Feadship superyacht Venus

8 images

Credit: Raphaël Belly

Fact file: six things you didn't know about Steve Jobs' superyacht Venus

5 February 2024 • Written by Dea Jusufi

From her subversive use of glass to her boxy profile, Venus is one of the most recognisable yachts on the water. BOAT takes a look behind her razor-sharp lines...

"Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. Apple has been very fortunate to introduce a few of these to the world." So said Steve Jobs on the day the iPhone was first introduced at Macworld 2007. In his speech, he goes on to mention the Macintosh, the iPod and (of course) the iPhone. But he would soon have a hand in another innovation – his 78.2-metre superyacht Venus.

Credit: Giovanni Romero

Construction began in 2009, with the  Feadship superyacht delivered three years later to international acclaim. While her owner's involvement might have something to do with it, Venus' design was also unlike anything seen at the time. It was unthinkable that glass could be so structural on a seagoing vessel – but when Philippe Starck presented the initial design, Jobs responded, “I think you should make it all out of glass."

Here's six things you didn't know about one of the world's most famous superyachts...

1.  She was designed to look like an Apple product (charging port included)

Credit: Julien Hubert

Long, lean and gleaming silver, Venus's minimalist design is purposefully suggestive of an Apple product. Innovative features include a false top deck that conceals the communication and television receivers from view (another signature of the tech brand) and a passarelle that, when opened, looks like the charging port of an iPhone.

2. Steve Jobs never stepped foot on board

Steve Jobs pictured with Laurene Powell Jobs (left)
Jeff Vespa/WireImage via Getty Images

Sadly, Jobs never had the chance to see Venus completed before his untimely death in 2011. The yacht remains in the family, now owned by his widow Laurene Powell Jobs. 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. If I don’t, it’s an admission that I’m about to die." Venus is entirely private and not available for charter.

3. Her interiors have never been seen – but her wheelhouse shows something unusual

What do we know about Venus? Her hull form was developed by De Voogt Naval Architects. Her interior volume totals 1,500GT. Key features include a side-loading tender garage, Jacuzzi and superyacht beach club. But when it comes to the elusive superyacht's interiors, the curtains have been shut for over a decade. 

When photographers have gotten up close, they've noticed something quite unusual. Photos have revealed that Venus has no ordinary bridge – instead, multiple Mac computer screens line the inside of the bridge windows. All else is rumour, including the accommodation's supposed sound-proofing. It's so comprehensive that guests (reportedly) have to rely on a high-tech internal system to communicate.

4. Her glass engineer also worked with Apple

Credit: Jon Hicks / Getty Images

Glass structural engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan were catapulted into the yachting arena with the commission of Venus. Their success comes as no surprise, with the London-based firm responsible for some of Apple’s most interesting structures. The glass cube of the Apple Fifth Avenue store in New York is their work, as is the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, where – in an earthquake zone – a 41-metre diameter cylinder of glass panels is the sole support for an 80-tonne carbon fibre roof. 

Bonus fun fact: At the time of Venus's development, Lloyd's was not yet open to the idea of using load-bearing glass. O’Callaghan's work-around was to build a hidden, 10-tonne aluminium structure to support Venus's 15 tonnes of glass walls.

5. She cost more than €100 million to build

How much is Venus worth? While the exact cost has never been confirmed, estimates lie between €105 to €120 million – with Philippe Starck said to have earned $9 million USD for his role in her design.

6. She was recently spotted cruising in Australia

Credit: Giovanni Romero

Over a decade after delivery and Venus still makes headlines wherever she goes. Laurene Jobs seems particularly partial to the Gold Coast, with the yacht frequently photographed in the area during the summer months. In August 2023, Venus once again drew the crowds when she docked in Cairns, a laid-back, tropical city referred to as the "Great Barrier Reef gateway". Other adventures onboard Venus included a trip to Fethiye, Turkey, Istanbul and the Greek Cyclades.

Read More/Fact file: five things you didn't know about converted explorer yacht Arctic P

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