The construction of Sailing Yacht A
Boat International was the first to reveal details of Sailing Yacht A, with an exclusive look at the boundary pushing superyacht. Now we expose all the facts behind the build of this incredible superyacht commissioned by Andrey Melnichenko.
As owner of Motor Yacht A, another divisive yacht, we knew Sailing Yacht A would be anything but conventional. Melnichenko is one owner who delights in challenging the status quo and moving the game on, introducing new techniques and technologies in his yacht projects. Sailing Yacht A ticks both boxes: at 142.81 metres LOA, it is the largest boat of its kind in the world, and is being called a “sail-assisted motor yacht” – though many consider her to be the new largest sailing yacht in the world.
Working once again with Philippe Starck on the design, Melnichenko assembled his own team to take the project from concept to completion. He chose Dirk Kloosterman, a veteran project manager of superyacht builds, to lead it. Kloosterman was involved in the build of Larry Ellison’s Rising Sun before taking on Motor Yacht A for Melnichenko.
Sailing Yacht A is his biggest undertaking. Kloosterman’s first challenge was to find a shipyard with the capabilities to build such a vessel. Few major deep-water shipyards wanted to take on the riskof such a radical project, but Nobiskrug’s purchase of part of the HDW yard in Kiel, Germany, presented an opportunity.
“This was an excellent facility, with its large docks and the draught needed for the project,” Kloosterman says. “In March 2011, we signed the deal for pre-engineering to start. It was made clear to the yard that the team wanted large input and control over the build so the standard tender-and-bid process, with the yard supplying subcontractors, was scrapped. Cost control for an eight-deck motor yacht, with the added dimension of sailing, was going to prove challenging.”