Apple's super-yacht ahoy? Not so fast

Yet another chapter has been written in the saga of  Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs’ superyacht - already the subject of more rumor-mongering and blog-fodder than even the  iPad mini enjoyed before its release.

According to wire-service reports, the big boat has been impounded  in Amsterdam because of a battle royale  over an unpaid bill to designer Philippe Starck.

Starck had already  raised a superyacht-sized  fuss last April when he publicly announced that Apple would be releasing a “revolutionary” new product of his design within eight months. Apple denied the report and Starck had to do damage-control, publicly admitting that the “product” in question was the  sleek sailing vessel he’d designed for Jobs.

Now Starck’s  apparently stepped in it again, likely incurring the wrath of Jobs’ estate lawyers, who could not be reached for comment.

A lawyer representing Starck’s company Ubik told Reuters his client had received only about $8  million of the $11.8 million 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’s port pending payment by lawyers representing Jobs’ estate.

“The project has been going since 2007 and there had been a lot of detailed talk between Jobs and Starck,” Roelant Klaassen, a lawyer representing Ubik, said.

“These guys trusted each other, so there wasn’t a very detailed contract,” he said.

“Venus” was officially launched in late October  in Aalsmeer by Dutch custom ship builder Feadship, with Jobs’ family on-hand for the unveiling.

It’s unclear whether future bonhomie between Starck and the Jobs clan is in the cards.



Patrick May Patrick May (341 Posts)

With more than 30 years on the front line of daily American journalism, I'm currently a staff writer with the San Jose Mercury News, covering Apple and writing people-centric business stories from Silicon Valley.