AP News

Yacht commissioned by Steve Jobs launched


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The sleek, white superyacht glistens under a gray autumnal sky, a posthumous testament to the design aesthetic of Steve Jobs.

Just over a year after the Apple founder died, the luxury motor yacht he commissioned and helped French product designer Philippe Starck make has finally slipped into an anonymous Dutch backwater.

Looking like a floating Apple store, it bears all the hallmarks of a new Jobs-inspired creation — crisp white lines, polished metal, glass. And secrecy.

Late Tuesday, shipbuilder Feadship announced it had launched the "78.2-meter (256-foot) all-aluminum, full custom motoryacht Venus" at its yard in Aalsmeer, just south of Amsterdam, two days earlier.

Starck said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press that he is "proud of Venus as he feels it reflects Steve Jobs expectation and vision."

The superyacht has a long white hull with a row of circular portholes just above the water line and two glass-walled cabins on the top deck, one on top of the other.

Starck said Jobs asked him to design a boat in 2007 and approved his design at only their second meeting to discuss the project.

"The project never changed during the process of five years dedicated to a rigorous work on details, driven by the famous eye and genius of Steve Jobs," the statement issued by Starck's design house said. "This work was directly done between Steve Jobs and Philippe Starck."

Walter Isaacson described plans and models of the yacht in his biography of Jobs, who died, aged 56, on Oct. 5 last year.

"As expected, the planned yacht was sleek and minimalist. The teak decks were perfectly flat and unblemished by any accoutrements. Like an Apple store, the cabin windows were large panes, almost floor to ceiling, and the main living area was designed to have walls of glass that were 40 feet long and 10 feet high,"Jobs' biographer wrote. "He had gotten the chief engineer of the Apple stores to design a special glass that was able to provide structural support."

Isaacson wrote that Jobs, who long battled pancreatic cancer, was conscious of the fact that he may never see the finished yacht, but wanted it completed anyway.

"I know that it's possible I will die and leave Laurene with a half built boat," he said, referring to his wife. "But I have to keep going on it. If I don't, it's an admission that I'm about to die."


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