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THE SYMBOL THINGS IN LIFE

Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 20 February 2024 | 0 Comments

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20 February 2024
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Are luxury yachts the latest fashions accessory of the rich and famous? Celebrity writer Jesse Nash studies the scene.  

Over the last few months, some of the world’s most famous faces: actors, authors, designers, rock stars, singers, tech behemoths and their families. Have been out and about on their very big boats. 

Legendary guitarist Eric Clapton also loves big boats. He also loves all things Italian. Why he calls his big boat Va Bene. Clapton took his boat all over Europe last summer while touring. Va Bene was put up for sale in 2018, as well as his other yacht, the Blue Guitar. Va Bene can host twelve guests and twelve crew members while Blue Guitar fits seven guests and five crew members, making it much larger than any family home or apartment complex. Va Bene's key features are a BBQ, an RYA watersports centre, a jacuzzi, and Zero speed stabilizers. There's also a casual and a formal dining room and karaoke! "Layla," anyone?

Clapton loves the sea. I actually encountered the Blue Guitar one spring day while attending the Bahamas Film Festival many years ago. Sean Connery was being honored and Clapton was a big fan of the actor and quietly snuck in to meet him. How grand! Even the famous get awed by the Uber famous. Who knew!? 

J.K. Rowling has done extraordinarily well having gone from poverty to riches with her “Harry Potter” book series and film franchise. She often throws fundraisers and even did one recently on her superyacht, which used to be owned by Johnny Depp before he sold it to her in 2016. Rowling supports a number of causes through her charitable trust, Volant. She is also the founder and president of the international children’s nonprofit organisation Lumos, which works globally and ensure all children grow up in a safe and caring environment. Rowling’s big boat, The Vajoliroja, which was renamed Amphitrite when Johnny married Amber on the yacht while at his own private island in the Bahamas, cost over twenty million dollars as well, with five "cabins" (so, like, fancy rooms?) for guests and five for crew members, bohemian-style saloons, entertaining areas, waterskis, and kayaks. She is 156-feet long and each room includes a wine bar and skylight.

Oh yeah, even legendary rock bands aren’t all about sex drugs and rock n roll. Cyan has been said to be the property of both Bono and The Edge, U2 bandmates and possibly co-parents of this lovely yacht. Cyan has one of the best outdoor cinemas on a superyacht and can accommodate ten guests in addition to crew members. It also features a jacuzzi, a top-of-the-range stereo system, tenders, Seabobs, and Waverunners, a baby grand piano, and a fully-equipped gym. Cyan cost twelve million euros, and has a swimming platform and luxury bar, leading The Edge to call it "a really hip ship!". Edge and Bono also co-owned a luxury villa on the French Riviera.

Acclaimed Italian fashion designer and billionaire Giorgio Armani has more than one yacht because he can afford to have more than one yacht. "Main" was built in 2008 and has a minimalist design in a black and grey colour palette to match its exterior. Leave it to Giorgio to have a sleek, fashionable mega-yacht. "Main" measures at 150-feet with shaded areas and sunbathing areas, and its interior design was done by Giorgio himself. The ship has a master stateroom, a cinema, a hot tub, an indoor gym, six guest cabins, and eight cabins for crew members. 

It was just recently that Armani used the boat and sailed to London where he received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Fashion Awards. He had his three favourite people accompany him: Tom Cruise, Cate Blanchett and Julia Roberts. Blanchett is the first global beauty ambassador for Armani. She came with him to represent the brand and to celebrate her friendship with him. Roberts was their to celebrate the fact that Armani has been dressing her for 30 years! And Cruise was there to celebrate his new “Top Gun: Maverick” sequel where he can be seen wearing a lot of Armani in the film. Giorgio has some cool friends!

After the awards ceremony, the legendary designer and his Hollywood pals were seen arriving at Main where it was said they didn’t leave until the following morning. From there, Armani and his spirited crew sailed the boat to the Caribbean where they were spotted in and around Barbados for a much-needed period of rest and relaxation.

Another hot designer who made the scene with his big boat was Roberto Cavalli. Baglietto, his 150 foot long self-named ship is the stark opposite of Giorgio's Main, a rainbow-coloured shimmering ship valued at fifty million dollars. Over the holidays, Cavalli sailed to St Barts where he hosted friends Victoria and David Beckham. The superyacht is a custom-built ship, and it can accommodate eight guests and four crew members, so it has just enough room for all of the Beckhams. It has a bathroom with cheetah print chairs and a zebra door in gold to match the bedroom walls, so safe to say Roberto doesn't share his contemporary Giorgio's delight in the minimal. 

