Italy seizes Russian billionaire Melnichenko's Sailing Yacht A

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Finance Police seizes superyacht from Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko

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Exclusive: pushing the boundaries of technology, Sailing Yacht A

Andrey Melnichenko is a man with exceptional vision. Where other yacht owners like to blend into the background, he wants his superyachts to push the boundaries of design, creativity and technology as well as make a statement. His first superyacht, Motor Yacht A , rocked the superyacht world with its radical design and now he’s done it again.

With an insatiable appetite to drive change he has put together a highly skilled team to build his new creation, currently under construction in Germany. Boat International was given exclusive access to the yacht, and we can reveal for the first time its name, Sailing Yacht A , and that this huge new project is a “sail-assisted motor yacht”.

This is the second yacht in Melnichenko’s portfolio. His first, Motor Yacht A , split opinion, but today stands as one of the most talked about and recognisable yachts in the world. But Sailing Yacht A is a much bolder move and Melnichenko has raised the stakes even higher with a radically designed yacht that introduces new technologies and techniques never before used in the shipbuilding industry. He also broke down barriers by creating his own project team to undertake the build from start to finish. Sailing Yacht A is a monument to invention.

Philippe Starck , who created Motor Yacht A , and from there went on to design Venus for the late Steve Jobs, is working once again for Andrey and Aleksandra Melnichenko on the project. “I am honoured and happy to bring to life the owner’s dream of what will be the summit of high technology and poetry,” says Starck.

Sailing Yacht A is a unique story that began as far back as 2008 when eight of the world’s leading designers were invited to submit their ideas for a huge project – the creation of one of the world’s biggest sail-assisted private yachts. Initially, French designer Jacques Garcia was chosen for his designs, but later there were concerns about the progress of design development, and the owner decided on a change of direction.

Sailing Yacht A is slated for delivery in 2016, although her masts were not stepped when Boat International was invited on board in July. The interior was also under wraps, but here we can take a look at some of her incredible statistics.

She is a three-masted, 142.81 metre (LOA) sail-assisted motor yacht, with a moulded beam at the widest point of 24.88 metres, an eight metre encapsulated keel and a gross tonnage of approximately 12,700GT. For a vessel of this size it was a challenge to find a shipyard that had the capacity, knowledge and skills to put together the naval architecture and engineering for the motor yacht side of the project. The one chosen, given its skills in building large yachts, was Nobiskrug in Germany.

For the sailing design, rig and keel, and associated structural engineering, Dykstra Naval Architects  in The Netherlands was appointed for its advanced technical abilities demonstrated on various world-class sailing yachts. Aloft Sailing Yacht A carries three of the largest and most highly loaded composite freestanding structures in the world produced by Magma Structures in the UK. The custom booms were made by Future Fibres in Valencia, and the custom sails by Doyle Sails in the USA.

With a hull and superstructure predominantly constructed of steel and incorporating composite and accents of carbon fibre, in order to keep the weight and draught to an acceptable level, Sailing Yacht A is the highest classified vessel of her type: (Maltese Cross) 100A1 Passenger ship Sail Assisted, (Maltese Cross) LMC UMC and (Maltese Cross) 100A1 Yacht Mono G6.

Propulsion comes from a customised hybrid diesel-electric package made up of two MTU 3,600kW diesel engines, and two 4,300kW electric motors, driving shafts ending in highly skewed five-bladed Andritz controllable pitch propellers. She is expected to cruise under power at 16 knots with an expected range of 5,320 nautical miles and will have a top speed of 21 knots.

With her uninterrupted shard-like appearance she carries her eight decks aft along the sheerline, which slopes up towards the stern, reaching a full beam width of 24.88 metres at the widest point. All her machinery is hidden within the hull structure, and as you can see, everything, including the windows, are flush. The bridge control centre for propulsion and sailing systems is on deck seven and there is a touch-and-go helicopter pad on deck six. There is accommodation available for up to 54 crew.

There are many more technical advances, innovations and surprises throughout her hull, decks and keel, which Boat International will reveal, in detail, in an exclusive feature in the November issue.

