U2 could own this, at a price

By Andre Hueber

Super yacht Galaxy is believed to be owned by the manager of the rock n roll band U2. Photo / Robert Trathen
Super yacht Galaxy is believed to be owned by the manager of the rock n roll band U2. Photo / Robert Trathen

A superyacht belonging to the manager of rock band U2 has joined a selection of the world's finest vessels in Auckland's Viaduct Harbour.

The 56m long vessel, Galaxy, capable of accommodating 12 guests, can be rented for a paltry $312,000 per week and has a glass lift which acts as an atrium.

It is not clear whether Galaxy is in Auckland for a refit or waiting for owner Paul McGuinness to take it for a ride.

Only metres away sits the Black Pearl, worth in the vicinity of $20 million. It was christened in the Viaduct Harbour yesterday with its unnamed overseas owner "over the moon" with the result.

The 31.5m long-range beauty was custom-built in New Zealand - its hull was constructed in Palmerston North while the fit-out and interior was finished in Whangarei. It has a designer kitchen, slide-away LCD screens and was specifically constructed for the owner's love of fishing, diving and surfing.

Director of Auckland-based Diverse Projects John Vitali, who oversaw construction, said the vessel was the biggest his company had worked on yet. Diverse Projects works from a "virtual shipyard" in Auckland and negotiates with different contractors to arrive at the best prices for individual portions of the yacht.

Black Pearl will undergo vigorous checks at the Viaduct to make sure it is safe and seaworthy, before departing with its owners and a permanent crew of four to Papua New Guinea in three weeks.

Orams Marine Village, where Black Pearl is based, has just received a $1.2m boost from its overseas owners, enabling it to construct a new cradle and slipway.

And in another sign of industry progress, Orams Marine Services has been nominated in the Best Refit category in the 2011 World Superyacht Awards. The nomination was for the refit it finished late last year on the 54m sailing yacht Adele.

Another of the world's top yachts - the 88m megayacht Athena - is undergoing a refit at Orams. Managing director Craig Park said he expected a consistent flow of work leading up to the Rugby World Cup.

- Herald on Sunday

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