in defense of the indefensible

vlad 1

The recently launched White Pearl, which also goes under the name Sailing Yacht A, left nobody indifferent. First of all because of her stupendous size and sheer boldness.  And than of course her styling… Beauty is in the eye of beholder and all that, but nobody would call her beautiful. A flurry of negative comments, from innocently mild to really offensive filled the cyberspace.

I dare to voice a different opinion. Yes, White Pearl is hardly a graceful yacht, but she casts a cohesive, into-your-face image that’s kind of endearing. Today’s sailboat design is sinking in the sea of sameness. It’s hard to tell one boat from another, especially on the mega yacht market. For the marine industry and the sport of sailing to move forward a change is called for – with more forward thinking, bold attitude and courage. White Pearl provides it all in abundance.

It’s not easy to see it through the tall, bulky shape, but the initial idea quite possibly was to re-create an image of a swan gracefully gliding over water…Imagine the original napkin sketch, if you can, with the wing feathers fluffed up, with elegantly tilted neck…

vlad 2Well, there are three necks actually, because the single one had to be too tall and too heavy even if made of carbon. And yet, I could certainly see a very interesting idea underlying the design even if the actual realization of the concept doesn’t show it clearly.

And then there is an additional aspect to this. Like so many other wealthy individuals, the owner could’ve just put his money into another hedge fund, contributing to a next financial bubble, making all of us poorer at the end. Instead he followed his passion and created something unique, if not truly beautiful, providing jobs to hundreds of people in the process. We should applaud that!

In today’s sailboat market over-saturated with look-alike boring designs to me this boat is a bold statement of a prosperous man who can afford to turn his dream into reality and to achieve a truly innovative yacht. Head-turning, no doubt!

Pioneering is never easy and the result is unpredictable. But for all of us to move forward, somebody has to take the lead. I wish this yacht would’ve turned out more elegant. But I also wish there were more people like the White Pearl owner, willing to take risk, to show attitude and courage to do something never done before – and to have enough cash to pay a premium for that!

Vlad Murnikov