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.

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.

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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

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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

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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