Steve Jobs’ mega yacht impounded over unpaid Starck designer bill

“A superyacht built for Apple Inc’s late co-founder Steve Jobs has been impounded in Amsterdam because of a dispute over an unpaid bill to designer Philippe Starck, a lawyer said on Friday,” Sara Webb reports for Reuters.

“Jobs, who died last year after making his name and fortune at Apple, never got to use the yacht – called Venus – but had commissioned the French designer to work on the vessel, which cost more than 100 million euros to build,” Webb reports.

Webb reports, “A lawyer representing Starck’s company Ubik told Reuters his client had received 6 million euros out of a 9 million euro commission for his work on the minimalist vessel and was now seeking to recover the rest of what he was owed. The yacht was impounded on Wednesday evening, the lawyer said, and will remain in Amsterdam port pending payment by lawyers representing Jobs’ estate.”

Steve Jobs'  mega yacht, "Venus."
Steve Jobs’ mega yacht, “Venus.”

Read more in the full article here.

Fred Pals & Maud van Gaal report fro Bloomberg, “The claim is based on agreement that Starck would receive 6 percent of the vessel’s construction costs, which were originally estimated at 150 million euros, Het Financieele Dagblad reported today, citing Roelant Klaassen, a lawyer representing Starck. Jobs’s heirs say the vessel only cost 105 million euros to build, the newspaper reported.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Out of respect, we’ve said very little about this boat, but it’s been long enough now:

1. One glance at the thing is more than enough to give Jony Ive nightmares for years to come.

2. Obviously, Jobs had other things on his mind when the drawings were being passed back and forth over his last years. Sometimes what looks good on paper, looks like a floating house on the water. Thank God, Steve first got hooked on computers instead of boats.

3. The name “Venus” painted on that monstrosity’s big square ass is the height of irony. When you have to resort to the power of suggestion, you’ve failed.

4. Philippe Starck should stick to designing toothbrushes.

5. How will the Jobs estate ever be able to come up with the whole 3 million euros (US$3.96 million) to inflict the floating eyesore upon the open seas?

6. The Jobs estate should protect gorgeous ocean sunsets from the possibility of decades of tragic despoliation and leave it tied up at the impound dock until it sinks. Maybe that’s what Laurene is doing.

Related articles:
Insights into Steve Jobs’ design process revealed; spent 5 years working with Philippe Starck on super yacht ‘Venus’ – November 19, 2012
Steve Jobs’ yacht ‘Venus’ unveiled in Aalsmeer, The Netherlands (with video) – October 28, 2012
Philippe Starck: Oui, that ‘revolutionary Apple product’ is actually Steve Jobs’ family’s yacht – April 17, 2012
The real genius of Steve Jobs, the perfectionist – November 7, 2011
Steve Jobs’ quest for perfection could make even buying a sofa into decade-long ordeal – October 25, 2011


    1. I’ll take it… Unfortunately, I could only afford enough fuel to power that yacht for a few days each year, and that’s assuming that it came to me tax free.

      I used to drive crappy-looking cars. The important thing to me was that they were mechanically sound and safe. I can’t see the outside of a car when I am driving it, so it doesn’t bother me. And an ugly car can even grow on you over time, just like an ugly dog. If your car seat has a big hole in the cushion and the springs are visible, then stuff an old quilt in the hole. That’s what I did. When the wiper switch won’t work and the motor won’t stop with the blades at the bottom anymore, then drill a hole in the dash and install a toggle switch. That’s what I did.

      The design of this yacht is different, I’ll admit. But it is interesting in an angular fashion. I imagine that the inside of the yacht is quite luxurious and that would make up for a whole lot in my book. When I am captain of that yacht on the open waters, it will look a lot better than in the picture.

  1. It’s not my taste, but this seems to be what mega yachts are trending towards these days.

    To me a ship (like a car, or any other designed object) should acknowledge the forces of the environment it lives in. This ship (and others like it), try to ignore the water and wind.

    1. That’s exactly what I was thinking. The shape of ships has evolved to be functional and work with the rather severe elements that they work in. This thing looks like it will tip over in any kind of heavy sea or wind. Definitely not what I would consider graceful.

      1. Well. It didn’t tip over as you predicted. She made her way across the Atlantic without incident, laid over in West Palm Beach for a week and then headed to the Panama Canal. This past Thursday evening she transited into the Pacific Ocean and is currently headed to La Paz, Baja California.

  2. It is an ugly thing indeed. Seems related to the French designer phallus we have on top of the Montreal olympic stadium. The sorry thing not only looks ugly, it doesn’t even work as a mast for a retractable roof in our climate.

    Based on this I would say that Steve’s boat should stay impounded at the harbour cause it most probably will not survive actual waves in the ocean. On the other hand it may be better for it to disgrace the bottom of the ocean rather than its surface.

  3. To my way of thinking, a yacht should be sleek and streamlined, but this looks like a miniature container ship. Can someone try to find the ugly tree it fell out of, there will be a lot of broken branches underneath.

  4. I think there is a herd mentality going on here. Absolutely the this yacht does not look like any other yacht and I say thank goodness. It was commissioned by someone who was truly like no one else we have seen in our lifetimes. It was his one extravagance.I think the yacht looks wonderful and is a fitting tribute to Steve.

    1. I agree.

      I think there is more than a touch of envy in opinions here (and elsewhere) in regards to this boat. Of course, my opinion of other people’s opinions on this matter might just be colored by my rather contemptuous opinion of other people’s opinions in general.

      The Venus clearly represents the minimalist design aesthetic of Jobs and those who brought his visions into being.

      I’m sure we all know someone who is photogenic… whose photos look better than they do in person. Not that they are unattractive, per se… but due to the nature (limitations?) of photography, they look better in photos.

      Well, they are some people (and things) that are un-photogenic. Photos make them look worse.

      Having seen other photos of the Venus, it is clearly one of those things that photos do not do justice to. Particularly in 3/4 view and head on shots. In the photo above the superstructure overwhelms and makes it look top heavy and ungainly. From a side on view, it is nowhere near as impressive.

      As for it’s “big square ass”, it doesn’t look all that different from many other yachts I’ve seen.

      When it comes to commentary about what constitutes good design, if MDN truly had any class (let alone respect) they would have kept their opinion to themselves and let this “news article” slide by without notice. Who cares? This is Enquirer fodder.

      My respect for MDN disappeared with statement 2 of the MDN take… along with any notion that MDN had any general sense of human decency.

      It’s a good thing most takes go uncredited.

      Despite what most people feel, just because they like (or dislike) how something looks doesn’t confer them with any sense of design (let alone a good one). Without any design training and/or expertise, all they know about how things look is what they like/dislike.

      And that don’t mean crap.

  5. So the designer agrees to get paid on a percentage of construction costs, thinking change orders etc are gonna jack up the commission except Steve is Happy with the Turtleneck and Jeans design after its the designer wants to change the contract. I can see why the estate lawyers have not paid the extra out of contract charges.

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