The luxury yacht, commissioned by Steve Jobs, designed by Philippe Starck and constructed by 130-year-old Dutch Ship builder Feadship was recently launched.
The original idea goes way back to 2007 when Jobs signed off on sketches by uber famous designer of all-things-cool Starck, on only his second draft. The yacht is at once very Starck and very Apple – clean lines and slick functionality. However the name of 'Venus, which evokes flowery Baroque ornamentation sits a little uncomfortably with the intimidating utilitarian character of the hull. Perhaps 'iSail' might have been a better choice of name.
Venus sits in the water in a very cool, determined manner, which is a departure from the current trend of sleek streamlining which dominates luxury yacht design. But Apple have always learned heavily on the German design purists' approach, most notably Dieter Rams, whose elegantly functional product design for Braun between the 60's and the 90's. The Venus is very much of the same school, austere, yet undeniable beautiful.
This is neither a boat for ostentatious displays of wealth, or for those chasing a dream lifestyle, it's a creation tat would have suited Steve Jobs, who just didn't do things like other people, right down to the ground. A vehicle to get from A to B, on water, as quickly, as comfortably and as beautifully as possible. The interior is sparse but comfortable and of course equipped with seven 27-inch iMacs.
Jobs commissioned the luxurious super build while he was suffering with pancreatic cancer and although his prognosis offered little hope that he would live to see it built, he refused to decommission the design. According to Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson, Jobs said, “I know that it’s possible I will die and leave Laurene with a half-built boat. But I have to keep going on it. If I don’t, it’s an admission that I’m about to die.”
Out of respect for its deceased owner, the yacht was released into an anonymous Dutch backwater,” at a shipyard in Aalsmeer. Perhaps there is nothing sadder than a ship without a Captain.
By Hugo Mc Cafferty