The boat Steve Jobs never lived to see: Apple founder’s £160m floating ‘iPod yacht’ sails for the first time… a year after he died
A £160 million yacht built for the late Apple boss Steve Jobs has set sail for first time – looking like a giant floating iPod.
Venus is a “revolutionary” 255ft (78m) vessel controlled by seven iMac computers with 27-inch screens.
It is the result of five years of painstaking work by radical designer Philippe Starck and Dutch shipbuilder Feadship.
The result is a minimalist floating rectangle which, from the side, looks like an early version of the iconic iPod.
Tragically, Jobs never got the chance to sail in his superyacht after passing away from pancreatic cancer in October 2011.
Venus was spotted on the open sea for the first time on Sunday when photographer Hans Esveldt pictured it near Rotterdam, Holland.
Jobs commissioned Starck to build him an 80-metre yacht which could house up to 12 people in 2007.
And when the Frenchman showed his “rigorous” client the plans, Jobs told him they were “better than in all my dreams”.
The 78-metre yacht was built Feadship’s shipyard in Aalsmeer, Holland.
Frenchman Starck, who has designed everything from chairs to hotel interiors, described Venus as a “revolutionary” superyacht.
He told Superyacht Times: “We spent just one day every six weeks, for five years, on refinements. Millimetre by millimetre. Detail by detail.
“There is not a single useless item inside, not a single useless pillow, or a useless object. In that sense, it is the opposite of other boats.
“Other boats try to show off more and more. Venus is revolutionary. It is the extreme opposite.”
Jobs was aware of the possibility he would never see the completed vessel but this didn’t stop him driving the project.
He said: “I know that it’s possible I will die and leave (wife) Laurene with a half built boat, but I have to keep going on it. If I don’t, it’s an admission that I’m about to die.”
But he left his mark by instructing the Apple store’s chief engineer to design a special glass to be used as full-height windows and still provide structural support.
Peter Seyfferth, from TheYachtPhoto.com, yesterday (Mon) described Venus as “absolutely unique and not comparable to any other design built so far”.
He added: “Starck is definitely one of the most radical yacht designers.
“Probably because he designs all kinds of objects. He is not one of the classical yacht designers who often repeat themselves.
“I think that there is a strong chance that Venus will become a real iconic yacht.”