A Closer Look at the $300 Million Superyacht Pelorus

Superyacht Pelorus

Lurssen builds some of the most iconic yachts on earth. The Golden Odyssey, for example, is a beautiful superyacht they created, which is believed to belong to Prince Khaled of Saudi Arabia. The stunning light blue details make it instantly identifiable. Perhaps most well known is the Azzam. The 180-meter mega yacht is the largest in the world. Doubtless, if you want an unforgettable sailing experience, Lurssen can help make your dreams come true.

Naming Your Ship

A pelorus is the name of a piece of shipboard equipment that helps take relative bearings on distant objects. The Pelorus, built in 2003 at Lürssen’s Krogerwerft facility, gets its name from the vital tool. Not many yachts are given such practical names; in fact, most are given more fantastic or feminine names. Some ships even get punny names, but the Pelorus is downright scientific. Traditionally, ships were given feminine names. Unlike American English, in most languages, objects, like tools and boats, have gendered names. In the Mediterranean, all ships have been ‘female’ for centuries. This led to many ships getting female names and being called ‘she’ in languages where this isn’t necessarily the case. Just as in English, we call boats ‘she and her,’ despite our gender-neutral forms.

The exact origin of this quirk is unknown, but it’s believed that the association comes from early sailors. Before powered motors and even before the world was known to be a sphere, a sailor might spend months or years onboard before returning home again. Their relationships with the vessels that carried the were often more profound and more significant than their connection to their land-bound sisters, mothers, wives, or daughters. Many sailors, even now still associate ships with women. They believe each has a specific way she prefers to be handled. The ‘personalities’ of the vessels are often compared to female emotions, and though it’s old fashioned and a bit biased, many still hold to the idea that if you don’t treat your ship the way she likes, you’ll suffer her wrath.

Awards & Stats

Not every yacht can be an award-winning superstar in its own right. The sleek and powerful Pelorus won two awards in 2004. She won awards for her decadent interior and one for her overall size category as well.


  • International Superyacht Society Awards 2004
    Best Power 43m+
  • International Superyacht Society Awards 2004
    Best Power Interior

Awards aren’t the only thing that makes this particular yacht so sought after. She has many outstanding qualities. Her designers are internationally known and sought after for their expertise. Tim Heywood drew the working areas and superstructure of this beloved beauty.

The History of the Pelorus

Pelorus has had more owners than most yachts in her short life. We can’t speculate on why any individual would sell such a beautiful ship, but she does get around a lot. The Pelorus has been seen and owned all over the world in her short life. When she was first commissioned, the Pelorus was intended as a replacement for another yacht, the Coral Island. However, the original Saudi Arabian owner didn’t keep her. He decided to sell his beautiful commission, and after several bids, he soon received an offer he couldn’t refuse. The yacht went to Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich who added a second helipad. He had her for three or four years before his circumstances changed. Unfortunately, in 2007, Roman divorced. We don’t know if his ex-wife got the car or the house, but she certainly appears to have gotten the yacht. Pelorus received an update in 2007 and a few years later was resold again.

In May of 2011, David Geffen, the co-founder of Dreamworks, bought her. He enjoyed her very briefly, and the same year passed her on to the royal family of Abu Dhabi. The information on the sale came out as a part of the Panama Papers Leaks. The royals sailed the Pelorus for a further five years before they too sold her. In 2016 Chinese billionaire, Samuel Tak Lee purchased her. He’s had her since that time, but who knows when the flighty Pelorus will move on to her next owner.

Decadence Personified

The inside was the handiwork of Terence Disdale (https://www.superyachts.com/directory-1520/terence-disdale.htm). He gave the Pelorus an owners suite that is entirely private even from the rest of the ship and has a full 180-degree panoramic view. The yacht is decked out (no pun intended) in a very apropos informal beach villa inspired style. Her fun and stylish features make this yacht the perfect vacation destination.

  • Two pools, one with artificial current and the other a spa-pool grace the decks so swimmers can enjoy salt-free ocean swimming. There’s also a relaxing jacuzzi and a swimming platform with underwater lights.
  •  You can work out in the private Gym and then get treated at the spa.
  • Helipads and Elevators mean easy access to the ship and all its areas.
  •  The Beach Club is a great place to have a casual party.
  •  A Dance Floor for formal balls or nightclub action depending on how you want to use them
  •  Take in a show at the private cinema when you get tired of the ocean view (if that’s even possible).

Cabins & Staff

The staff on the Pelorus is rotated in such a way as to keep it constantly running. With quarters for 41 staff and plenty of private cabins, this boat is ready for parties, or events whenever the owner desires. The master suite takes up the top deck, but the VIP suites are also incredible. One of the rooms has a wall that lowers to create a veranda. When you add the eight double suites as well, there are eleven cabins for the owner and guests, and it can accommodate 22 visitors comfortably.


Known for her award-winning proportions and looks as well as her ownership history, here are the details on this lovely custom yacht.

  • Length: 377.30ft /115m
  • Built | Refit: 2003 | 2007
  • Model: Custom
  • Beam: 56.43ft /17.2m
  • Gross Tonnage: 5403 Tonnes
  • Draft: 15.29ft /4.66m
  • Cruising Speed: 17 Knots
  • Top Speed: 20 Knots
  • Range: 6000 Nautical Miles
  • Materials: Steel and Aluminum

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for a truly stunning and acclaimed superyacht, this elegant yet casual ship is probably on many wealthy bucket lists. We can’t say when she’ll next be up for sale, though with the Pelorus’ history it does seem likely that she could be available again soon enough. For now, she’s off the market, but nothing is out of reach if you have the finances. Indeed, if we could dream up a perfect ocean vacation, this would be where we’d want to hang our beach hats this summer.

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