Steve Jobs's yacht impounded as designer presents €3m bill


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The Independent Online

A gleaming minimalist super-yatch built for the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has been impounded in Amsterdam amid what was said to be a dispute over an upaid bill to the  designer Philippe Starck.

Mr Jobs, whose penchant for austere design was evident in the series of iPods, Macbooks and iPads he brought to market while at the helm of the Californian tech giant, never had the chance to use the yacht, which is called Venus and reportedly cost more than €100m (£80m) to build. The Apple boss, who died last year, commissioned Mr Starck, the French designer known for his sleek constructions, to design the vessel. He is said to have collaborated on fashioning the boat, which is clad in a gleaming white in keeping with the Apple products launched by Mr Jobs.

But now the boat is at the centre of controversy after a lawyer representing Mr Starck’s firm, Ubik, has stepped into have it impounded, saying the designer had only received €6m out of the €9m due to him for his work. He is now seeking to recover the remainder, the lawyer, Roelant Klaassen, said after the vessel was impounded at an Amsterdam port on Wednesday.

“The project has been going since 2007, and there has been a lot of detailed talk between Jobs and Starck,” Mr Klaassen told the Reuters news agency. “These guys trusted each other, so there wasn’t a very detailed contract.”

The local Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, meanwhile, reported that Mr Starck’s firm had hired a debt collection agency to recover its dues. According to a Port of Amsterdam spokesman, the ship has been in the harbour since 8 December. The spokesman, Jeroen Ranzijin, said it would not leave until the civil dispute is resolved.