More about this yacht

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Sanctioned Russian oligarch’s megayacht hides in a UAE creek

The 118-meter (387-foot) Motor Yacht A belonging to  Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko is anchored in the port of Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. In the dusty, northern-most sheikhdom of the United Arab Emirates, Motor Yacht A, one of the world's largest yachts, sits in the quiet port — so far avoiding the fate of other luxury vessels linked to sanctioned Russian oligarchs. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

The 118-meter (387-foot) Motor Yacht A belonging to Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko is anchored in the port of Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. In the dusty, northern-most sheikhdom of the United Arab Emirates, Motor Yacht A, one of the world’s largest yachts, sits in the quiet port — so far avoiding the fate of other luxury vessels linked to sanctioned Russian oligarchs. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Motor Yacht A, belonging to Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko, moored in Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, May 12, 2022. In the dusty, northern-most sheikhdom of the United Arab Emirates, Motor Yacht A, one of the world’s largest yachts, sits in the quiet port — so far avoiding the fate of other luxury vessels linked to sanctioned Russian oligarchs. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

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RAS AL-KHAIMAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In the dusty, northern-most sheikhdom of the United Arab Emirates, where laborers cycle by rustic tea shops, one of the world’s largest yachts sits in a quiet port — so far avoiding the fate of other luxury vessels linked to sanctioned Russian oligarchs.

The display of lavish wealth is startling in one of the UAE’s poorest emirates, a 90-minute drive from the illuminated high-rises of Dubai. But the 118-meter (387-foot) Motor Yacht A’s presence in a Ras al-Khaimah creek also shows the UAE’s neutrality during Russia’s war on Ukraine as the Gulf country remains a magnet for Russian money and its oil-rich capital sees Moscow as a crucial OPEC partner .

Since Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, the seven sheikhdoms of the Emirates have offered a refuge for Russians, both those despairing of their country’s future as well as the mega-wealthy concerned about Western sanctions .

While much of the world has piled sanctions on Russian institutions and allies of President Vladimir Putin, the Emirates has not. It also avoids overt criticism of the war, which government readouts still refer to as the “Ukraine crisis.”

The Motor Yacht A belongs to Andrey Melnichenko, an oligarch worth some $23.5 billion, according to Forbes. He once ran the fertilizer producer Eurochem and SUEK, one the the world’s largest coal companies.

The European Union in March included Melnichenko in a mass list of sanctions on business leaders and others described as close to Putin. The EU sanctions noted he attended a Feb. 24 meeting Putin held the day of the invasion.

“The fact that he was invited to attend this meeting shows that he is a member of the closest circle of Vladimir Putin and that he is supporting or implementing actions or policies which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine,” the EU said at the time.

Melnichenko resigned from the corporate positions he held in the two major firms, according to statements from the companies. However, he has criticized Western sanctions and denied being close to Putin.

Melnichenko could not be reached for comment through his advisers.

Already, authorities in Italy have seized one of his ships — the $600 million Sailing Yacht A. France, Spain and Britain as well have sought to target superyachts tied to Russian oligarchs as part of a wider global effort to put pressure on Putin and those close to him.

But the $300 million Motor Yacht A so far appears untouched. It flew an Emirati flag on Tuesday when Associated Press journalists observed the ship. Two crew members milled around the deck.

The boat’s last recorded position on March 10 put it off the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, just over 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) from Ras al-Khaimah. Satellite images from Planet Labs PBC analyzed by the AP show the vessel in Ras al-Khaimah’s creek beginning March 17, a week later.

The Financial Times first reported on the ship’s presence in the UAE .

Authorities in Ras al-Khaimah did not respond to a request for comment on the yacht’s presence. The UAE’s Foreign Ministry did not answer questions about the ship, but said in a statement to the AP that it takes “its role in protecting the integrity of the global financial system extremely seriously.”

But so far, the UAE has taken no such public action targeting Russia. The country abstained on a U.N. Security Council vote in February condemning Russia’s invasion , angering Washington.

The neutral response may stem from “the financial gain we’re seeing in Dubai in terms of new tourist arrivals, and Russian efforts to move assets and buy property,” said Karen Young, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Middle East Institute.

The flow of Russian money — both legitimate and shady — is now an open secret in Dubai, where lavish hotels and beaches increasingly bustle with Russian speakers. State-run radio hosts cheerily describe a massive influx.

The UAE became one of the few remaining flight corridors out of Moscow. The Emirati government offered three-month multiple-entry visas upon arrival to all Russians, allowing major companies to easily transfer their employees from Moscow to Dubai. The private jet terminal at Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central has seen a 400% spike in traffic, the airport’s CEO recently told the AP .

Real estate agents have reported a surge of interest from Russians seeking to buy property in Dubai , particularly in the skyscrapers of Dubai Marina and villas on the Palm Jumeirah.