Even tennis stars have big boats. Famous Tennis ace and sixteen-time Grand Slam singles winner Rafael Nadal recently sailed his yacht, Beethoven, to the Caribbean where he was seen having lunch at the exclusive Jade Mountain in St Lucia. It was in 2016 that he bought the yacht to sail around the Balearic Islands near his home in Mallorca. Nadal once talked to Boat International about his passion for superyachts and being able to recognise most superyachts by name from a distance, which is the most niche hobby in existence. The vessel can accommodate up to eight guests and two crew members, and it has a top speed of thirty-one knots, which is apparently pretty fast for a ship of this size. The ship cost a mere two-and-a-half million dollars. 

Apple Founder Steve Jobs, May have left us a decade ago but he didn’t forget his family. He left them a pretty big boat to play on called The Venus. This yacht has a sad backstory: Steve Jobs commissioned the ship for his family but died before it was completed. Venus is now owned by Steve's family and is fitted with Mac computers in the bridge. The extremely private ship is apparently a fun yacht to track for people like Rafael — it appears that his yacht-spotting hobby is a real thing for many 'yacht spotters.' No photos from the interior have been released and little is known about the inside of the ship beyond what could be seen from exterior photos during a refit it underwent in 2015.

The Jobs family yacht was recently spotted near the Mexican Caribbean near Cozumel. 

Legendary director Steven Spielberg has a big boat, but I’m sure you’re not surprised. Recently, he and wife Cate Capshaw were spotted on it near St Barts. The happily married Hollywood-Hamptons couple were seen out and about on the tony Caribbean island during the holidays.

Spielberg’s yacht is named the Seven Seas and is known for having one of the best superyacht pools. The Seven Seas has six guest cabins and can accommodate twenty-three crew members. The $200 million mega yacht also features a jacuzzi, floor-to-ceiling windows that can be opened to make the dining room open-air, a gym, and jet skis. Fittingly, there's also a movie theatre-sized screen in the main salon. Steven also owns his own private jet and is building a second yacht, proving you really can have it all.

Spielberg was spotted on the British Virgin island of Tortola with his big boat moored nearby. It was there that it was rumored an editing room was installed on The Seven Seas so he could finish his remake of the classic, “West Side Story” and the fifth instalment of the “Indiana Jones” films.

“Piano Man” Billy Joel has a big boat just like all these famous designers, Hollywood stars, tennis stars and tech titans.  

Bet you had no clue or any idea that Joel has a second career as a celebrity yacht designer? Billy is a yacht fanatic whose had many, many vessels over the years, but Vendetta is his 'commuter yacht.' Vendetta is meant to be a replica of classic gentlemen's commuter launches from the 1920s. Another of Billy's five yachts is the twenty-nine-meter Audacious, which was renamed Miss Sarah J and converted to house some of his many motorcycles. Billy is a man on the move. Billy helped design the Vendetta, a testament to his love of yachting. Incredible! Although Joel has been trying to sell the Vendetta since 2016, he still has managed to take the big boat for a nice spin, most recently island hopping in the Caribbean where he was spotted in St Barts, St Martin and St Lucia. 

Tiger Woods must have named his yacht *before* his cheating scandal, right? The name "Privacy" is kind of on the nose for a guy whose career was almost taken down by his private activities. Tiger's 155-foot yacht cost over twenty million dollars and served as his home at the Montauk Yacht Club during the U.S. Open. Privacy includes a sky-lounge bar, a gym, a walk-in fridge, a gym, a jacuzzi, five guest rooms, a two-thousand-gallon water tank, a deck dining area, and two built-in wall safes. If they were planning on making an Ocean's Nine this might be a good place to stage their heist. Sources say Tiger has had a party or two on this floating phallic symbol, many of which took place in the Bahamas, that rival some of the best ever reported. Woods’ ex-wife was in...ahem I mean, on, this big boat. Who’d known that she ever took part in any of the golfer’s partying ways? We’ll never really know. What we DO know is that the Swedish model Elin Nordegren has moved on with her life and recently gave birth to her third child (the first two were with Tiger.)  Nordegren became famous overnight back in 2009 in one of the most notorious cheating scandals ever involving the golfer. But she didn’t let that ruin her life. She has a new man and a new baby boy! And I hear she soon might have her own big boat to play in.

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