Instant Distraction: 'A' Visits Our Harbor And Disrupts My Work

I own a lamp by the same designer who reputedly took only 3.5 hours to sketch a concept of the world's most unusual superyacht.

That man is Frenchman Philippe Starck, and his boat design is sitting in the harbor outside my home office window right now.

Our interisland ferry steams past the $300 million superyacht 'A' in the Wellington harbor outside my window.

His 'Flos Ara' lamp has a place on the side table at the corner of my office lounge suite. And both are stunning examples of extreme and quirky design.

The quirky Philippe Starck lamp in my office.

The Russian-owned yacht, named simply 'A' arrived this morning, and has been a constant distraction to me ever since.

The most recent activity was a few minutes ago when crew members dressed in black - straight out of a Bond movie it seemed - abseiled down the superstructure to clean the yacht with long handled brooms.

This is the way to clean one of the world's most expensive superyachts - by hand. Up to a dozen crew were cleaning the decks and sides of the 'A' this morning while some canoe paddlers circled the boat.

The yacht was completed in 2008 at a cost of US$300 million, and is owned by Russian chemical tycoon Andrey Melnichenko and wife Aleksandra.

The master bedroom which is 2400 square feet.

It is 118m (387 feet) long with a very smooth hull design which leaves almost no wake at 25 knots (46 km/h, 29 mph).

Superyacht 'A' owners Andrey and Aleksandra Melnichenko. Photo: Rex Features

The name 'A' was derived from the initial of its owners Andrey and his wife Aleksandra, but also so that it would always be at the top of any yacht register. That's one-upmanship!

UPDATE: I went to the harbor about an hour ago, and negotiated a cruise round the M/V 'A' from a willing speedboat owner. Here's some more photos from the water.

Approaching the superyacht at speed. It didn't worry them, as we were one of several sightseeing boats circling.

The 'A' is a fortress of a boat with 44 security cameras, over 12 exterior cameras, and a night-vision infrared system.

Twin 24,000 horsepower engines burn through $500,000 worth of diesel with every fill up, giving it a range of 6,500kms.

Mr Melnichenko sued Dulux Paints for $102 million recently when the yacht was not repainted to his standards. The paint company painted the boat again.

Here's the only available views of the superyacht's interior...