A superyacht that costs $274,000 a week to hire is being renovated in Auckland.

The Ethereal, owned by American couple Bill and Shannon Joy, is understood to have cost more than $60 million to build. Mr Joy made his money as co-founder of IT firm Sun Microsystems.

The yacht, designed by New Zealander Ron Holland, was built to be the most eco-friendly yacht afloat. It is wind-powered and when there is no wind the propellers are driven by a hybrid of diesel and electric motors that move the boat, power household items and recharge the batteries at the same time.

It is at the Orams marina in Westhaven for a renovation.


In 2011, Mr and Mrs Joy received the Perseus Award for their contribution to marine wildlife conservation. Mrs Joy recently joined the board of WildAid, a San Francisco-based charity that works to stop the trade in endangered animal parts.

She is also director of the Joy Family Foundation, whose focus is the protection of marine ecosystems.

* Custom-built for its eco-minded owners Bill and Shannon Joy in 2009.
* 58m long, can carry up to 10 guests and 12 crew.
* Has two luxurious seating areas, including hammocks on the top deck, with three double bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a music room.
* Can be hired for $274,000 a week.