A Closer Look at Billy Joel’s Yacht “Vendetta”

Who knew that legendary musician Billy Joel designed a yacht? “The Piano Man” has written, performed and recorded a large playlist of Top 40 Pop songs since he began his career in the 1970’s. Joel has won 7 Grammy Awards and 3 Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. His prolific and successful career has earned Joel a net worth of $250 million. With estates in Long Island and Palm Beach, it’s no wonder Joel would like to travel the east coast in the comfort of his own yachts. In 2005, Joel helped design the “Vendetta”. The commuter yacht’s purpose was to transport the musician to and from concerts and business engagements in Manhattan to his Long Island estate. Here’s a closer look at Billy Joel’s yacht “Vendetta”.

Billy Joel’s Love of Yachts and Design

Billy Joel was born in The Bronx 1949. He learned to play the piano at just 4 years old playing classical pieces. His ear for music and playing the piano led him to become a piano bar player to help make extra money for the family. Joel’s talents playing the piano and writing music helped launch is career in the early 1970’s. He is one of the most commercially successful solo artists having sold Top 40 records throughout the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s.

It’s not surprising that Billy Joel, who’s lived on the Long Island Sound throughout his career, would invest his money in boating. He also owns an oceanfront estate in Palm Beach, Florida. It’s believed that Joel owned as many as 5 boats at one time including the explorer yacht “Audacious” and the custom-designed Shelter Island “Roundabout” to shuttle the musician to concerts in Manhattan. Joel worked with Doug Zurn of Zurn Yacht Design to create “Roundabout” which was a classic style teak 38-foot yacht that could shuttle him around Long Island Sound and to and from Manhattan with speed and comfort. Needing a larger yacht to shuttle him back and forth, Joel worked with Zurn again to design the larger Vendetta.

Zurn Yacht Design

Zurn Yacht Design is based in Massachusetts. The company is known for recreating classic yacht designs with modern technology and amenities. Joel worked again with Doug Zurn to create a larger, sleeker yacht that was reminiscent of the classic commuter yachts of Long Island Sound in the 1920’s. The result was the “Vendetta” launched in 2005 and valued at $1.3 million. It was a yacht that could shuttle Joel comfortably and safely between his Long Island estate and New York City ad could be sailed on the Long Island sound and along the eastern coast. “Vendetta” was built by Coecles Harbor Marino at Dorecktor Shipyards in Shelter Island, New York.


“Vendetta” is designed to look like the classic gentlemen’s yachts that sailed between Manhattan and Long Island in the 1920’s. These striking yachts were designed for speed and comfort as they carried wealthy financiers from their Long Island homes down the Hudson River and into Manhattan for work. As a lover of the classic yachts, Billy Joel felt this would be the perfect vehicle to help him commute from his Long Island estate into the city for business and concerts. This way he could comfortably sail on the fast moving yacht and avoid road traffic into Manhattan.

The “Vaedetta’s” exterior looks much like the classic commuter yachts of the early twentieth century. It’s sophisticated looking and features bold black, gold and red paint. It’s also built to be comfort, sleek and fast, more so than its predecessors. “Vendetta” weighs much less than yachts its size. It is lightweight because of its hull has a foam core layered with hybrid Kevlar. The ship is 57 feet long with a 15 foot beam. It has 2 powerful 1300 HP diesel engines encased in a soundproof engine room to lessen the noise when it reaches higher speeds. The “Vendetta” has a cruising speed of 41 knots and a maximum speed of 47 knots. It offers a smooth ride through the choppy Long Island Sound and through the Hell’s Gate, the East River’s narrow tidal strait.


The roomy and comfortable interior of “Vendetta” help transition the yacht’s classic early twentieth-century exterior into the a modern yacht. The interior of “Vendetta” does continue the look of a classic commuter yacht but has convenient modern amenities and a larger space to help provide a comfortable commute to the city or a leisurely sail along the eastern coast. The cockpit is spacious. There is comfortable seating for 6 including the captain. There are four low backed single seats and a twin bench seat. Below deck features a single private door which leads to an ample seating area. Aft there is a small galley and dining table. Forward are two settee bunks. There is baggage storage space above and outboard. The interior features plenty of natural light and air conditioning. “Vendetta” has a custom Raymarine electronics system.

Donated Use to The International Seakeepers Society

In 2016 Billy Joel put “Vendetta” up for sale at the Palm Beach Yacht Sale. He changed his mind about selling the commuter yacht, however, when he learned of The International Seakeepers Society. The organization was founded in 1998 and promotes ocenographic research and conservation. The Seakeepers Society also promotes education. Joel decided to donate his $1.3 million “Vendetta” to the organization later in 2016.

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