Much like Amazon, Jeff Bezos’ $500 million superyacht offers every bell and whistle imaginable, from A to Z.
The colossal, triple-masted Koru began its career serving the world’s third richest man this week, cruising the Mediterranean around Mallorca.
The 417-foot schooner first left Rotterdam in the Netherlands for sea trials in February. Dropping anchor in Mallorca put its jaw-dropping size on full display.
It also showed the extent of Bezos’ fleet: Not only did the Koru sail into harbor, so did its support vessel, Abeona, a mega-boat in its own right, the luxurious fast-launches used to move between the two — and aerial support in the form of his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez’s personal helicopter.
Sanchez also seemingly serves the fleet’s mascot, with the Koru’s figurehead, a part of traditional large sailing ships, modeled after her.
The Koru is the world’s tallest sailing yacht. Its three huge 229-foot masts power it to 20 knots. It’s also the biggest billionaire’s yacht which can move under sail-power alone.
The masts are so tall that Dutch officials considered dismantling the 95-year-old Koningshaven Bridge to allow the vessel past the 131-foot span on its journey from the Oceanco shipyard in Alblasserdam through Rotterdam to the North Sea.
That controversial plan was scrapped after local backlash, including residents being urged to toss eggs at Bezos’ “latest toy,” the New York Times reported. The superyacht, previously known as Y721, was instead towed to a shipyard in Rotterdam, downstream of the bridge, without its masts.
Bezos, 59, and the bikini-clad Sanchez, 53, appeared ready for the summer as the pair soaked up the sun aboard Koru, a Māori word for loop or coil that symbolizes new beginnings — possibly a coy reference to their relationship.
Sanchez started secretly dating the Blue Origin founder in the summer of 2018. Bezos then announced in January 2019 he and his wife Mackenzie were divorcing after 25 years, while Sanchez finalized her split from husband Patrick Whitesell later that year.
Sanchez plays a critical role in the Bezos fleet: As a helicopter pilot, she was seen landing on the Abeona. She was also at Bezos’ side when he took the wheel of the Koru.
Koru was first seen under construction in 2021 at Oceano’s yard. The company is owned by a fellow billionaire, Oman’s Mohammed Al Barwani.
As many as 18 guests can enjoy the yacht’s three outdoor decks, including one with two pools. The vessel, which has a crew of up to 36, also boasts a cinema, meeting spaces and lounges, Luxuo reported.
Every detail is designed for luxury, even down to the masts’ technology.
Bezos opted for high-tech “in-boom furlers,” which store the vast canvases at the bottom of the mast, above the deck. Each weighs nearly 2,000 pounds, but they allow his deck to be kept clear of ropes.
Clearing ropes out of the way maximizes entertaining space, and allows for a hot tub forward of the mainmast.
The yacht is also built for speed. Its three masts provide “one of the largest sail areas ever seen in yachting,” according to SuperYacht Times.
The Koru’s original designer, and the identity of its captain, remain secret. Boat International noted: “With the elegant curve of the bow and a bowsprit, the lines are certainly classic, but we still have no idea which designer drew them.”
The Cayman Islands-flagged vessel also has engine power like most sailing yachts.
And while other billionaires measure yachts by size, Bezos’ is only the 24th largest.
However, since Koru’s masts rule out a helicopter deck, the billionaire commissioned a support vessel, Abeona, named for the Roman goddess of outward journeys.
In addition to a helipad, the 246-foot Abeona features an extra two staterooms for four guests and as many as 45 crew and support staff.
It’s the largest custom-built support vessel ever manufactured by Damen Yachting. On board in Mallorca were at least four jetskis, two fast launches, and an additional dinghy. Its heavy winch is capable of lifting a small submarine, although Bezos is not believed to have one thus far.
The “classic exterior lines” of Koru, are reminiscent of another billionaire’s boat: Eos, a 305-foot sailing yacht owned by Barry Diller, 81, who may have inspired Bezos after hosting him on the vessel.
Favored by megastars like Katy Perry and Bradley Cooper — who were Diller’s guests during 2019’s Google Camp in Sicily — the German-built Eos can accommodate up to 16 guests and 21 crew.
It was the largest private sailing yacht in the world when it was completed in 2006. Diller, chairman of IAC and Expedia, who is worth $3.9 billion, bought it three years later. Intriguingly, its figurehead is modeled on Diller’s wife Diane von Fürstenberg, the fashion designer.
But the $200 million, 305-foot schooner is now dwarfed by Bezos’ boat.
As Koru sailed in the Balearic Sea this week off the coast of Spain, Bezos’ boat symbolically surges past several other tech billionaires’ vessels – including Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s $80 million, 240-foot Dragonfly, and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison’s, $160 million, 288-foot Musashi.
It will cost Bezos, 59, an estimated $25 million per year to operate Koru, but the world’s third-richest man isn’t likely to need a loan with his $140.6 billion fortune, according to Forbes.
Bezos’ use of sailpower sets him apart from most billionaires, but others are seeking a hi-tech zero-carbon power source: a Japanese billionaire has reportedly commissioned the world’s first hydrogen-powered superyacht.
Germany’s Lürssen Yachts announced in March that they had a hydrogen-powered superyacht in advanced construction.
It declined to identify the future owner of the unnamed superyacht, but specialist publication FuelCellsWorks reported Japanese billionaire tech Yusaku Maezawa, worth an estimated $1.7 billion, commissioned the innovative effort.
Dubbed Project Cosmos, the 374-foot superyacht is designed by Apple’s legendary Marc Newson and was first unveiled in early March at Lürssen’s facility in Rendsburg, Germany.
Once completed as soon as next year, the vessel is expected to utilize emission-free fuel cell technology to generate power lasting up to 15 days while anchored or to travel as far as 1,000 miles at slow speeds.
Three other major shipyards, including in Italy and the Netherlands, are likely to launch their own hydrogen started outfitting newly constructed vessels with hydrogen fuel cells as of March 2022, with the first models reportedly expected in 2024.
Other megayachts expected to soon join Bezos’ Koru in the water include two Lürssen models, the 475-foot Luminance and the 400-foot Jag, and Feadship 821, a 389-foot offering from the Netherlands manufacturer.
But even those won’t best the biggest megayacht in the world, the 593-foot Azzam, which launched in 2013 after being commissioned by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates who died last year.
Azzam, which means determination in Arabic, reportedly cost more than $600 million and is nearly 60 feet longer than the world’s second-largest yacht, the 533-foot Eclipse, owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Those monster vessels are expected to be surpassed next year by REV, a 600-foot yacht under construction in Norway which will have space for 36 guests and 54 crewmembers, according to Boat International.
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