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SUPERYACHT FEATURE. December 2013–June 2014

M/Y ‘A’ – loathed leviathan or marine masterpiece? Inside a Russian billionaire’s US$300 million yacht

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ou know someone’s been the victim of dubious press when a request for information on their US$300m superyacht comes back with a statement – tinged with a mild threat – that the details attached are, in fact, correct. As in, not doctored, sexed-up or fudged. The reason behind the emphasis is perhaps understandable. Few vessels have ever experienced quite the level of love and loathing in equal measure as Motor Yacht ‘A’. And for its unfortunate owners and

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PR team, the ensuing publicity has been accompanied by a plethora of outlandish claims. (Just to be clear – while ‘A’ might be a stroke of engineering genius – she cannot travel underwater.) But for each one who views her hulking 5,500-ton frame as a work of art and her effortless glide through the open seas a magnum opus, there is another who regards her behemoth bulk as the height of vulgarity, the ostentatious epitome of the flashy lifestyle flaunted by the nouveau riche.

Needless to say, her ‘boat daddy’ is filthy rich. With a personal wealth of more than US$14 billion, Andrey Melnichenko makes the Queen of England’s coffers look rather trifling by comparison. A regular visitor to Antigua, ‘A’ can be seen at intermittent intervals languishing in the country’s harbours, dwarfing its amphibious neighbours. It even steals the thunder from fellow regular visitor the Maltese Falcon, once the largest yacht on the planet. At almost

Luxury Locations The Magazine December 2013–June 2014  

Luxury Locations The Magazine is published bi-annually and is distributed to a readership of high net worth individuals throughout Antigua &...