March 20 2020
In the hushed world of yachting and superyachts, the least that can be said is that Donald Trump has not left an imperishable memory. After coming back in a gale, gesticulating a lot, he left it just as quickly, in the middle of a financial debacle, not to return.
The story begins at the end of the 80s, but finds its origin at the beginning of this decade, when the Italian shipyard Benetti delivered the Nabila, the 8th largest yacht in the world at the time with her 86m length (designed by the British architect Jon Bannenberg), to Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi businessman specialized in the arms trade.
If she has aged a lot since then in terms of her style, Nabila is then a superyacht admired by all, which will be used in 1983 in a James Bond, Never Again Never Again (a second adaptation of the 1965 Operation Thunder, by the way) under the name of Flying Saucer (Disco Volante), which features Sean Connery, alias 007, prey to the bad ideas of Maximilian Largo, and who will be helped by the beautiful Domino...
Confronted with a temporary bad patch, Khashoggi puts his yacht up for sale shortly afterwards, the Sultan of Brunei covering up a few bills of exchange, who decides to separate from Nabila in 1987.
His buyer - for the modest sum of 29 million dollars - is none other than Donald Trump - who will moreover boast of having obtained a discount of 1 million dollars at the time of the transaction, and who renames the boat Trump Princess, Nabila being the first name of Khashoggi's daughter!
Another decision of the American billionaire, a $10 million refit carried out in the Netherlands, by the Amels shipyard, the most visible sign of which will be the change of logo of the helipad, going from H to T...
This new passion for superyachts pushes the billionaire to announce in June 1989 his will to order the great superyacht of the time, a unit whose length would be between 400 and 500 feet, or about 128m, the Trump Princess II!
The Amels shipyard, which would build the boat, was then owned by 4 British investors, who secured the deal by securing lines of credit.
In May 1990, a dramatic event took place when Donald Trump announced the takeover of the Amels shipyard by Donald Trump. The persimmers insinuated that the billionaire's poor financial health had pushed him to cancel the order for the Trump Princess II, a decision that would have pushed the shipyard into bankruptcy, without a providential takeover; Jeff Walker, vice-president of the Trump group, denied such allegations.
In September 1990, Trump sold the Amels yard to the American businessman Peter Kutell, following financial problems.
At the same time, the Trump Princess was put up for sale and work on the Trump Princess II was halted. In 1991, the Trump Princess was sold to Prince Al-Waleed for $19 million, who renamed it Kingdom 5KR.
The superstructure of the Trump Princess II would still remain, still kept by the Amels shipyard in Makkum. Amels has since come under the control of the Feadship shipyard, owned by Bernard Arnaud (LVMH).
As for Kingdom 5KR, it can be seen all year round in Antibes, at the end of the Billionaires' Quay...