Steve Jobs’ Superyacht Impounded Over Unpaid Bill

The 230-foot, Philippe Starck-desgined 'Venus' won’t be leaving Amsterdam anytime soon.

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Peter Dejong / Associated Press

Venus, Jobs' sleek, white superyacht commissioned before his death, sits at dock in the Netherlands on October 30, 2012.

Steve Jobs’ Dutch-built superyacht won’t be leaving its berth anytime soon. The ship, ordered by the late Apple founder shortly before his death and created by noted designer Philippe Starck has been impounded in a dispute between Starck and Jobs’ estate over unpaid bills.

Venus, as the 256-foot superyacht has been christened, cost approximately $131 million to build. Starck’s commission had initially been established as 6% of the cost to build the boat; though estimates put the original cost at almost $200 million, Jobs’ heirs claim the final cost was closer to $140 million. Starck is claiming that he is owed almost $4 million, based on the original estimates; since there was no formal agreement between the two men so the conflict is expected to settle out-of-court.

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Jobs reportedly asked Starck to build him a boat back in 2007, and approved the design at their second meeting. “Steve and I shared the same idea about the elegance of the minimal, the elegance of work well done,” Starck told the BBC.  “It is not like a lot of mega yachts showing the vulgarity of money. It’s a boat showing the elegance of intelligence.”

But by the time Jobs died on Oct. 5, the boat was still not yet completed. According to Walter Isaacson, Jobs’ biographer, the superyacht had become a pet project of the computer pioneer when he fell ill with pancreatic cancer. “I know that it’s possible I will die and leave [my wife] with a half-built boat,” Jobs told Isaacson, as reported by the Financial Times. “But I have to keep going on it. If I don’t, it’s an admission that I’m about to die.”

The boat was finished just weeks after Jobs’ death, on Oct. 28. Built by Feadship — the shipyard that also reportedly constructed the superyacht of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen — it featured a sleek, aluminum-hulled design and a bridge controlled by seven linked iMac personal computers.

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The boat was supposed to be delivered to Jobs’ family in California upon completion, but until a settlement is reached, Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad reports, Venus will remain tied up to Dutch docks. Starck reportedly hired a debt collection agency and received a summary legal order to keep the boat from leaving Amsterdam, and port workers have been instructed not to let the vessel depart.

6 comments
robert.henry.eller
robert.henry.eller

Definitely looks like a Philippe Starck design:  Ugly.  And no doubt uncomfortable.  Ever stay in a hotel with Starck furniture?  Ever try to sit in a Starck chair?  You'd be more comfortable on a toilet with the runs.

GaryHjelm
GaryHjelm

It should be easy negotiation to settle the difference between the designer and Jobs estate. Offer him sixty percent of what he wants, and then tell him that they plan to go to court because of the delays and the reduction of cost, if he doesn't settle. Eventually the Dutch government is going to have to respect the fact that no formal agreement existed, and let the boat sail. It is to no ones advantage to let the boat sit without proper maintenance. The $140 million dollar boat could be a 6 million dollar piece of junk very soon in that climate. 

glasgood2
glasgood2

Looks lit this yacht was built by a designer from IKEA.

old.frt
old.frt

A clunker like this from the man who created Apple?

It should be quietly towed away and sunk.

somerville
somerville

Middle class people often can't pay bills because of difficulties in life like unforeseen medical bills. Local governments can't meet needs because of tax schemes used by global corporations in return for factories that seldom deliver the jobs to make up for the tax schemes. Either way, it is working and middle class people who pay the bills of America.

  Wealthy people won't pay bills because of greed. What is $4 million to Job's estate? 

 They should pay it and then donate the boat to a charity for nearly successful multimillionaires. I don't think Mitt Romney has a boat like this and it would take his whole fortune to buy one.

robert.henry.eller
robert.henry.eller

@somerville Oh, Mitty could buy it the Bain Capital way:  Put 5% down.  The rest in a loan.   Mitty would make the yacht a corporation, and stick the mortgage with the boat.  Then, he would charge the "boat corporation" an annual management fee.  When the "corporation" goes bankrupt, Mitty drops the mortgages on the corporation and the banks.  He'll probably make money out of owning the boat.