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Jobs family christens 'Venus' yacht in the Netherlands

updated 08:33 pm EDT, Mon October 29, 2012

Project took years, features innovative look

An endeavour to design a world-class yacht for his family to use, one of the later projects of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs' life, has finally been completed after years of work and was christened by the Jobs family as "Venus" in a ceremony in Aalsmeer in the Netherlands. Various Dutch Mac sites have posted pictures and video of the ship (seen below), which uses seven 27-inch iMacs in the wheelhouse. It features a 260-foot long aluminum hull with a elegant, minimalist approach and lots of glass windows on the topside.

Venus was designed in part by Jobs himself, along with French designer Philipe Starck, and took years to complete in part because Jobs kept re-designing the craft, to the point that he nearly cancelled the project in 2009 after his health again began to deteriorate. In part, the project played a therapeutic role for Jobs, with him telling biographer Walter Issacson that he wanted to complete it before his death -- a way, perhaps, of feeling that he was staving off the inevitable.

He had been inspired by a cruise his family took in the Mediterranean several years ago, but the finished product might be described as looking a bit like an Apple Store at sea. Like the retail stores, the living areas of the ship are dominated by large panes of glass with sparse furnishings to give them an open feeling. While few details of the ship's interior have been seen so far, the curved rectangular roof of the main topside room might remind viewers of back side of the iMac.

According to Isaacson's biography, the deck is made of teak wood, with the windows being floor-to-ceiling (about 10 feet tall and up to 40 feet long). As with most things touched by Jobs, however, the final design may have undergone further changes -- particularly after his death just over a year ago.

The launching ceremony was attended by Laurene Powell-Jobs and their three oldest children. Workers were given a thank-you card of appreciation for their hard work and craftsmanship, along with an iPod shuffle engraved with the name of the yacht on the back.

by MacNN Staff




  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    Now that is one FUGLY looking yacht.

  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-27-08

    The yacht is cool and is in line with Job's minimalist approach to design. It's like Frank Lloyd Wright meets Code-X.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I agree with Zanzibar. Even if you had not told me it was Jobs' yacht, I would have said that it looks sleek and kinda Frank Lloyd Wright-esque.

    I'd have to see it in person to really judge, but to me MOST yachts that size are god-awful ugly and ostentatious. Perhaps this one is as well, but even if that's true it at least has a distinct look.

    We don't normally associate Jobs with these kinds of projects, and I think that may be why some people who AREN'T trolls also think (on first impression) that its not in sync with his minimalist style. Fair point, I'd say, but remember this is occupational therapy for billionaires (and a wonderful gift to his family).

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-05-11


    I cannot fully agree on this one with Wrenchy, for It's a wave piercing design and I am a sucker for those yet; I did expect something a lot nicer.

    Actually WAAYYY nicer,
    what's with the chicken house up at the top?
    Is there going to be messenger pigeons kept there in case the Apple comms fail?

    Actually it looks like Mr Stark did not spend to much time with the design, as it is basically a blown up version of Melnichenko's A yacht tenders. Well blown up and white.

    And check out the bridge's instrumentation consoles, a bunch of Cinema displays - wonder if they are sea worthy, well never mind sea worthiness they are SHINY!!! Good luck reading them in a vehicle... And let's not get started on the officer's command chairs, or lack of them... Or the very sharp edges on the console's base and no cushioned railing protecting the crew from it...

    Can just imagine the shore crew tales...

    Hehe, "that seaman Simpson cracked his skull on the console's edge because he has walking next to it wrong..."

    Or "Poor seaman smith ended up with an imperforate anus, after slipping on the bridge and in an effort to avoid all sharp corners misplaced his rectum on the highly polished station rests..."

    Can't say is FUGLY looking, maybe just more architectural than vehicle inspired, with an almost complete disregard to motion orientation rhythm... a no-no on most design schools, but overall just a big let down; uninspiring and sad, maybe the music IS appropriate!

    All I can think of is if Steve were alive this is one design he would have not allowed to go into production.

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 03-22-04

    The look is interesting. Too bad the bridge is a non-starter for operation under way. That will get renovated. Ideally before it leaves port.

    iMac displays are perhaps ok if the ship is only used at night.

  1. blahblahbber


    Joined: 02-01-05

    It looks absolutely stunning!!!!.... If it was 1984. K bubbye

  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    ...what's with the chicken house up at the top? Is there going to be messenger pigeons kept there in case the Apple comms fail?

    Probably just a mesh fence to hide/mask the doppler weather radar(s) and communication arrays, if I had to guess.

    It does look more like a houseboat than a modern yacht, however it is an interesting design.

  1. vootie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-30-12

    They really knocked themselves out with those uber-generous "gifts" to the poor saps who busted a nut building the boat. But a few peanuts tossed to the rabble, that's how the 1% do it. Or in this case the .001%.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Vootie: I think you are forgetting that the workers were already well-paid for their work. The thank you gift is an extra; the Jobs family didn't have to do that (and in fact knowing one super-yacht owner myself, let me tell you such a thing is unprecedented).

    So tell me, what thank-you gift did you give the people who assembled your last car? Oh right, double standard applies, I see. :lol:

  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    So tell me, what thank-you gift did you give the people who assembled your last car? Oh right, double standard applies, I see.

    Oh, please. A Toyota Camry vs. a one-of-a-kind super yacht is an extremely poor comparison at best.

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