When you’re ultra-wealthy, you’re expected to have some expensive toys. The late icon and Apple founder Steve Jobs was no exception. With an estimated net worth of more than $10 billion at the time of his passing, Jobs could certainly afford many items the average person could only dream of. One of his many luxurious possessions was a customized $138 million yacht known as the Venus. It’s extravagant by any measure, even in today’s era of multibillionaire celebrities.
The construction of Steve Jobs’ yacht, the Venus
The Venus is a superyacht built for Jobs by the renowned French architect and designer Philippe Starck. Unlike a standard yacht, a superyacht is known for a high degree of luxury and a length ranging from about 100 to 600 feet. And though Starck is best known for his architecture, he’s also famous for putting his designer stamp on a wide range of items and products. From furniture to glassware, Starck’s prodigious output has also included yachts. Starck was commissioned to build the Venus in 2008 and worked painstakingly with Jobs on the design, The Mercury News reports.
Unfortunately, designing the Venus to spec took four years, with its completion coming after Jobs’ 2011 death. The Venus was launched ceremonially by Jobs’ family in October 2012, shortly before being impounded by French authorities. The Apple founder’s commissioning of the Venus was not in writing, and after his passing, Starck claimed Jobs’ estate owed him approximately $4 million extra for his work on the craft.
Fortunately, the estate and Starck came to a resolution in a matter of days, leaving the Venus free to sail. Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell, owns the yacht and many other assets, making her one of the richest people in the world. According to the Daily Mail, the craft, with Powell aboard, was recently spotted on the French Riviera.
What’s onboard the Venus?
So, what exactly does $138 million buy? Well, the Venus, like most of Jobs’ creations, boasts a fairly minimalist design. The 256-foot superyacht sports a lightweight aluminum hull and, as one might expect, features the latest in Apple technology. It flaunts state-of-the-art Apple navigation systems to help guide it along waterways and other Apple accessories for entertainment and comfort.
The Venus was built according to Jobs’ vision, which Starck describes as including six identical rooms for the crew and family, YachtWorld reports. Jobs also wanted the boat to run silently, which is, by all accounts, how the Apple founder expected his home to be. In addition, the superyacht features a sweeping wooden deck. Forty-foot windows stretch from floor to ceiling, and the vessel is helmed from a 75-foot-long cockpit made of curved glass that’s over two inches thick.
Despite the body being designed per Jobs and Starck’s collaborative vision, the French architect noted that the interior furniture is not. Though Jobs had developed furnishing recommendations, Powell ultimately included the furnishings she wanted after Jobs’ passing. Given the minimal details she has released about the boat, it’s unclear what those are or how they differ from the original plan.
The wealthy and their water toys
Of course, despite the cost, size, and trappings of Jobs’ Venus, it’s far from the only luxurious yacht acquired by a wealthy celebrity or entrepreneur. For example, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal owns a Sunreef 80 Power yacht he commissioned in 2018. The opulent catamaran sports luxurious trappings like a waterfall-fed spa pool and can accommodate 12 guests and four crew members. Though a mere 82 feet long, the yacht has a garage large enough to house a Jet Ski.
Another example: fashion icon Giorgio Armani’s superyacht, Main. This 213-foot yacht is dark green rather than the more conventional gray, making it resemble a military vessel. However, once onboard, passengers won’t mistake it for one. They’ll find amenities such as a full gym and cinema, along with comfortable accommodations for up to 12 people.
Or consider Steven Spielberg’s $160 million 282-footer, the Seven Seas. It also features a gym and cinema, along with a massage room, pool, and spa. In addition, the superyacht includes rooms for 12 guests and a private owner’s deck with a separate pool and study.
Yachts are prized possessions of the ultra-rich, from football Hall of Famer Tom Brady to acclaimed author J.K. Rowling to fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. And though many of these vessels feature customization based on their owners’ preferences, few likely possess the same level of customization as Steve Jobs’ Venus. It’s a shame he never lived to see his creation completed.