In a sharp departure from megayacht design standards, the blade-like hull of Andrey Melnichenko’s “A” cuts through water creating no wash at 25 knots, but has made quite a splash in international yachting circles.
Taking its design cues from battleships of yore, the 390 ft steel craft has all the delicacy of a dreadnought. Its beaklike bow can cut through arctic ice and its Rolls-Royce steering system can chart a seven day course across the Atlantic. The irregular concept endured rigorous testing off of the Isle of Wight before it was deemed seaworthy. Initially, it was feared that the ship might not just look like a submarine but also dive like one.
Two hundred million euro were poured into the project and irreverent French designer Phillipe Starck lent his aesthetic expertise. Named for Andrey’s wife, Aleksandra, the superyacht, especially its interior, reflects her unconventional choices. Swathed in “Panama Beige” leather, a light parchment color, and studded with stainless steel fixtures, the interior boasts six cabins with moveable walls.
Three pools are closed in the vicious looking hull, one of which has a glass bottom and floats above the discotheque, which doubles as a parking space for two 30 ft speedboats.
Perhaps the similarity to world war warships is not simply a matter of coincidence, as the same builders of the A built the crown jewel of the Nazi fleet, the Bismarck.
Yet, Melnichenko’s vessel is built for peace. Its maiden voyage to Norway had a mission much different from its aesthetic predecessors-to acquire three works by impressionist master Claude Monet.