April 11th 2013. By Diane Byrne.

Azzam: Almost 600 Feet of Yacht Emerges from Building Shed

Azzam - which means 'determination' in Arabic — reflects the resolve of a shipyard, design team, and of course the owner, to build the largest yacht in the world.

Hold onto your hats: Here’s Azzam, the world’s largest private yacht. Measuring an incredible 180 meters (that’s just 10 feet shy of 600 feet overall), Azzam emerged on April 5 at the facilities of Germany-based Lürssen. She’s still several months from completion, but she’s already got people talking.

Azzam’s sheer size is impressive enough, but when you consider she’s over 17 meters longer than Eclipse, which has been the world’s largest yacht until now, it’s even more incredible. Luckily for us, the owner allowed Lürssen to release images and limited information about the yacht – typically with mega-size megayachts, strict confidentiality agreements prohibit shipyards from even acknowledging a project exists. So here’s a closer look…

Azzam unveiled

Lürssen moved Azzam from this floating dock to her final fit-out area in the morning. Azzam had actually been moved into this area from another construction shed last May, though without her bow section, because that shed was a mere 170 meters long. That was the moment when the world first began buzzing about Azzam, and the rumour mill churned into a frenzy, with speculation over everything from her final LOA to her build cost (still confidential). Photo Klaus Jordan

 

Azzam

Despite being six decks high, Azzam looks lean in profile. Every custom yacht is different, of course, but there is a tendency for ultra-large megayachts — say, ones exceeding 90 metres —to look more like ships and less like personal floating palaces. Note, too, how most of the decks have covered spaces, in contrast to many yachts. Azzam’s owner and guests will not be sun worshippers, though they will travel to sunny destinations. Photo Klaus Jordan

 

Azzam rear view

This view of Azzam is arguably the best of all, as it gives you a terrific look at her propulsion system. The owner wanted a swift turn of speed, and Lürssen’s in-house naval architecture and engineering staff addressed it with a total of 94,000 horsepower from twin diesels and twin gas turbines. As for the specific speeds, Lürssen can only state that Azzam should exceed 30 knots - yes you read that right, a 180-meter yacht doing 30 knots! Photo Klaus Jordan

 

Azzam aerial showing helipad

Thanks to this aerial view, you can see that Azzam has a helipad on her foredeck. You can also appreciate just how massive she is, if you look carefully at the area forward of the helipad: four orange-shirt-clad people are standing about. If you’re wondering why tugs were manoeuvreing Azzam, it’s because she isn’t yet ready for full sea trials. Photo Klaus Jordan

 

Azzam in dock

Azzam’s elegant lines are from Nauta Yacht Design, which won a styling competition held by the owner. He instructed them to incorporate both timeless, traditional elements as well as contemporary ones, so that Azzam would avoid looking dated before too long yet also be innovative enough to stand out. While it may seem strange for a 180 metre yacht not to stand out, there is a difference between mass and majesty. Photo Klaus Jordan

Specifications: LOA: 180 meters • Beam: 20.8 meters • Draft: 4.3 meters

Lürssen cannot reveal any renderings of the interior decor, which is being created by designer Christophe Leoni. However, Azzam is said to incorporate the look and feel of the Empire style, which was an influential French movement of the early 19th century (termed Empire because of its association with Napoleon). That should translate to symmetrical decorative elements on furnishings and beautifully decorated walls paired with plain overheads.

Regardless of how Azzam is decorated, rooms like the 29-metre-long saloon (which has no decorative or supportive pillars), with its 20+ meter beam, should be quite a sight.

For more information, contact Lürssen.



Diane Byrne
Diane M. Byrne is the founder and editor of the website Megayacht News. A longtime yachting writer, she contributes to Super Yacht World, Superyacht Business, Boat Exclusive, and other magazines. She is additionally a member of the International Superyacht Society Board of Directors and a founding member of the U.S. Superyacht Association.