For those who want to move to the UAE, buying high-end property also helps secure a visa.

“Business is booming right now,” said Thiago Caldas, CEO of the Dubai-based property firm Modern Living, which now accepts cryptocurrency to facilitate sales with new Russian clients. “They have a normal life and don’t face restrictions.”

Caldas said inquiries from Russian clients in Dubai have multiplied by over 10 since the war, forcing his firm to hire three Russian-speaking agents to deal with the deluge.

With sanctions on Russian banks and businesses thwarting many citizens’ access to foreign capital, Russians are increasingly trying to bypass bank transfers through digital currencies in Dubai, said two cryptocurrency traders in the city, where they’re able to liquidate large sums of cash.

“It’s a safe haven. … The inflow from Russian accounts skyrocketed 300% days after the war in Ukraine began,” said a Russian crypto trader in Dubai, who spoke like the other on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala state investment company remains among the most active sovereign wealth funds in Russia, along with those of China and Qatar, according to calculations by Javier Capapé of IE University in Spain for the AP.

But pressure is growing. Late on Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi posted a strongly worded video message in solidarity with Ukraine featuring local ambassadors from the world’s leading democracies as Russia’s foreign minister visits the region.

“We are united against Russia’s unjustifiable, unprovoked and illegal aggression,” said Ernst Peter Fischer, Germany’s ambassador to the UAE.

Follow Isabel DeBre and Jon Gambrell on Twitter at and


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Italian Police Seize Russian Oligarch Andrey Melnichenko’s 468-Foot ‘Sailing Yacht A’

The list keeps growing with the impoundment of "sailing yacht a" and suspicion that "scheherazade" might be connected to vladimir putin., michael verdon, michael verdon's most recent stories.

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Russian oligarchs yachts continued to be seized

Italy’s finance police seized one of the world’s most iconic sailing yachts, owned by a Russian oligarch. Andrey Melnichenko’s Sailing Yacht A , with an estimated value of $578 million, was impounded in dry dock at the Port of Trieste, according to a statement from the Guardia di Finanzia. Melninchenko was sanctioned by the European Union on March 9 as part of a group of Russian oligarchs who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin following its Ukraine invasion to discuss the potential economic impact of EU and American sanctions.

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Melnichenko owns the major fertilizer producer EuroChem Group and SUEK, a coal company. He also owns the 390-foot Motor Yacht A. A spokesperson said in a statement that Melnichenko has nothing to do with politics and that he has removed himself from the board of Eurochem and SUEK after the EU sanctioned him. “He has no relation to the tragic events in Ukraine. He has no political affiliations,” said the statement.

US intelligence officials have also said they are trying to link the Scheherazade , a $700 million superyacht in dry dock in Italy, to Putin. The New York Times reported that the US government has made no definite conclusions about the yacht’s ownership, but believe it could be owned by the Russian president. The yacht’s captain, Guy Bennett-Pearce, told the Times that Putin had no stake in the yacht, but declined to name the owner. Bennett-Pearce said he would provide Italian police with documents that divulged the owner’s name. The Italian Sea Group, which owns the shipyard where Scheherazade is dry docked, said that, based on “checks carried out by relevant authorities,” the yacht is “not attributable to the property of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Russian oligarchs yachts continued to be seized

Roman Abramovich, who owns Solaris. last week was placed on the UK sanctions list.  Courtesy of Lloyd Werft

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich was also added to the UK sanctions list days after he announced the sale of the football club. Abramovich, who owns a string of supercars and several private jets, also owns the superyachts Solaris and Eclipse. Solaris is reportedly sailing towards Israel, where Abramovich has dual citizenship.

On March 3, France’s finance ministry said that it had impounded Amore Vero , a yacht owned by Igor Sechin, CEO of Russian oil giant Rosneft. The EU had sanctioned Sechin earlier that week, calling him one of Putin’s “most trusted and closest advisors, as well as his personal friend.” German authorities also detained the 512-foot superyacht Dilbar in Hamburg, owned by Alisher Usmanov. Reports said the crew was fired last week. On March 5, Italian authorities impounded two yachts, Lena and Lady M , owned by Gennady Timchenko and Alexei Mordashov, respectively.

On Friday, the US State Department placed Viktor Vekselberg on its sanctions list. Two of Vekeselberg’s luxury assets, an Airbus A319-115 jet and his yacht Tango , were identified as “blocked property.”

Russian oligarchs yachts continue to be seized.

