-registered luxury vessel which was built by the timeless and unique shipbuilder, Nobiskrug, had left the Kiel shipyard based in northern Germany around two weeks back. Holger Kahl, shipbuilder’s managing director, said that Sailing Yacht A was one of the most visionary projects Nobiskrug was involved in.
The super-yacht is 143m (469ft) long, with three masts and the main featured around 100m high. The gross tonnage is reported to around 12,600 and is priced at €400m. The state-of-the-art vessel has an underwater observation pod, and a hybrid diesel-electric-propulsion, and was designed by Philippe Starck. The vessel also features a helipad, an onboard swimming pool and has unique carbon fibre masts with the vessel having the capacity to withstand 90 knots of the wind with full sail up.
According to reports, the yacht’s registered owner is a Bermuda company, Valla Yachts Ltd. Meanwhile, Nobiskrug was reported to be demanding an outstanding payment and interest charges.
It is also reported that this is not the first time the Russian industrialist has made headlines for his sleek luxury vessels, last year the Motor Yacht A was moored on the river Thames, alongside the HMS Belfast.