A Russian businessman selling his part-built Benetti superyacht project proved to be an opportunity not to be missed for one British property tycoon
A yacht charter holiday in Sardinia, with its emerald sea and enchanting coves was meant to be a stress free break for our London-based developer. However, with the likes of the Costa Smeralda and Porto Cervo drawing in superyachts from across the Mediterranean, the ocean lifestyle was starting to tug at his heartstrings. Having already owned a number of small boats, maybe it was time to start thinking big, and as ever in these situations, it was here amongst the wild nature and old traditions that he got wind of a Russian who was looking to sell-on his 40% completed Benetti superyacht project.
For a billionaire, property developer, this was the ultimate deal. With the Benetti being part built, he’d save huge amounts of time, effort and money in getting it finished. In fact, it appeared all he had to do was sort out some interior detailing, maybe the odd colour scheme and name her 11-11. But life is never that easy, even for a billionaire.
It was on his first visit to Benetti’s Livorno shipyard that he discovered the extent of the previous owner’s exuberance. The Russian was obviously not a shy chap and had built a garage in the stern to house his Rolls-Royce Phantom. This was to be hoisted out of its home by a huge crane mounted in the aft deck lounge. This considerable davit was taking up valuable entertaining space while not exactly flowing with the Benetti’s sleek lines and simply had to go. Then there was 11-11’s décor. [To be continued...]
Buying a semi-completed superyacht can save plenty of time and money, but as the owner of Benetti’s 11-11 found out, it can create a few headaches along the way too.
In today’s somewhat volatile financial cauldron, it’s not unusual to see a part-built superyacht being offered by a broker at a bargain price. And by bargain, we’re talking at least a couple of million Euros. Getting caught up in the pomp and circumstance of a build is understandable, but this early exuberance can slowly fizzle out as the purse strings tighten. Such was the case with Benetti’s Project FB265, with the commissioning Russian owner walking away half way through the build.
As there are only a handful of billionaires superyacht shopping at any one time, word of the sale soon reached a successful London-based businessman. He was looking to buy his third superyacht and having made his pot of gold developing high-end real estate, the prospect of finishing-off Project FB265 didn’t faze him one little bit. However, his ability to complete the 63-meter Benetti wasn’t exactly the problem.
Being half completed, the interior lounges and cabins were fully trimmed, furnished and dressed to reflect the style and tastes of the somewhat ardent Russian. It was all very Tsar-like, which for the Brit and his young family, was not the on board ambience they were dreaming about. [To be continued...]