Battle of the super yachts: Jeff Bezos' Y721 versus Steve Jobs' 'Venus'

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The spotlight is on Jeff Bezos' $500 million super yacht because it'll require the disassembly of a historic bridge. Here's how the Amazon founder's vessel compares to the yacht built for Steve Jobs.

The Jeff Bezos superyacht Y721. Credit: Boat International
The Jeff Bezos superyacht Y721, minus masts. Credit: Boat International


Bezos' superyacht made headlines in February because it is reportedly too big to fit underneath the historic Koningshaven Bridge in Rotterdam -- a structure dating back to 1879, bombed by the Nazis in World War II, and rebuilt after the war.

News that the Koningshaven Bridge must be partially disassembled for the Bezos-owned vessel to pass underneath it angered local residents. According to Dutch News.nl, the bridge was renovated in 2017 and, at the time, city officials promised that the bridge would not be disassembled again.

The Bezos yacht isn't the only ship but for a technology billionaire to catch the attention of the media, however. Here's how the vessel stacks up versus Venus, a motor yacht built for late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.

Length

Venus, the high-tech yacht built for Steve Jobs and now owned by Laurene Powell Jobs. Credit: Boat International
Venus, the high-tech yacht built for Steve Jobs and now owned by Laurene Powell Jobs. Credit: Boat International


Bezos' yacht, which is codenamed Y721, measures 127 meters in length. When the yacht launches in 2022, it will be the world's largest sailing superyacht.

The yacht built for Jobs, dubbed Venus, is smaller at 78.2 meters. During the construction of Venus, the entire project was largely shrouded in secrecy.

Construction

Y721 is made from both aluminum and steel. It's being built in the Netherland by Oceanco, a privately owned custom yacht builder. Bezos reportedly commissioned the yacht in 2018, and it was glimpsed by the public for the first time in 2021.

The yacht is a sailing ship, with three massive masts providing its moving power. It's not clear if it has a backup diesel for propulsion, but probably does for electric power. Oceanco built the ship based on some of its previous sailing yacht designs, which it claims are powerful and ecologically friendly.

Venus is constructed out of lightweight aluminum and features plenty of glass windows along its hull. The ship, designed by Philippe Starck and Jobs and built at Headship, launched in 2012 -- a full year after Jobs died. That means the late Apple cofounder never had the chance to set foot on the vessel.

The Jobs family yacht, on the other hand, is a motor-powered ship. It features a pair of MTU 16V 4000 M73 Diesel engines and has a maximum speed of 22 knots.

Cost

The Black Pearl, another Oceanco sailing yacht that inspired the design of Y721. Credit: Boat International
The Black Pearl, another Oceanco sailing yacht that inspired the design of Y721. Credit: Boat International


Y721 carries a hefty price tag of 430 million euros, or about $485 million.

Venus was constructed for Jobs at a cost of 105 million euros, or about $118 million at the time. Adjusted for inflation, Venus costs about $128 million.

Design

Y721 features a striking design with a black hull and white superstructure. Its overall design aesthetic is described as "classic," according to the boating community.

Back in 2021, information about Y721 appeared in Amazon Unbound, a book about Bezos and Amazon. According to the book, the superyacht is "one of the finest sailing yachts in existence" and features "several decks" and "three enormous masts." A secondary support boat is also being built alongside the ship.

Venus, on the other hand, sports a more high-tech aesthetic. It features a modern white design and aluminum and glass construction, as well as a variety of interesting details that you'd expect from a ship co-designed by Jobs himself.

In true Apple fashion, there are several innovative features that make Venus stand out. There's a false top deck concealing antennas and receivers, as well as extensive glass windows all around its exterior. Details about its interior design have been kept a close secret, however.

Current location





Y721 is currently being constructed at the Oceanco shipyard in Alblasserdam, the Netherlands. The city is about 20 kilometers away from Rotterdam and the only route out to sea is past the Koningshaven Bridge. Because it has yet to launch, Y721 has not been anywhere in open waters, and it's not clear why the shipbuilding firm built it in a yard that would require the bridge to be disassembled, given that the mast height and draft was known before construction.

