Jeff Bezos is no stranger to life on the water and rumors about various vessels he may have owned in the past decade have abounded, thanks in part to numerous photos of him on various superyachts and boats around the world with his friends and family. For years, the $400 million superyacht Flying Fox was reputed to be owned (at least in part) by Bezos. However, Amazon issued a public statement at one point stating the Mr. Bezos was not the owner. But, in late 2021 it appeared the world finally got a look at the real “Jeff Bezos yacht”, when Oceanco unveiled the enormous Y721 yacht at their shipyard in Zwijndrecht.
Above: The brand new 2022 “Y721” sailing yacht reportedly built for Jeff Bezos by Oceanco. Video by Guy Fleury (via YouTube).
The Project Y721 Yacht By Oceanco
Above: Jeff Bezos’ yacht, the Y721 (or “Project Y721”) by Oceanco, sits at a shipyard in Zwijndrecht (near Rotterdam) getting ready to be transported to Alblasserdam for her final fitting. Note she does not yet have her masts installed. Photo by Guy Fleury.
The colossal 417-foot (127m) Y721 sailing vessel was launched on October 20, 2021 and is now the biggest yacht ever constructed in Holland. In fact, the three-masted schooner superyacht has unseated Black Pearl from second place on our list of the world’s largest sailing yachts, eclipsing her in overall length by 69 feet, putting her at just below the reigning heavy weight champion Sailing Yacht A, who remains at first place on the roundup of biggest sailing vessels on the planet.
Above: An aerial view of the stern of the colossal 417-foot Y721 sailing yacht at a shipyard in Zwijndrecht in the Netherlands. Photo by Guy Fleury.
The superyacht features a sleek black hull with classic lines and a uniquely designed bowsprit – a custom spar extending forward from the ship’s bow to which her forestays are fastened. She’s currently getting her final fitting now, and will likely be photographed again shortly as she inevitably hits the water for her first cruising trip.
Above: An aerial view of the starboard side of the massive Y721 sailing superyacht vessel under construction at a shipyard in Zwijndrecht in the Netherlands. Photo by Guy Fleury.
Oceanco Yachts: Behind The Builder
Oceanco Yachts specializes in custom private superyachts over 250 feet. The builder has constructed 30 custom superyachts and currently has several more under construction, with the ability to build up to 5 yachts simultaneously. Founded in 1987 by Richard Hein and a group of South African investors, the company is now owned by Mohammed Al Barwani, based in the Sultanate of Oman, who has amassed his fortune through interests in oil, gas, manufacturing and minerals throughout the Middle East, Asian Pacific and Europe.
Jeff Bezos’ Yacht Price: The Cost Of Being #1
Many may wonder what the price of such an extravagant sailing yacht would be, not to mention the cost of ownership. Reportedly the Y721 price was somewhere around $500 million USD, putting her among the most expensive yachts in the world. In order to afford such a huge project, one would clearly have to have very deep pockets, especially since the annual cost of ownership could be 20% of that purchase price. Luckily for Bezos, his trouser pockets are nearly bottomless. According to both Forbes and Bloomberg, he’s currently the second richest individual in the world with an estimated net worth of $170 billion – an amazing accomplishment that Bo Burnham profusely congratulated him for during his Netflix comedy special, Inside.
Bezos’ fortune puts the Blue Origin founder ahead of other billionaires such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison – and just behind Elon Musk in the number one spot. He amassed this astounding sum of money by leading the e-commerce giant Amazon for 27 years (although he stepped down as CEO of the company in July 2021). He’s now the owner of the Washington Post and sits on the board of the Bezos Family Foundation.
YS7521 Support Vessel By Damen
Not only did Bezos reportedly commission the Y721, he also commissioned a 246-foot superyacht support vessel from Damen, known as the YS7512. This boat is designed to assist the Y721 mothership out on the water. Most notably, the Damen support vessel will allow Bezos to land a helicopter. Landing a helicopter on a sailing vessel with masts like the Y721 is not viable. The Damen-built support boat will also carry an assortment of water toys, yacht tenders, fuel and supplies along with 45 staff and crew. She is the only SeaAxe 7512 model from Damen and boasts a top speed of 18 knots along with a maximum range of 5,000 nautical miles.
Bezos is known to be an active philanthropist who donates to cancer research and museums around the world. His work at the Bezos Family Foundation, focuses on early education. The organization is dedicated to “powering the science of learning” through grants and programs aimed at early childhood education, including organizations such as Save The Children, Global Nomads, I-LABS, Students Rebuild, Aspen Challenge, Vroom, Mind In The Making and the National Academy of Sciences, among others.
What About That Flying Fox Boat?
