Just over a year after Steve Jobs's death, shipbuilders in Aalsmeer, Holland have finally finished the yacht that the Apple visionary spent years designing -- stealthily, of course. Boy, does it look like an Apple product. Her name is Venus.
Built entirely out of aluminum, the yacht was designed by Jobs personally along with some help from French designer Phillipe Starck. It's a big one, too. The ship measures between 70 and 80 meters, but because of the aluminum construction, it's lighter than your typical yacht, giving it a bit of an edge when it comes to speed. It doesn't lack amenities, either. The front of the ship is equipped with a uniquely large sun deck with a jacuzzi built in. Behind that comes an all glass cabin that's topped with a bridge equipped with seven 27-inch iMacs that handle the ship's navigation and controls. When you take a step back, squint a little and turn your head to the left, it sort of looks like an iPhone 4 with the strip of windows around the middle and the clean lines.
Jobs's yacht project might seem a little out of character at first. After all, the billionaire was famously humble about many aspects of his lifestyle. He lived in a normal house on a normal suburban street in Palo Alto, California, not some massive mansion out in the mountains. He wore jeans, a black turtleneck sweater and New Balance tennis shoes, a basically thrifty choice for a man who could afford his own cashmere farm. He also drove a very nice car, but it wasn't rapper nice. That is, it wasn't a Bentley or an Aston Martin or a Maybach -- just a Mercedes. (Ok, now we're stretching the humble thing, but you get the point.)
We now know that Steve Jobs was not a stranger to the finer aspects of being filthy rich, luxuries like chrome-coated yachts and custom-built private jets. But hey, the guy wanted to retire one day, and so what if he wanted to live like a king after building the world's most valuable technology company. Walter Isaacson wrote about the yacht in his biography of Steve Jobs, who had evidently been working on the project alone for six years:
After our omelets at the café, we went back to his house and he showed me all of the models and architectural drawings. As expected, the planned yacht was sleek and minimalist. The teak decks were perfectly flat and unblemished by any accoutrements. As at 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 forty feet long and ten feet high. He had gotten the chief engineer of the Apple stores to design a special glass that was able to provide structural support. By then the boat was under construction by the Dutch custom yacht builders Feadship, but Jobs was still fiddling with the design. "I know that it’s possible I will die and leave Laurene with a half-built boat," he said. "But I have to keep going on it. If I don’t, it’s an admission that I’m about to die."
Sadly, Jobs did die before the yacht was finished, but the folks at Feadship finished the job. Evidently, the Jobs family recently had a little christening party with the shipbuilders, who all got an iPod Shuffle with "Venus" engraved on the back as a token of thanks. Now that we said all that stuff about Jobs and conspicuous consumption, you'd think they could have at least splurged for the iPod Touch.
Check out the chrome plates on the bow. The sleek windows that wrap around the middle of the ship is where the Jobs family quarters are. The crew gets the little portholes underneath.
You can see the row of iMacs in the bridge.
End-to-end, it's a pretty impressive vessel.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.