Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, his wife Cherie, and rock star Bono cruised together aboard this yacht late last summer, at the invitation of her owner, French luxury goods billionaire Bernard Arnault. Amadeus was originally a research vessel and converted over the course of two years.
Y: 1969/2007; B: Neue Jadewerft, Germany/Jade Yachts, Taiwan; N: Vripack Naval Architects and Reymond Langton Design (conversion); H: steel; E: 2/1,850-hp Caterpillars
It's hard to pick a proper launch date for Amadeus. Was it in 2008 when she made her formal debut as a yacht? Then again, perhaps it was back in the '60's when the icebreaker hull that she's built on first entered the Atlantic. No matter what date you choose, there is little left of the original ship except for her hull, rudderpost, and single-screw setup. The boat's new life of catering to big-name clientele was made possible with a laundry list of upgrades.
One of the coolest is a special digital propulsion-control system called D-MaC, from Prime Mover Controls of Vancouver, Canada, which aids the captain in maneuvering with only one Vatech Escher Wyss prop. D-MaC links the twin Caterpillars, transmission, and controls. It then graphs factors like rpm, pitch, load, and other system variables on its display screens so that the crew can fine-tune her performance and provide a smooth ride. It'll sure help if she chooses to beat through any ice.—Capt. Grant Rafter
This article originally appeared in the August 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.