Steve Jobs superyacht Venus cruising

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Iconic yachts: On board Steve Jobs's Feadship superyacht Venus

31 August 2021• Written by Risa Merl

Perhaps it’s her famous owner, unique exterior or the total secrecy surrounding the project, but there are few superyachts that are more captivating than the utterly iconic yacht Venus. Built by Feadship and designed by Philippe Starck, 78.2 metre Venus was launched in October 2012.

Venus is entirely private and not available for charter
Images: Giovanni Romero/TheYachtPhoto.com

Venus is a fully custom creation, built for the late Apple founder Steve Jobs, who Feadship says (as seen on its website) had a hand in her completely unique design. Sadly, Jobs never had the chance to set foot on board before his untimely death in 2011, the year before Venus was launched. The yacht remains in the family, now owned by his widow Laurene Powell Jobs. Venus is entirely private and not available for charter. Jobs was widely reported saying the following to his biographer: “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.”

The exterior is dominated by a striking silver paint job

The yacht has been shrouded in secrecy since her inception, with the yard unable to comment on one of its most fascinating yachts even to this day. But with a famous name like Steve Jobs attached to the project, she was bound to garner attention. However, it’s not merely having a high-profile owner that makes this yacht interesting – Venus’s exterior profile is also incredibly unique.

The exterior is dominated by a striking silver paint job, gleaming stainless-steel details and a line of rectangular windows running from the bow to just past amidships. Venus is long and lean with an 11.8 metre beam and a low-slung superstructure made entirely of glass. Starck designed Venus’s exterior with straight lines and 90-degree angles. She has an axe bow, and an unusual flat, squared stern, which opens to reveal a tender garage. The long forward deck, planked in teak, is completely free of clutter. Notably, she has no visible radar arch or satellite equipment; all of this is hidden within a box to keep Venus’s exterior extremely clean.

Venus has no visible radar arch or satellite equipment

This is one of the first things that yacht photographer Giovanni Romero noticed when he shot Venus. Romero was the first to photograph Venus when she arrived in the Mediterranean on a cold January morning after her shakedown voyage from the Feadship yard in The Netherlands. “What really struck me was the glass, the polished metal, the minimalist look – and the fact that you couldn’t see any satellites or anything distracting from her exterior design,” says Giovanni Romero. “The sun had just started to rise, so I could really appreciate all the glass panels and the reflection off her hull.” He says shooting Venus was an experience he will never forget.

“What really struck me was the glass, the polished metal, the minimalist look"

The minimalist yet eye-catching exterior style of Venus is reminiscent of an Apple product, like the iPhone or iPad. And, when photographers have gotten up close, photos have revealed that Venus has no ordinary bridge – instead, multiple Mac computer screens line the inside of the bridge windows. “I remember being very close and looking up at the bridge and seeing a row of computers. It was so unusual!” says Romero. Other than glimpses into the bridge, Venus’s interior has never been seen publicly, so we can only imagine what it might look – perhaps the sleek yet welcoming feeling of an Apple store? “Think Different” has been Apple’s longtime slogan, and it’s clear that Jobs wanted to create something amazingly different with his iconic yacht Venus.

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