Venus was built at the Koninklijke De Vries shipyards owned by Feadship in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands. Since it launched in 2012, it has sailed around the world and is occasionally spotted in various port cites. Because Jobs died before construction was complete, the yacht is currently owned by his widow, Laurene Powell Jobs.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    Venus bears the typical Steve Jobs design style, it's like a USS littoral combat ship. I'm sure there was lots of back-and-forth arguments in which Steve asked for changes and the engineers said it was impossible. 
    radarthekat
  • Reply 2 of 40
    No feeding the poor from these guys. I’m all for having the super-duper-puper yachts but how about throwing more than a bone to the masses. For shits and grins, Bozos, er I mean Bezos could easily give a cool $500K to every man, woman, and child living below the poverty line and he’d still have deep pockets. 
    TheThumperlkrupptyler82
  • Reply 3 of 40
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,352member
    They’re both hideous.
    TheThumpernarwhaltyler82
  • Reply 4 of 40
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,352member
    Skeptical said:
    No feeding the poor from these guys. I’m all for having the super-duper-puper yachts but how about throwing more than a bone to the masses. For shits and grins, Bozos, er I mean Bezos could easily give a cool $500K to every man, woman, and child living below the poverty line and he’d still have deep pockets. 
    Quite apart from practical and ethical considerations, your numbers don’t even come close to adding up.
    edited February 3 seanjGeorgeBMacradarthekat
  • Reply 5 of 40
    Skeptical said:
    No feeding the poor from these guys. I’m all for having the super-duper-puper yachts but how about throwing more than a bone to the masses. For shits and grins, Bozos, er I mean Bezos could easily give a cool $500K to every man, woman, and child living below the poverty line and he’d still have deep pockets. 
    I agree with the sentiment but your maths might need some tweaking! Even taking the the current modest estimate of poverty, $500k per person would equate to 1,600 trillion, or 40x the money in the world.
    GeorgeBMacradarthekatapplguyaderutterbyronlrandominternetpersonjony0
  • Reply 6 of 40
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,377member
    This is good. Jeff Bezos now has his own pirate ship so he can start wearing an eye patch so we’re all a little less freaked out about the weird eye thing.
    h4y3sretrogustoradarthekatTheThumperJWSCbyronl
  • Reply 7 of 40
    Skeptical said:
    No feeding the poor from these guys. I’m all for having the super-duper-puper yachts but how about throwing more than a bone to the masses. For shits and grins, Bozos, er I mean Bezos could easily give a cool $500K to every man, woman, and child living below the poverty line and he’d still have deep pockets. 
    I agree with the sentiment but your maths might need some tweaking! Even taking the the current modest estimate of poverty, $500k per person would equate to 1,600 trillion, or 40x the money in the world.
    I think you might want to look up the word hyperbole.... Gross exaggeration for the sake of effect (not to be taken literally)...
    mike1
  • Reply 8 of 40
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,352member
    rcomeau said:
    Skeptical said:
    No feeding the poor from these guys. I’m all for having the super-duper-puper yachts but how about throwing more than a bone to the masses. For shits and grins, Bozos, er I mean Bezos could easily give a cool $500K to every man, woman, and child living below the poverty line and he’d still have deep pockets. 
    I agree with the sentiment but your maths might need some tweaking! Even taking the the current modest estimate of poverty, $500k per person would equate to 1,600 trillion, or 40x the money in the world.
    I think you might want to look up the word hyperbole.... Gross exaggeration for the sake of effect (not to be taken literally)...
    There's no need to grossly exaggerate how much Bezos is worth.  It's pretty gross even when you use the actual numbers.
    radarthekatspheric
  • Reply 9 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    As the article points out:  They knew the bridge would have to be partially disassembled to get the boat out of the ship yard.   What it doesn't say is that it will be reassembled at Bezo's expense in a matter of weeks.

    While there are people who are objecting, the locals say that building the ship there was worth it to them and the local economy.
    radarthekatroundaboutnowJWSCjony0
  • Reply 10 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    To those criticizing Bezos for not contributing the money it cost to build the ship to others:
    Bezos has helped to get me through the Pandemic.  His company is one of the few that has been delivering food and necessities to people since it began.  It's one of the many failings of the U.S. government that it did not promote and support home delivery of food and necessities.   But Amazon picked up the slack.

    I am fine with the fact that Bezos made money while helping others.   That's why capitalism exists.  The only reason.
    dewmeradarthekatapplguyJWSCbyronljony0
  • Reply 11 of 40
    Both ships are hideous, obscene, and demonstrate unregulated capitalism. Both companies suck.
    edited February 3
  • Reply 12 of 40
    cg27cg27 Posts: 172member
    The Maltese Falcon yacht built for Tom Perkins (Kleiner Perkins) is truly magnificent, and had many many innovative features. 

    Black Pearl continued on this high tech tri-mast sailing vessel design.

