Meet Steve Jobs's iYacht

The late Apple CEO’s personal super-yacht is every bit an Apple release: sleek, white and shrouded in secrecy.


(Photo: Albert van Dijk)

One year after Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs died, the world saw one of his last passion projects quietly launched in the Dutch shipyard of custom yacht builder Feadship.

On Oct. 28, unofficial photos and video surfaced online of the 78.2-metre, all-aluminum custom yacht, called Venus—after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. It emerged looking every bit the iYacht: sleek, white and characteristically minimalist. According to a description of the plans in Jobs’s biography, released shortly after the CEO’s death, the vessel was also to feature “perfectly flat and unblemished” teak decks and 40-foot-long, 10-foot-high glass walls in the main living area. Jobs tasked the chief engineer behind Apple’s retail stores to find the special glass that could provide the required structural support.

Designer Philippe Starck, who until now has said little of the project, issued a statement saying that Jobs first approached him to design a boat in 2007. “The project never changed during the process of five years dedicated to a rigorous work on details, driven by the famous eye and genius of Steve Jobs.”

Jobs also admitted to his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he may not live to see it finished. “I know that it’s possible I will die and leave [my wife] Laurene with a half-built boat,” he said. “But I have to keep going on it. If I don’t, it’s an admission that I’m about to die.”

The yacht is one of two major design projects Jobs left behind, the other being Apple’s new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Construction on that is expected to start early next year, with its doors slated to open in 2015.