Rumors and Ruminations Over Feadship’s Largest Yacht

  Feadship’s Royal De Vries yard quietly launched the 88-meter (288-foot) Musashi about two weeks ago, and since then yacht watchers and various websites have been speculating over the owner’s identity. The chatter is partly d...

15th August 2010.
By Diane Byrne

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Feadship’s Royal De Vries yard quietly launched the 88-meter (288-foot) Musashi about two weeks ago, and since then yacht watchers and various websites have been speculating over the owner’s identity. The chatter is partly driven by the facts that this is the largest Feadship to date and, according to some, its most expensive.

We’ll leave the debate of size vs. cost to someone else… but further chatter centers on the identity of the owner—a guessing game that is pretty amusing, since most of the guesses come down to one of two people.

Rumor has it that the owner is a repeat client. That’s one reason why some folks believe Paul Allen commissioned Musashi. The Microsoft millionaire, sports-team owner, and general genius has owned a handful of other superyachts over the years, so it’s not a big leap in logic to think he might enjoy the build process again. And as some websites have pointed out, Allen does happen to have one of his yachts, Tatoosh, for sale.

But other people believe the owner is Roman Abramovich—because, after all, pretty much every mega-size megayacht being built these days is automatically ascribed to him. (JamesList, one website that joined in the guessing game, even got creative in its headline regarding the launch and Abramovich’s alleged ownership: “Roman Holiday? Feadship Launches Largest Yacht Ever.”) Abramovich also happens to be a previous Feadship client, but that tends to get overshadowed by the sheer sizes of his other yachts.

The most amusing part of the whole guessing game is that a quick Google search would have led them to believe what I do: that the owner is Larry Ellison. Why? “Musashi” is a Japanese name, and Ellison is well-known for his love of Japanese culture. Musashi was the name of several significant things in Japanese history, it turns out. It’s a former Japanese province which today encompasses Tokyo. A Japanese battleship from World War II was christened with the same name, for that province. And Miyamoto Musashi was a famed samurai born in the 16th century. Put these together with some facts that Ellison himself revealed in recent years, and the conclusion seems further confirmed. Ellison said that he had commissioned a new yacht (though he didn’t mention the builder) and that she’d be smaller than Rising Sun, allowing him to pull into Monaco’s Port Hercule.

The slick video production here is just one of a handful on YouTube showcasing Musashi’s modern profile, the latter from De Voogt Naval Architects. Enjoy the view. Even if all of us are still wrong, what’s certain is that Musashi bears some pretty powerful looks.


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Diane Byrne

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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.
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