Steve Jobs' superyacht unveiled at last

Vessel commissioned by Steve Jobs emerges from Dutch shipyard a year after his death

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 3:34am

Steve Jobs' superyacht Venus has emerged from a shipbuilder's yard in the Netherlands just over a year after the death of the Apple founder, who had a big hand in designing the unusual vessel.

The 70-metre yacht is being built by Royal De Vries shipbuilders in Aalsmeer, just south of Amsterdam. With its plethora of right angles, rectangular windows and straight edges, the boxy vessel turns traditional superyacht design on its head.

According to a posting on Sunday on the Dutch tech blog, the ship will be presented to Jobs' family, including his widow Laurene Powell Jobs and their three children Reed, Erin and Eve.

It will then be packed up and shipped by cargo to the United States. Those who worked on the ship each received an engraved iPod nano from the family, the blog said.

The bridge features a control panel made up of an array of seven iMac computers. Another Mac can be seen through a porthole above the anchor.

Sources told the blog that the ship took six years to design and build. Apple's top designer, Jonathan Ive, was involved.

French designer Philippe Starck said last year that he was working on the yacht, which was mentioned in Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs, who died on October 5, 2011. He said it was "sleek and minimalist", with teak decks.

"I know that it's possible I will die and leave Laurene with a half-built boat," Jobs told Isaacson. "But I have to keep going on it. If I don't, it's an admission that I'm about to die."

Yacht designer Henry Bateson of Britain's Iceni yachts described the boat's blunt bow design as "usually found on sports vessels".

The hull design "should provide an easier ride in a chop without giving up too much room for accommodation or stability at anchor," said Bateson, noting the light-weight aluminium hull.

Bateson said the amount of glass in the hull is significantly greater than other yachts of a similar size.

"I understand there was a considerable design effort in appropriate sizing of this glass. It will be interesting to see the loadings once she's at sea."

Royal De Vries declined to comment on the yacht, including its price. Traditional motor yachts of similar size cost around US$80 million.