Italian authorities have seized the largest sail-assisted superyacht ever built, the 143m (470ft) Sailing Yacht A, Italian news outlets are reporting.
According to the Reuters news agency in Rome, the Italian prime minister’s office confirmed this morning (Saturday, March 12) that the yacht had been seized after owner, Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, was placed on an EU sanctions list following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Philippe Starck-designed Sailing Yacht A is one of the most of the distinctive yachts ever built. At 143m (470ft) long it features eight decks, and a 20m freeboard,
It was built by Nobiskrug in Germany and launched in 2016. It carries three of the world’s largest carbon rigs, which are unstayed and rotating, with over 3,700 square metres of sails set via an in-boom furling system. It also features a gimballed crow’s nest, accessible by lift, 60m high in one of the curved masts, an observation pod embedded in the keel and a three-man submarine.
The hull has a maximum beam of 24.8m and includes 24 shell doors concealed within it.
It was built under strict non-disclosure agreements, but has been reported to have a price tag of around €530 million ($578 million).
The yacht is reported to have been sequestered at the northern port of Trieste, following sanctions imposed on its owner. Melnichenko owns the fertiliser producer EuroChem Group and coal company SUEK.