Russian Billionaire's New Yacht Resembles Warship

Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko is not making waves with his outlandish Phillipe Stark-designed yacht–because it’s designed not to make any. Russia is producing billionaires by the dozen…and what better way to show that you’re taking over the world than by creating a boat that resembles a destroyer?

WSJ: Motor Yacht A, its official name, is actually a private yacht built for Andrey Melnichenko, the 36-year-old Russian billionaire industrialist. While Mr. Melnichenko has done his best to keep the boat a secret, A is already making waves in the yachting world and becoming a public symbol of Russian wealth gone wild…

The reason A is stirring up the boat world is its radical design. Created by Philippe Starck, the superstar French designer of lemon squeezers and luxury hotels, A is a deliberate slap in the face to an industry known for its classic conformity.

Instead of a fat hull, supporting many levels of open-air dining areas, wet bars and sun decks, A is streamlined and largely enclosed — more like a space helmet than a floating palace. The bow slopes like a monster pontoon away from the boat instead of toward it. While common for warships of the early 20th century — and allowing A to create little or no splash at 24 knots — the design is unusual in modern megayachts.

“A is aggressive, like a giant finger pointing at you,” says Donald Starkey, a leading British yacht designer. “It seems to have nothing to do with the whole idea of yachting, which is about cruising around at a leisurely pace, and enjoying your friends and the sea.”

A giant finger? A giant middle finger is more like it.

Photo from, via the WSJ

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