World’s 100 Largest Yachts 2008 (State-Owned) #6: Ocean Breeze
#6: OCEAN BREEZE—269'2"
Oh boy, where do we start with this yacht's saga? Ocean Breeze has been the subject of a court battle for the better part of this year. The Iraqi government insists an illegal transfer of ownership took place and that the yacht should be handed over, while another party says this is ridiculous and maintains it has the right to sell her. The late Saddam Hussein commissioned the yacht as Qadissivat Saddam, but he had her delivered to the Saudi royal family, as popular belief goes, because he wanted them to keep her safe in case anything ever happened to Al Mansur (which was bombed into oblivion by the Coalition of the Willing two years ago), a 350-footer he used. Qadissivat Saddam therefore remained in Saudi Arabia for many years, registered as Al Yamamah. At some point, perhaps within the past year, ownership transferred to King Abdullah of Jordan—and therein lies the point of contention. The Iraqi government says ownership never officially transferred out of its hands, even when the Saudis had the yacht, and filed a motion to block the sale in late January in French court (the yacht has been sitting in Nice). According to several news reports, court documents show the seller is Sudeley Limited, a Cayman Islands company partly owned by King Abdullah. The court agreed with the Iraqis, stating that Sudeley failed to produce documentation proving ownership. An appeals court backed the decision last spring, but Sudeley was granted a delay for a final decision until November.
Y: 1981; B: Helsingor Vaerft, Denmark; N: builder; H: steel; E: 2/3,000-hp MTUs
This article originally appeared in the August 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.