The superyacht Scheherazade was impounded in Italy during an investigation to uncover whether it is owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Video Still/YT

The seizures have prompted the superyacht industry to distance itself from the oligarchs. Italian yacht builders Sanlorenzo and Azimut both released statements that they have limited exposure to Russian clients, and none are on the sanctions list. Heesen Yachts released a statement that two Russians sitting on its supervisory board of directors have resigned their positions. The builder said Heesen is 100-percent Dutch-owned company and that Pavel Sukhoruchkin and Pavel Novoselov had nothing to do with its day-to-day operations.

Ownership of many Russian yachts is often hidden by shell companies in tax havens like the Cayman Islands. They are not only hard to trace, but actually seizing and selling them could present a legal quagmire that could take years to resolve.

Some are wondering whether seizing the oligarchs’ private yachts and jets will work. “Sanctions are another example of the West doing what it does best, which is just throwing a lot of cash at the problem and hoping it gets solved,” Olga Chyzh, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, told the Washington Post. “However sad they are to let go of their Western assets, oligarchs have even more to lose if Putin is no longer there to protect them.”

Russian oligarchs yachts continued to be seized

Eclipse is another yacht owned by Roman Abramovich.  Robb Report File

In the meantime, some oligarchs are taking their yachts to destinations like the Maldives , the Seychelles and Dubai, which have no extradition treaties with the US and EU. Dubai has become a favorite destination for Russian tourism and wealth.

Alex Finley, a former CIA officer, has been tracking the yachts from Barcelona. Using the hashtag “Yacht Watch,” she posts updates on Twitter for Russian-owned superyachts.

“For me, the yachts are a big, easily recognizable symbol of the more serious side of this [Russian invasion]: These are people who support a dictator, and have been supporting him in carrying out destabilization operations against democracy, while at the same time coming here and taking all the benefits of the exact same democracies they were destabilizing,” Finley told the Washington Post.

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Russian oligarch's $300 million superyacht hides in plain sight in UAE's neutral waters, avoiding sanctions

  • The 390ft superyacht has been anchored in the United Arab Emirates for weeks.
  • The vessel belongs to Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko, worth an estimated $23 billion.
  • Italian authorities seized his $600 million superyacht in March amid western sanctions.

Insider Today

A superyacht belonging to a sanctioned Russian oligarch has been spotted in the port of Ras al-Khaimah, in the United Arab Emirates, according to AP journalists who saw the vessel on Tuesday. 

Andrey Melnichenko's 390ft Philippe Starck-designed Motor Yacht A, worth $300 million, was last reported in Dubai, according to vessel-tracking website MarineTraffic .

Melnichenko's other yacht, worth $600 million, was seized by Italian authorities in early March as part of western sanctions imposed following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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Remaining in the UAE port puts the yacht beyond the reach of western sanctions.

UAE has publicly expressed neutrality about the war in Ukraine. Insider previously reported that sanctioned oligarchs can obtain golden visas by investing at least 10 million dirhams ($2.7 million) in a local company or investment fund.

The Australian broadcaster ABC News and the Financial Times first reported the story.

According to MarineTraffic, the superyacht used to sail under the UK flag.

However, in March, the government of the Isle of Man, a British crown dependency in the Irish Sea, said it had deregistered Melnichenko's yachts including Motor Yacht A because of western sanctions. It added: "We will continue to act with appropriate robustness should the situation warrant it."

European officials told the FT that they don't want "our allies to become facilitators for the Putin regime," and raised concerns with Emirati counterparts that sanctioned individuals could treat the UAE as a financial haven. 

Melnichenko, worth $23.5 billion according to Forbes , founded one of Russia's most successful lenders, MDM Bank. He also ​​founded the fertilizer producer Eurochem and coal energy company SUEK.

Russian oligarchs have also turned to alternative routes regarding financial transactions, such as hawala , an informal money exchange .

A Russian businessman told the FT: "Big banks are more cautious but smaller banks are offering help to those wishing to relocate. It's just taking a lot of time."

yacht a melnichenko

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motor yacht a

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MOTOR YACHT A – Cutting-edge $300M Superyacht

MOTOR YACHT A is one of the largest privately-owned megayachts in existence, measuring 119 meters (390 ft) in length.

It is currently ranked the 27th biggest yacht in the world and sails under the flag of Bermuda.

A was built by the famous shipyard Blohm & Voss in Kiel, Germany and after four years of construction, she was handed over to her new owner in 2008.


