Apple Prefers Aluminum – Or At Least Steve Jobs Did

2017-01-26T23:37:31+00:00October 30th, 2012|

Apple co-founder is a lot of things to a lot of people. Everyone can agree he was a visionary in technology, but he was apparently forward-thinking about other things — such as yacht materials.

Jobs’official biography noted that he spent a big part of his final years focused on designing a yacht to take his family around the world. And just about a year following Jobs’ passing, the yacht was completed in a Dutch shipyard. From arstechnica:

“According to biographer Walter Isaacson, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs spent the last several years of his life designing a custom yacht with an ultralight aluminum hull so his family could sail around the world together. Just over a year after Jobs’ death, the boat, dubbed “Venus,” was christened on Sunday in the Dutch shipyard where it was built.”

An “ultralight aluminum hull” is, to say the least, not very common among yachts. Yachting Magazine notes that a wide range of materials are usually considered for hulls depending on budget and material-property constraints (corrosion, weight, strength, etc.): wood, steel, fiberglass, plastics, and, yes, aluminum.  From Yachting Magazine:

“Aluminum, which is costlier than steel, is very light for its strength. Proper selection of marine alloys is essential; other grades will not stand up in a salt environment. For yacht-grade finishes, application of fairing compound is usually required, and the material is susceptible to corrosion if proper precautions are not taken.”

Yachting Magazine notes that designers often pick and choose a combination of materials to balance the different aforementioned factors. As for Steve Jobs’ yacht? While the design itself hasn’t been publicly discussed, there’s something very, well, Apple about that aluminum hull:

“A tribute to the minimalist design that Jobs championed at Apple (along with SVP of Industrial Design Jony Ive), the all-aluminum hull looks like it could have been carved from a single piece of aluminum, like many of Apple’s computers and mobile products. Other notable features of the finished vessel include smooth, all-teak decks, a rear hatch to launch a separate speed boat when a suitable dock isn’t available to go ashore, and a wheelhouse powered by seven 27″ iMacs.”