It turns out Bezos was linked (most likely erroneously) to Flying Fox back when German yacht builder Lürssen first began constructing the massive vessel. Later there were supposedly sightings of Bezos onboard the gigantic boat, but the vessel is available for charter, so this wouldn’t in fact mean that he was an owner. It isn’t clear whether or not Bezos was ever really involved with the boat, though it may still be up for debate according to some.
The lavish gigayacht Flying Fox has been referred to as “Disneyland for adults,” because it is fitted with every toy and leisure experience imaginable. The pleasure vessel is worth $650,000,000 and is touted the 16th longest superyacht and 14th largest in the world, dwarfing neighboring boats in the port. The boat has eleven private cabins complete with private sea terraces that can accommodate up to 25 passengers and a crew of 55.
The Flying Fox in Ibiza. Lurssen’s colossal superyacht ‘The Flying Fox’ is 440 feet in length. Image credit: Tom Drust. A Cross-wiki upload from de.wikipedia.org
Who Built The Flying Fox Yacht?
Lürssen designed and constructed the gigayacht. This German shipbuilding company is responsible for producing some of the most iconic and luxurious yachts in the world, including Rising Sun, Octopus, Amastasia, Aurora and many more.
Espen Oeino designed the Flying Fox’s exteriors. Curved lines echo throughout and provide a sense of fluidity, congruous with the ocean. There is a distinct synergy with the exterior and interiors. Mark Berryman styled the interiors in a turquoise and ivory colour palette, using lustrous fabrics to provide a sense of luxury and tranquillity. The soft, rounded furniture reinforces the sinuous, tidal formations of the exterior. The extensive use of glass, mixed with open and stunning double space provides a sense of space and light, which is key for life onboard a boat.
Does Jeff Bezos Own the Flying Fox?
As stated above, although the media have reportedly claimed her as “Jeff Bezos’ yacht”, Amazon released a statement denying his involvement. It seems the Flying Fox may be one thing that Jeff Bezos doesn’t actually own (yet). The superyacht industry is often opaque, offering celebrity yacht owners total privacy, with many superyacht owners choosing to remain anonymous. The owner of this superyacht continues to be shrouded in mystery, but one thing we do know is that wellness and watersports are central to the design revealing a few clues about the owners interests.
Flying Fox: Disneyland For Adults
The stern features a 12-meter swimming pool area, perfect for on the main deck to launch seven guest tenders. There are also two large helipads and large sea terraces and swimming platforms for watersports. Guests have the choice of nine tenders available to choose from, including a custom 12.5 meter enclosed limo to roll out when you reach land, and a 10.5-meter beach landing craft. Water toys to the range include jet skis, sea bobs, underwater sea scooters and many more.
Guests have the choice of nine tenders to launch from the swim platform of the Flying Fox. A Triton submarine 3300/6 is the celebrity superyacht owners go-to toy of choice.
The vessel’s main interior area, a spacious two-floor saloon, lies on the bridge deck, fitted with a wood fireplace, dining table for 24 people and a cinema. The large sundeck converts into a dance floor in the evenings lit up by LED lights, where guests can trip the light fantastic until sunrise.
Deep relaxation takes place on the double-deck on the lower level, where guests can use the spa complete with a large jacuzzi, sauna, hammam, gym and a massage area. Every tiny detail has been considered, in the relaxation room there are heated floors to the fold-down balcony at sea level where you can be entirely engulfed by seawater. The spa measures 4,300 square feet and connects to the sea-lounge and access to the sea through the dive centre and sea platforms.
Living up to her name, Flying Fox boasts a powerful 12,000 horsepower thanks to twin MTU engines with 6,000 horsepower each. Her maximum speed is 20 knots, perfect for bopping around the Seven Seas.
How Much Does It Cost to Charter Flying Fox?
You can buy into a slice of a celebrity lifestyle by charting the superyacht Flying Fox from Imperial. Costs to charter her start at $3.5 million per week.
Update, February 2022
Above: The Koningshaven Bridge in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, an area that is home to Europe’s largest seaport and a number of superyacht builders, including nearby Oceanco.
News has broken that Rotterdam, the second largest city and municipality in the Netherlands in Holland, has agreed to dismantle (temporarily) a section of the historic Koningshaven Bridge, known locally as the “De Hef” bridge, in order to make room for Jeff Bezos’ yacht the Y721 to pass through the waterway from the Oceanco shipyard on her way to the sea. Apparently many of the locals are upset by this, with various news agencies reporting there is a movement to throw eggs at the yacht as it goes by.
Rotterdam is considered one of the marine industry capitals of Europe as it is home to the largest seaport in Europe and the nearby shipyards employ many workers in the yacht building industry, where some of the largest superyachts in the world are constructed.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2021 and last updated on February 4, 2022. As this is an evolving story, we will update it regularly to reflect the yacht’s launch and career at sea.