MOTOR YACHT A interior

The interior of the 119 meters (390 ft) long A offers plenty of natural light and elaborate wooden furniture, providing a luxurious and comfortable ambiance.

The interior design is by Philippe Starck, a renowned French architect, and designer who helped develop the private rooms of the Élysée Palace in Paris.

MOTOR YACHT A features a beautiful master suite and an additional six state-of-the-art guest cabins. A crew of 35 members is able to stay on board to take care of up to 14 guests.


Two diesel engines power MOTOR YACHT A with an output of 9,000 kW each. A full tank of over 750,000 liters provides her with an impressive reach of up to 6,500 nautical miles.

Her cruising speed lies at 19 knots, but the vessel can reach maximum speeds of up to 23 knots.

A is equipped with the latest technology and control systems, which aid the crew in maneuvering the gigantic vessel. She has a width of 18.87 meters (61.90 ft) and weighs in at an impressive 5,500 tons.

image 33

Philippe Starck also created the exterior design of A in collaboration with naval architect Martin Francis and the shape of the yacht strongly resembles a US Navy destroyer.

A has a total of three swimming pools distributed on the different decks.

The pool on the front deck is the largest of all and is equipped with a jet nozzle that can simulate currents.

Furthermore, A features a spacious beach club as well as three tenders housed in their own garages.

She also has her own helicopter landing pad located on the forward main deck while three elevators make it easy for guests and crew to reach the different levels of the vessel.

Of course, A is equipped with a high-quality gym and a spacious spa area.


The price of MOTOR YACHT A is estimated at about US $300 million, which the owner, Russian billionaire Melnichenko paid for the vessel in 2008.

The annual costs amount to US $12 to $15 million depending on use.

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Sailing Yacht A: Everything You Want To Know

Ian Fortey

The sailing yacht known as A was built between 2015 and 2016 by German yacht makers Nobiskrug based on designs by French architect Phillippe Starck that seemed to have made use of some naval architecture for inspiration. It currently holds the record for being the world’s largest sailing yacht, though, to be fair, it is technically a sail-assisted motor yacht as it is fully capable of moving under its own power rather than relying on the sails. 

Who Owns Sailing Yacht A?

Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, a man who made his fortune thanks to a coal company and a chemical company, is the owner of Sailing Yacht A as well as its older sister yacht the Motor Yacht A. Melnichenko has French designer Philippe Starck design both of the vessels for him. 

How Big is Sailing Yacht A?

yacht a melnichenko

As mentioned, this is actually the largest sailing yacht in the world and it truly is immense. It earned the title of largest sailing yet specifically because of the length which clocks in at a stunning 468.5 feet. Not only is it the longest sailing yacht as a result of that, making it over 50 feet longer than its closest competitor, it qualifies as one of the largest yachts period, sailing or motor powered. It’s the 11th largest yacht in the world if you also include motor yachts.

Even aside from length, the stats are pretty remarkable. The masts, which are very hard to miss, are also gigantic. The main mast stands at over 100 meters or 300 feet tall. The entire boat has a listed height of 328 feet. That makes the A taller than the Tower of London or Big Ben. 

The vessel is just over 81 feet wide and has a gross tonnage of 12,558 gt. The sails measure an incredible 3,747 square meters or 40,332 square feet. The sails can be controlled with an in-boom furling system. It also features a gimballed crow’s nest, accessible by an elevator, 60m high in one of the curved, carbon masts.

So It’s the Largest Sail Assisted Motor Yacht?

Technically, yes. There is not really a distinction made for more people between sail-assisted and sailing yacht.

Why Is it Called Sailing Yacht A?

Sailing Yacht A’s owner was being a little crafty when he came up with the name for the vessel. Like his earlier motor yacht, which is also called A or Motor Yacht A, Sailing Yacht A got the name it has so that it will always appear at the top of boat registry lists. It’s kind of like when businesses used to call themselves something like AAAA+ Plumbing so they’d be at the top of the page in the phone book, back when people still used phone books. 

What is the Interior of Sailing Yacht A Like?

yacht a melnichenko

As you can imagine, there’s a lot going on in this massive yacht. To start, it’s a full eight decks. These can be accessed throughout the yacht with either a number of elevators or the free-floating spiral staircases. It’s rumored that there are cabins for at least 20 guests, plus a master suite on board.