    So Bezos is continuing in this path, will be interesting to see what new tech he brings with it.

    Maybe one day all three ships will be observed together, likely around Monaco.
    dewme
  • Reply 13 of 40
    M68000M68000 Posts: 483member
    Skeptical said:
    No feeding the poor from these guys. I’m all for having the super-duper-puper yachts but how about throwing more than a bone to the masses. For shits and grins, Bozos, er I mean Bezos could easily give a cool $500K to every man, woman, and child living below the poverty line and he’d still have deep pockets. 
    One of my issues with Amazon is that it seems their delivery people work all hours of the day and evening and I see them on weekends and worst of all on holidays also.  It’s outrageous.  The idea of a weekend is now a quaint notion from the 20th century.  It’s go go go go go now.  Everything has to be 365 24/7 now with things. I am tired of hearing about Amazon and bezos and do what I can to not support a company that runs things like that.
    JanNL
  • Reply 14 of 40
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,377member
    I’m thoroughly fascinated with the architecture and technology of these vessels. Yeah, they cost a massive amount to build, staff, and maintain and their owners probably spent a tiny amount of time onboard, but every one of the owners identified in the article can afford to own then even after they’ve contributed substantial sums to charities and causes that serve society as a whole. Is it really any different than all the old rich guys who buy exotic cars? You’d think that Chevy could double Corvette sales by finding a way to cleverly incorporate walker storage into the design. 

    The Jobs yacht is rather odd looking in my opinion, lacking any traditional graceful lines and looking more like a barge or scow, but it’s still a spectacular build. The one thing that is curious about the Jobs barge is that it looks like it has a barbette for a gun mount on the forecastle. I wonder, where’s the gun and what caliber and firing rate does it have? Maybe they’re waiting to see how Bezos armors his super yacht before they decide? Hmm.
    edited February 3 randominternetperson
  • Reply 15 of 40
    What a waste of money for something they probably won’t even use that much. It’s nothing more than the ego on display. But, they still try to tell us little people how to live. So obnoxious and hypocritical!
  • Reply 16 of 40
    You'd think for all that money, they wouldn't both be eyesores. At least the Steve Jobs one is kinda cute like a ferry boat. The Jeff Bezos one is hideous in every way.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    To those criticizing Bezos for not contributing the money it cost to build the ship to others:
    Bezos has helped to get me through the Pandemic.  His company is one of the few that has been delivering food and necessities to people since it began.  It's one of the many failings of the U.S. government that it did not promote and support home delivery of food and necessities.   But Amazon picked up the slack.

    I am fine with the fact that Bezos made money while helping others.   That's why capitalism exists.  The only reason.
    “Amazon” didn’t pick up the slack— an army of exploited workers - many who are not even employees of the company did. It is easy to promise services when you don’t have to pay for the actual labour involved. 

    So much “innovation” in today’s economy is based on that ancient principle- “you bake the bread, and I’ll eat it.”
  • Reply 18 of 40
    1348513485 Posts: 239member
    What a waste of money for something they probably won’t even use that much. It’s nothing more than the ego on display. But, they still try to tell us little people how to live. So obnoxious and hypocritical!
    So what if they're little used and cost them some pocket change, not your boat.

    Oh, I must have missed that lecture on How to Live for Little People.

  • Reply 19 of 40
    13485 said:
    What a waste of money for something they probably won’t even use that much. It’s nothing more than the ego on display. But, they still try to tell us little people how to live. So obnoxious and hypocritical!
    So what if they're little used and cost them some pocket change, not your boat.

    Oh, I must have missed that lecture on How to Live for Little People.

    So what? Maybe you should open your eyes and ears a bit wider. Now Bozos is trying to get the little people to dismantle a bridge so he can sail the EgoYacht out to sea. It never ends. All the poor people that could be helped with that cash — that’s “so what”. 
  • Reply 20 of 40
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,094member
    Skeptical said:
    No feeding the poor from these guys. I’m all for having the super-duper-puper yachts but how about throwing more than a bone to the masses. For shits and grins, Bozos, er I mean Bezos could easily give a cool $500K to every man, woman, and child living below the poverty line and he’d still have deep pockets. 
    Thanks buddy. That was the dumbest thing I've read today.

    Dividing Bezos's net worth by the number of people in the world living in poverty comes to about $2,500. Of course that doesn't take into account taxes on the sale of stock and the costs to determine who gets paid and distributing that cash.  So more like $1,000.
    edited February 3 randominternetperson
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