The Malibu Super Yacht Playground

Brian Merrick | June 8, 2022

(The Super Yacht, "The Motor Yacht A", anchored off of Surfrider Beach in Malibu is owned by Russian Oligarch Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko.)

Carbon Beach and The Malibu Colony are two of the most exclusive and expensive real estate locations in Malibu.  It is no coincidence that some of the world’s biggest and most famous super yachts have anchored off these beaches over the years.  Long known as "Billionaires Beach” and “The Movie Colony” these two Malibu beaches have been the playground of the rich and famous and lately their toys have been on full display.  A superyacht is considered the most effective tool for the ultra-rich to show off their wealth and status. 

The Motor Yacht A

First up is the Motor Yacht A, a super yacht owned by   Andrey Melnichenko, a Russian oligarch and is said to be worth $300 Million.  This was the first super yacht to anchor off the Malibu coast.  The Motor Yacht A is designed by Philippe Starck. It was built by the Blohm + Voss shipyard at the HDW deepwater facility in Kiel. It was ordered in November 2004, and delivered in 2008 at a cost of US$300 million. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine the Motor Yacht A went into hiding to prevent it from being seized by authorities.  The Motor Yacht A was last detected in the waters of the Indian Ocean near Male, Maldives in the first week of March. However, the superyacht suddenly stopped broadcasting its location on March 10 and its location has remained a mystery ever since.  That is until until June 2 when the  367-foot, $300 million Motor Yacht A was discovered hidden in a creek in Ras al-Khaimah, located in the northern part of the United Arab Emirates.  The UAE has remained neutral during Russia’s war on Ukraine and has not issued any sanctions on Russia or Russian citizens, like Western countries. As a result, some oligarchs are putting their assets in the country to avoid seizure.  Melnichenko’s other yacht, a $600 million vessel called Sailing Yacht A, was seized by Italian authorities earlier this year.

The Luna

The next Superyacht to make an appearance in the waters off Malibu was the Luna, owned by another Russian oligarch, Farkhad Akhmedov.  The Luna is the world's second-largest expedition yacht at 375 feet and is valued at $460 million.  The Luna was built in 2010 by Lloyd Werft in Germany.  The vessel has 10 VIP staterooms, a 66 foot swimming pool, two helipads, and its own mini submarine. The Luna was seized by Germany in May of 2022 along with two other superyachts.

The Octopus

Not all Superyachts are Russian owned.  Another superyacht to anchor off Malibu is the Octopus, owned by Microsoft Billionaire Paul Allen.  Not to be outdone by the Luna the Octopus is the world's largest explorer superyacht at 414 feet and a nautical range of 12500 miles.  Octopus's exterior was designed by Espen Øino Naval Architects and built by the German shipbuilders Lürssen  The Octopus has 13 staterooms, pool, two submarines, 63 crew members, two helipads, movie cinema, gym, basketball court, and 7 tender vessels. Allen lent the Octopus out for research operations and deep sea exploration including the locating and retrieving articles from World War ll sunken ships.  Paul Allen passed away in 2018 and the Octopus was sold in 2021 in the range of $235 Million. The vessel is now available for charters.   If you have $2.2 million for a vacation you can currently spend a week on the Octopus in Antarctica

USS John Paul Jones                                                                      USS Lake Champlain

Finally, you do not need to be mega wealthy to anchor off Malibu.  You can be the US Navy.  As part of Navy Fleet Week in Malibu there has been two such ships anchored off the shore of Malibu.  The USS  John Paul Jones a guided missile  Destroyer anchored off of Malibu for the annual Fleet Week celebration in 2011.   The John Paul Jones was commissioned in 1993 and is 505 feet long.   The John Paul Jones is also a movie star having been in the Hollywood film, Battleship.   As part of the 2019 Navy Fleet week the coast of Malibu had the pleasure of hosting the USS Lake Champlain, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser.  The Lake Chaplain is 567 feet and was commissioned in 1988.  I was lucky enough to tour both these ships when they came to town. 

All of the photos in this blog were taken by Brian Merrick from different vantage points throughout Malibu. 

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