There are oval windows throughout the vessel that are almost impossible to see from outside as they’re covered in a one-way film that allows passengers to look out but prevents anyone from looking in. Some of the rooms have floor to ceiling windows that simply can’t be seen from outside. It’s rumored that the master suite has a rotating bed and is presumably of a significant size as the master suite in the smaller Motor Yacht A was 2,500 square feet.

In terms of luxury amenities there’s plenty to choose from. The yacht has an underwater observation pod right in the keel with windows to the sides and below. The glass is one foot thick to ensure it can handle the pressure. It offers a view of the props in action which is unique and unlike observation windows you’d likely find on any other boats. And unlike many yachts which have launch vessels or jet skis in the garage, this one has a three-man submarine you can take out for fun as well as four tenders.

yacht a melnichenko

Melnichenko is known for throwing lavish parties – he’s had Lennie Kravitz and Snoop Dogg perform on board Motor Yacht A for him and his guests, and even had Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera perform at his wedding some years ago, so it’s safe to assume the sailing yacht also features an extravagant party room as well. 

A crew of up to 54 operate the vessel and much of that can be done easier than you’d think. Touch screen controls can power and maneuver the vessel at the touch of a button. Even the sails can be raised and lowered with electronic controls and a single person operating them. 

In addition to the piloting of the ship, the crew run the yacht’s internal power plant, a professional galley the size of a kitchen you’d expect to find in a hotel, and other guest services like laundry and so on. These services and features are maintained across two of the boat’s 8 decks.

Much like any other yacht of this size, there is a helipad on the deck, and you can also find a large pool in the center of the deck as well. There are two other pools and all three are said to have current-generating technology to give them a more realistic ocean feel. As in his previous yacht, one of the pools has a glass floor so that you can see up into the pool from the deck below.

yacht a melnichenko

Many of the internal features have been kept under wraps as few people have had a chance to go on board the yacht. One particularly odd feature that has been noticed, however, is a chair on deck shaped like a giant, human head. Other glimpses of the interior have also shown off things like a large hot tub which has storage underneath it for a number of lifeboats, and the stunning blue navigation lights that line the exterior from bow to stern, just along the waterline.

The security features on the boat have not been disclosed, for obvious reasons, but Melnichenko previous yacht was rumored to feature everything from bomb proof glass to fingerprint scanners for enhanced security at key entry points. 

Was Sailing Yacht A Seized?

In March, 2022, Sailing Yacht A was seized by Italian authorities in the Port of Trieste after Andrey Melnichenko was placed on an EU sanctions list following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Many Russian billionaires who have had ties to President Vladimir Putin had sanctions levied against them which resulted in assets being frozen or confiscated all over the world.  

For unknown reasons, A was placed back in the water in June 2022 after being in dry dock for a few months. It was officially listed as being at anchor at that time with no further details about why the change in status. Melnichenko had stated at the time that he was going to contest the seizure of the luxury yacht but it’s unknown when or if that happened. 

What Did Sailing Yacht A Cost?

yacht a melnichenko

Billionaires don’t always like to share their expenses with the world and  Andrey Melnichenko is no different. He has not disclosed what he paid for the mega yacht and the yacht makers built it with a very thorough non-disclosure agreement in place that prevents them from sharing any of the particulars. 

The fact that there has been no officially confirmed price tag doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some solid speculation about the price which has yet to be refuted. According to most sources, the yacht likely cost its owner somewhere in the neighborhood of €530 million which, at the time, probably worked out to around $578 million to $600 million US.

How Fast is Sailing Yacht A?

The props on the yacht are powered by twin MTU 20V 4000 ML73 main diesel engines or by electric motors or even by both together. It runs up to 2,050rpm, giving 2,800kW, and makes use of four generators instead of five to cut down on the overall weight.  The generators are able to run down to 1,050rpm when it’s appropriate. Something called Superimposed System Controller (SSC) is able to constantly recalculate the optimal speed and determine the best combination of generators to use from moment to moment. This ensures optimal fuel and power usage while also limiting noise and vibration. 

The result of all of this engineering is that the yacht has a cruising speed of 16 knots and a top speed of 21 knots. 

The Bottom Line

Sailing Yacht A is the largest sail-assisted yacht in the world and, although the price is just speculated to be around $600 million, it’s clearly one of the most expensive yachts in the world as well. The exterior design is sleek and subtle and is able to hide many features including shell doors and windows while the interior spans 8 decks and has room for 54 crew and up to 20 passengers on board. The boat was seized by Italian authorities in 2022 and it’s unknown if or when the owner will get it back. 

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