Skip to content

No, It’s Not Nemo’s Nautilus

All sorts of vessels transit the waters of San Francisco Bay, but none as unique as Russian gazillionaire Andrey Melnichenko’s 390-ft megayacht simply named A. After a South Pacific tour and a stint in the Northwest this summer, she appeared on the Bay this week, turning heads everywhere she went. 

Looking decidedly Nemo-esque, the megayacht A is one of the most distinctive vessels on the planet. 

© Matthias Kabel

Looking to many like a 21st-century version of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, A is a curiosity wherever she goes. We first saw her last summer in Tahiti, where her brief visit generated a classic anecdote on bureaucracy. The story around Papeete was that Melnichenko and his entourage had planned a lengthy stay in the French Polynesian archipelagos, which undoubtedly would have trickled a boatload of Central Pacific Francs into the territory’s struggling economy — A reportedly chalked up a half-million dollars in fuel cost alone while in Seattle recently. But when authorities learned that Melnichenko‘s wife, Serbian model Aleksandra Nikolic, had a miniature Maltese dog on board, they insisted it be put in quarantine, just as any cruiser’s raggedy mutt would have to be. That unwavering stance was a deal-breaker, so A promptly left, much to the frustration of many Polynesian businessmen. 

Big yachts like A leave a trail of money behind wherever they go. But Tahiti missed out on a load of trickle-down cash last summer due to a quarantine snafu. No wonder though. After all, love them as we do, the French are the original bureaucrats.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

She was back in French Polynesia again this year, though, and we’re told she now has a specially approved quarantine area aboard for the pup, Vala.

Leave a Comment

The TP52s Vesper and Beecom in last year’s Rolex Big Boat Series. Jim Swartz’s Vesper won IRC A and the West Coast IRC championship.
At the risk of being annoying, let us remind all you would-be and soon-to-be southbound cruisers yet again that our annual Mexico-Only Crew List Party and Baja Ha-Ha Reunion takes place tonight from 6 to 9 p.m.