World’s ugliest yacht

Steve Jobs may have designed or commissioned some gorgeous, elegant high tech phones and computers, but I can’t say much for his taste in yachts.

Jobs and minimalist designer Philippe Starck designed Jobs’ yacht Venus, which was finally finished and unveiled at a Dutch shipyard Sunday, a year after Jobs’ death. She’s approximately 250 feet long, and in my humble opinion, that’s 250 feet of the ugliest yacht I’ve ever seen. Clumsy, heavy, slab, kludgy, houseboat, tank.

A technological wonder, perhaps. But still more yech than yacht.

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Photo: One More Thing. More at OneMoreThing.



Categories: art/design, Culture, Sci Tech, video content

14 replies

  1. Let me guess, it costs twice as much as other yacht’s the way all the other gizmos he came up with did? But I’m actually not as put off by its appearance as you PT, as I’m rather a fan of the whole “minimalist” design thing. But I was hoping that the design incorporated some kind of breakthrough tech, like solar power or a highly efficient propulsion system. Unfortunately, neither the link you provided, or any of those I found through a Google search, revealed it to be anything more than just another expensive toy for people with more money than they know what to do with…

    • I didn’t see a price tag anywhere, but it sounds like there’s enough computer equipment on board to make it stratospheric.

      Don’t get me wrong. I am usually a big fan of minimalist design. I just don’t happen to think this is a beautiful example. It looks clunky, not graceful. More like a barge or floating condo than a sleek, fast, ocean-going vessel. I guess I’m just used to graceful, swept lines in my yachts (I’ve so much experience with them, you know).

  2. I agree with Izaak’s impressions, and especially that last:

    just another expensive toy for people with more money than they know what to do with…

    What does one do with a surfeit of simoleons? Tiger Woods took this route as well; last I heard, Privacy was for sale. I’ve heard that yacht-envy is a common itch among the 2%. I wonder if Venus has roll stabilizers to minimize the feeling of, you know, being afloat?

    Some rich people build multiple houses in various parts of the world and I’ve wondered, do they keep a staff on hand while they’re gone, you know, to dust and flush the toilets? For the staff, wouldn’t it be a little like the Tom Cruise film, Risky Business? All that stuff, just sitting there. Do they have secret parties? Closets and larder stocked? Do they change out the closets when styles change?

    Life is funny. Most people buy a house in the suburbs, which they then leave unoccupied all day while they bust their butts to earn money to pay for the mortgage and taxes, plus clothes to wear to work and commuting expenses, and gym fees to work off the pounds from business meals. The house is just for sleeping. But when it comes to leisure I think most are at a loss on how to handle it. Some end up blogging. I wonder if Steve Jobs planned to blog from the yacht? 🙄

    • Oh that was just plain cruel Jim, as well as absolutely spot on. I love it! 😀

      I was just watching a clip from the movie Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike and my use of the word “cruel” is my attempt at humor in referring to something I wrote at the end of my The Root Of All Evil? post, about what happened after Francisco d’Anconia finished his great Money Speech.

      But as incredible as Francisco’s statement was, what really shook me when reading this for the first time so many years ago, was what happened in the seconds after he was finished. First there was the loudly proclaimed, “Oh, how cruel!” by some woman who had obviously heard only what her weak mind was conditioned to hear.

      But then there was the question asked by another, more thoughtful woman. I’m paraphrasing here but I think it went, “Mr. d’Anconia, what do you think will happen to the world?” In reply, Francisco gave this simple answer: “Exactly what it deserves.”

      • Very good, Mak. You know, the Rand philosophy does inspire, but it slights the value of the human spirit even as it slights the inefficiency of the concept of money. The first million dollars, they say, is the hardest. After that it’s mostly clipping bond coupons and collecting interest and capital gains. So they say. And then what? Buy a yacht? Buy another house? Buy another car? Buy an elevator to serve the extra car? Run for president? So much time, so little to do.

        • Bingo! on the “run for president.” I’m convinced, and have been for a long time, that Romney is running just because he wants another trophy on his mantle and because he has the time and money to run.

        • Oh I must disagree with you on Rand’s philosophy Jim. The way I read it, it’s we who devalue our own human spirit by failing to honor the principles that are symbolized by money: that money is earned by human life (time) spent doing work – life that can never, ever, be relived, and unearned money is at the cost of the human life (time) of the person that did earn it. To borrow a bit from Rand phraseology, one should run like hell from anyone heard to utter a thought like “it’s only money,” because that’s the leper’s bell announcement of an approaching looter, who values human life about as much as he values the worthless baubles he wastes his money on.

          I respect both you and PT very much Jim, but to make even a fleeting comparison between Ayn Rand’s philosophy and the crony-capitalist values of clowns like Mitt Romney is a grave injustice to both her work and to your capacity to grasp the truth behind all the lies. I strongly urge you to read Francisco’s speech at the link I provided, or listen to the video version I included in my blog post.

        • I’m not inclined to a full discussion of Rand’s philosophy, Mak, because it’s like discussing economics broadly – there’s really no satisfying end to it. But I do want to assure you that I can buy into a good chunk of her stuff. Capitalism is the engine of democracy and individual responsibility is essential. I have always taken personal responsibility for my own finances and for saving. But, I do see shades of gray in the issues. One has only to visit a history of the Gilded Age to see how money no longer fairly equates to work when wealth exceeds some reasonable limit, and the only economic governor on that is a democratic (small “d”) government and a progressive tax system. IMHO.

    • Yep, Jim, you guessed it; I choose to sit here and blog rather than drive all the way to my second home in Aspen. 😉

      “Surfeit of simoleons.” Oh, that’s rich! (Pun intended. Couldn’t help myself. Sorry.) What a great turn of phrase. That’s a condition I’d love to have.

      One of the links says Jobs knew he wouldn’t live to see Venus launched, but he kept tinkering with it because not doing so would be an admission that he was dying. Sad.

      • Love the pun.

        Not only would abandonment of the yacht project have been an admission of dying, I would speculate that he had not learned any alternative to working on a project. I can sympathize – pure leisure is boring, and work is habit-forming. I am reminded of the end of one of my favorite movies, Trading Places. Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy and their butler are lounging on a tropical beach, their yacht anchored just offshore, being waited on by staff. A year of that, my muscles would be flab and my brain mush.

  3. Yeah, that’s an ugly yacht. I like Paul Allen’s yacht a lot better. The “Octopus” has two helicopters, seven boats, a 10 man submarine and a remote controlled vehicle for crawling on the Ocean floor. The submarine has the capacity to sleep eight for up to two weeks underwater. It’s got a permanent crew of 200, including some former Navy Seals.

    Personally, I just want the submarine.

"Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got." ~ Art Buchwald

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