At 394’0″ feet, A is a mega yacht owned by 36-year old Russian Billionaire Andrei Melnichenko. Designed by Philippe Starck, A is reminiscent of a submarine warship. Her unique shape and name has brought A some attention, including being dubbed the “ugliest yacht in the world” by a Wall Street Journal columnist and incurring rebuke from yacht enthusiasts that the design makes this pleasure cruiser look like a “stealth yacht” or naval destroyer. The mega yacht’s name “A” is a tribute to Andrei Melnichenko and his wife Aleksandra Nikolic. A was built to be bigger and more expensive than Pelorus, the pride of Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovich, (owner of the Chelsea Football Club) who has since commissioned a new mega yacht called Eclipse.
A was designed by French designer Philippe Starck and architect Martin Francis. A was built by the same German company that Constructed Battleship Bismarck, the Pride of the Nazi Fleet. A features 2x MAN RK280 diesel engines and a crew of 42. Unlike most yachts, which are built with large hulls capable of supporting multiple spacious decks for lounging, A’s streamline design is mostly enclosed. The aft of the boat supports a three story watch tower with tinted wrap around windows. Due to her knife-like design, A makes almost no splash at 24 knots.
A’s attributes include six guest suites with moving walls to create four larger suites, each with a stainless-steel whirlpool bath. The master bedroom, located at the top of the watchtower, contains an enormous bed that rotates on a turntable for a panoramic view out all the windows. A also contains two swimming pools, a helipad, a hovercraft, a garage, over 100 audio speakers, and more than a dozen plasma TV screens, many of which can be mistaken for mirrors.
In keeping with her outer shape, A’s indoors include doors unlocked by electronic finger pads, spotlights, and motion sensors. Reputedly, Andrei Melnichenko’s wife Aleksandra Nikolic redesigned the interior of A after her wedding, giving the mega yacht leather walls, more practical furniture, and a neutral color pallet more in keeping with a home.
Andrei Melnichenko is a Russian billionaire born in Belarus who founded MDM Bank, one of Russia’s largest banks. Reputedly a math wizard, Andrei Melnichenko has built his fortune by also investing in coal, chemicals and steel companies.
Robert Frank of The Wall Street Journal reviews Andrei Melnichenko’s A.
View a video of Andrei Melnichenko’s A on Technorati.