Steve Jobs' Megayacht, In His Own Words

Posted by By Darrell Nicholson at 11:24AM - Comments: (4)

After much persistent and gentle prodding of management, Practical Sailor converted to Macs last year. So, like millions around the world who rely on Apple magic to make it through the workday—not to mention our iPad-fueled weekends on the water—we were deeply saddened by the loss of Steve Jobs, the genius behind Apple Inc. who died Oct. 5.


One of the items of interest revealed in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs was that he had been  involved in the design of his custom 245-foot megayacht to be built by Feadship in the Netherlands. Isaacson’s book, “Steve Jobs,” initially set for release in late November, went on sale Oct. 24. I haven't yet found much detail on the yacht, but it’s a good bet that most, if not all of the systems, could be monitored and controlled from an iPad, or a similar device still in development. Having little more than Isaacson’s discussion to go on, I’ve tried to imagine—using Steve Jobs’ own words—how the design might have evolved.

Steve Jobs: What’s taking so long? What’s the problem?

Feadship: Nothing major, Steve. Look, with the amount of money you’re putting into this project, it’s nothing we can’t solve.

Steve Jobs: It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.

Feadship: There are a couple of things to sort out. How many heads do you want on the boat? Right now, we’ve got eleven, including one for the crew.

Steve Jobs: Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.

Feadship: All the changes you are suggesting are going to push this project over budget.

Steve Jobs: Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.

Feadship: Monique, our interior designer, wondered if you want curtains for the master berth, or that new tint-shifting glass. She has picked this nice burgundy fabric...

Steve Jobs: In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains or the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.

Feadship: Do you have to be so hard on everyone?

Steve Jobs: My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.

Feadship: It’s just that Monique—that’s the designer—is scared to death what you’ll think about these curtains.

Steve Jobs: Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Feadship: Got it. Tint-shifting glass it is. Anything else?

Steve Jobs: Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Feadship: This reminds me. We’ve got this engineer who’s kind of quirky . . . and brash. He insisted that I send you his ideas for the nav station. If you ask me, he’s a bit of a misfit on this project.

Steve Jobs: Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes … the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things … they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Feadship: He also mentioned that you wanted a titanium bow. What’s that all about?

Steve Jobs: I want to put a ding in the universe.

Feadship: Another one?

Steve Jobs: I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

(For more classic Steve Jobs quotes, see the collection of quotes on


Comments (4)

Alas, my daughter has had to slog through Microsoft/Intel products. I know, I know: I am a failed, perverse parent and she is condemned to the limbo of ill-designed tools. No titanium, no shiny surfaces, no mostly intuitive interfaces. My gawd, the garbage she has had to persevere through! She has even had to learn something about the underlying technology! Heaven forbid!

What is to become of her? I daren't imagine. From colic prone infant to teenage delinquent to crack whore, the downward spiral seems unstoppable.

Oh, wait. She's dean's list, Presidential Ambassador, has a work/study job, runs a marine museum sailing school on summer vacations & an all around sweetheart. Still young, no cha-chings in the I Make Big Bucks Category. While she doesn't yet own a Lamborghini I'm thinking she'll get where she needs to go.(Maybe I should buy a new one and give her a hand-me-down?)

Oddly, I believe in her, NOT the technology she wields.

Nothing wrong with Mr. Jobs, really, but the Cult of Saint Steve is, well, a tad stinky & over the top. Very Californian, very trendy, very Cult of Personality. Cranky swamp Yankee, I tend to want to fix -- or at least know how to -- my own damn 50 year old one-lunger.

A ONE button mouse? For all five of my fingers? Puuuhleeese!

Posted by: Jeffrey S | November 2, 2011 7:43 PM    Report this comment

This article begs for a picture! Perhaps a full pictorial...

Posted by: HisStoryUn | November 2, 2011 5:17 PM    Report this comment

Long ago when my daughter Megan was only 5 I did something my father considered off the wall. Having bought one of the first Apple 11e's, I purchased her a MAC with printer. It was hard to believe then, but after a few short years she became very accomplished doing all sorts of things related to graphic art. When she graduated high school on her way to TCU I gifted her a 9500 Apple. After graduation she went to work in Dallas for a company and spent a few years honing her understanding of the business. She now owns several apples, and with just a few employees, produces for her clients many clients. Without Steve and his fantastic vision my daughter might never have reached the heights of success she currently commands. Like Steve, she had the perserance to achieve but without him leading the way, she might never have been successful.

Posted by: Dove | November 2, 2011 3:42 PM    Report this comment

Any pictures of the boat under construction?

Posted by: drrjv | November 2, 2011 3:29 PM    Report this comment

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