|Nipped in the Bud|
Michael Peters Yacht Design
By George L. Petrie — February 2003
Not as mysterious, but equally bizarre, was Michael Peters' recounting of a design he did for the Sultan of Johor. It seems that the Sultan's prior yacht, Bonita (sistership to the renowned Moonraker), had been struck by lightning, and being built of fiberglass over foam core, she quickly burned to the waterline. As a replacement, the Sultan wanted a 132-foot aluminum yacht with a guaranteed speed of 50 knots.
There ensued a worldwide design competition involving at least ten shipyards and ten designers. The finalists chosen for the contract award were the Abeking & Rasmussen shipyard teamed with Michael Peters Yacht Design. An extensive series of scale model tests had given Peters a high degree of confidence in his design, which was to be powered by three 3,600-hp diesels, each spinning a high output KaMeWa waterjet. The projected cost (four years ago) was about $20 million.
Peters was invited to the Sultan's palace to make the final presentation prior to the contract. In front of 200 guards armed with machine guns, he assured the Sultan that the yacht would make her guaranteed speed. It seemed like the project was in the bag.
And suddenly, the Malaysian government changed, and the country slipped into turmoil. Others in the royal family opined that the Sultan's purchase would not be politically correct at a time when his country was suffering so greatly. So the project was cancelled and is now memorialized as the final anecdote in our quartet of yacht designs that never came to fruition.
Michael Peters Yacht Design Phone: (941) 955-5460. www.mpyd.net.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.