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Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Reportedly Building $500m Sailing Yacht

By: Scott Way

The Black Pearl by Oceanco Yachts
The similarly designed 350 ft Black Pearl by Oceanco Yachts

When the superyacht you ordered requires a 'support yacht' with its own helipad, you know you're living the prime life. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has finally been linked to the mysterious superyacht Project 721 currently under construction by Oceanco in the Netherlands.

For a guy who insisted on driving a rundown Honda Accord during Amazon's formative years, Bezos has evidently developed an affinity for the finer things. With his wealth jumping by $75 billion in 2020 alone, the new vessel is a testament to what's possible with a sailing yacht. While the order was placed long before his recent windfall, it carries a length of 417 feet (127 m), has three masts, and at least 3 decks. The most notable feature is that it does not have a helipad -- because of the masts -- so a secondary 246 foot (75 m) 'support yacht' will be constructed with its own helipad to support the main ship.

This isn't the first time Bezos has been suspected as the owner of a superyacht. In 2019, the Flying Fox was spotted publicly for the first time and many suspected Bezos was its mysterious owner. As it turns out, the megayacht is owned by a friend of the Amazon founder, and Bezos was only captured vacationing on the ship with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez. After a taste of the yachting life, evidently he decided it was better to own than to rent.

Not much is known about the current build, aside from its length and several photos showing it under construction in a Dutch shipyard. Choosing Oceanco as the builder is a wise choice considering the company built the similarly shaped Black Pearl, an award-winning 350 foot three masted sailing yacht, for Russian billionaire Oleg Burlakov. Oceanco also built the Bravo Eugenia for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, which carries a similar shape and design to the Bezos build. Once completed, Project 721 will be the second largest sailing yacht in the world behind only the 469 foot Sailing Yacht A owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko.

For some (unusual) perspective, the $500 million Bezos-mobile doesn't even crack the Top 3 in superyachts. Russian businessman Roman Abramovich has the world's most expensive superyacht, the Eclipse, worth an astounding $1.5 billion. The 533 foot vessel has two helipads, a mini submarine, 24 cabins, and a dance hall. It also has an intruder detection missile system, armor plating, bulletproof windows, and motion sensors for the security conscious. Then there's the Azzam, built for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi’s royal family. It is the longest superyacht in the world at a modest 591 feet and cost a reported $600 million to build. The Azzam has accommodations for 36 guests and 80 crew and has a gym, a pool, and a 'golf training room.' And then there's The Streets of Monaco superyacht, which is a floating replica of the famous French city. The $1 billion, 508 foot aquatic metropolis includes scaled-down landmarks of the real Monaco including the Hotel de Paris and the Monaco Casino, as well as an atrium, waterfall, and racetrack.

Despite the impressive nature of Project 721, it will be a while before sea trials. Dutch Yachting captured the beginnings of the three-part hull for Y721 under construction in February, and there is still some work to be done.

Now, full disclosure: there is still not a verified connection between Bezos and Project 721. It certainly appears to be the case, but Oceanco is declining to comment, for obvious reasons. The vessel will not be complete until 2022 at the earliest, so confirmation is likely coming. Someone will surely notice if it docks in Seattle next to Amazon HQ. There is also no word on what the yacht will be called, but if Bezos is indeed the owner we'd like to nominate Primetime for the title.

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