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Russian billionaire's (AUD$616m) £360 million superyacht with masts taller than Big Ben undergoes testing in Gibraltar

Mirror logo Mirror 1/05/2017 Scarlet Howes

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited A massive superyacht - with masts taller than Big Ben - is undergoing testing in Gibraltar (British territory in Spain) before it's handed over to its wealthy owner.

The huge AUD$616 million vessel, known as Sailing Yacht A, is said to be 'the world's greatest yacht' according to the Russian billionaire.

Andrey Melnichenko's ship has three 300ft masts, eight floors, a helicopter pad and an underwater observation room.

Pictures taken today show the superyacht in Gibraltan waters, with workers on the decks carrying out tests and inspections.

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Melnichenko hit the headlines back in February when the superyacht was seized by authorities in Gibraltar over a claim about an unsettled bill.

The Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper reported that German shipbuilder Nobiskrug claimed the Russian industrialist owed €15.3m (AUD$22m) in overdue fees for the 143m (469ft) luxury superyacht.

But the vessel was released by by the Gibraltar Port Authority after the two parties reportedly reached a resolution about the claim.

Melnichenko’s custom-built luxury vessel is one of the largest and most advanced superyachts in the world.

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited The company's website says the ship designed by French interior designer Philippe Starck was delivered earlier this month to its client.

As the boat made its way to Spain, Melnichenko’s Project Director, Dirk Kloosterman said: "This has been the most challenging assignment of my career. I am confident Sailing Yacht A will be the world’s greatest yacht in terms of design and technology for the years ahead.

Credits: xxxxxxxxxxx © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: xxxxxxxxxxx © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited "Her beauty is breathtaking, and Philippe Starck's astonishing design and ultimate vision will be the subject of many conversations wherever she travels around the globe. We look forward to the final delivery to the owner."

Melnichenko, who has an estimated net worth of AUD$18.49b, is said to favour using the letter 'A' so that his vessels are listed first in shipping registers.

Superyachtfan.com reports that the boat is powered by a 'hybrid diesel-electric package with controllable pitch propellers,' and is designed to accommodate 20 guests and a crew of 54.

Melnichenko is expected to recover some of the costs by licensing the technology developed for the vessel for commercial applications.

'Sailing Yacht A' is the world's largest sailing ship. © REX 'Sailing Yacht A' is the world's largest sailing ship.

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