It’s unclear what billionaire Jeff Bezos will do with his superyacht that’s currently being built. The boat is stuck where it’s being constructed in Rotterdam, The Netherlands as it’s too large to fit under a historic bridge and the company building the boat no longer wants the bridge to be dismantled. So could it be left there to rot?
Earlier this year in February, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the second-richest person in the world (Elon Musk is first, in case you’re wondering), asked the Rotterdam council to dismantle a historic bridge so his superyacht can get through once it’s built.
Oceanco – the Dutch firm that’s building Bezos’ superyacht – also, alongside Bezos in February, requested that the bridge, called The Koningshavenbrug and known to locals as De Hef, be temporarily dismantled.
However, according to The Independent, after severe backlash and threats of a paintball and egg-throwing protest, Oceanco no longer wants the De Huf to be dismantled. In fact, Rotterdam city officials announced that Oceanco has “informed the municipality that it is cancelling its current logistical plans.”
But back in February, the project leader on Bezos’ superyacht construction, Marcel Walravens said it wouldn’t be practical to finish the project elsewhere which is why he, Oceanco and Bezos initially agreed that the De Huf needed to be dismantled rather than moving the superyacht prior to its completion.
“If you carry out a big job somewhere, you want all your tools in that place. Otherwise, you have to go back and forth constantly. In addition, this is such a large project that there are hardly any locations where this work is finished.”Marcel Walravens
Walravens also told DutchNews.nl in February that dismantling “the middle section” of the De Huf once Bezos’ superyacht is built and ready for open waters is the only way the superyacht will be able to get out.
“It is about a ship with high masts which cannot pass through the bridge. The only alternative is to take out the middle section.”Marcel Walravens
Clearly, Walravens and Oceanco have changed their tunes but how will they and Bezos now get the superyacht out? Surely, Bezos and Oceanco won’t just abandon the superyacht, which is 125+ meters long and named Y721, half-built at the construction site? Bezos did pay a whopping US$500 million for it after all.
Although, as US$500 million is only 0.4% of Bezos’ net worth – which is currently US$135.3 billion – it would be disappointing, but not totally surprising if the Y721 ends up going to waste. As the Dutch say, ‘Geld moet rollen’ (money’s there to be spent).