The £3 billion golden superyacht: real or fake?

MBY has some serious doubts about the latest superyacht making the news

Behold, the 3 billion ($4.88 billion) superyacht! At least that’s what Liverpool company Stuart Hughes claims this to be – a 100ft, Italian-built Baia 100 customised with 100,000kg – yes, 100 metric tons – of gold and diamonds.

That’s the boast from the company, and it’s one that has been reproduced in the pages of national newspapers such as the Daily Mail, Metro, and The Sun, and pretty much everywhere else; all articles clearly born from the same press release.


Stuart Hughes specialises in the customisation of luxury

items, such as peppering iProducts with diamonds and encasing phones in gold.

So on the face of it, the prospect of him doing the same with a motor yacht clearly didn’t seem all that outlandish to the world’s press.

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But something about the story didn’t sit right with MBY. Perhaps

it was because the buyer was named only as an “anonymous Malaysian businessman”. Or maybe it was because, according to Forbes, only three people in Malaysia have the kind of cash to buy such a boat, and one of them is discounted because she’s a woman.

The two remaining could have been the buyer, both being “businessmen”, but to do so they would have had to depart with such a massive chunk of their wealth as to make the purchase of a 100ft, golden-hulled, diamond-encrusted motor boat a very strange decision, especially for men aged 72 and 87 – hardly ages where bling is your priority.

Then there’s the fact that by adding 100 metric tons to the craft’s original 80-ton weight, it would be sitting so low in the water (or more likely under it) so as to make it unusable. Renowned motor boat designer Bernard Olesinski even went as far as to say there was only a “1% chance” of the boat being viable.

But Stuart Hughes said the boat was commissioned for display purposes, and will be kept in dry dock – so we suppose that does away with any doubts about the boat’s seakeeping.

The images sent round to show off the boat troubled us as well – primarily because they’ve been taken from the Baia Yachts website and photoshopped to look gold. More dubious still was the claim that the boat housed a statue made from the bone of a T Rex, but perhaps such items are readily available to “anonymous Malaysian businessmen”.

Other niggling doubts concern the fact that it’s not that easy to buy 100 tons of gold and diamonds, and that if you do, someone will notice, as well as the fact that this single boat supposedly contains three

times as much gold as sits in the vaults of Malaysia’s central bank

And finally there’s the name – History Supreme. In

the history of boats, has there ever been a name so supremely bad?

We had hoped to put all these doubts to Stuart Hughes, but despite emails and a message being left with the company, no one has returned our calls.

But perhaps we’re just a little too sceptical for our own

good. Maybe there really is a £3 billion, 180-ton, 100ft Baia out there

belonging to a man who’s just spent half his wealth on it, customised by a small Liverpool company with three times as much gold as Malaysia owns, and destined forever to sit in a dry dock as sailing it would be hazardous to your health.

We await a confirmation from Stuart Hughes, and are happy to eat our hats if our doubts are misplaced…

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