9 Issues You Didn’t Know Concerning the World’s Solely 24-Karat-Gold Superyacht
When the horizon is awash with a sea of white yachts, the AK Royalty’s glittering gold exterior more than stands out. Built in 2009 and originally named Plus Too, the 136-foot shallow draft, go-fast Palmer Johnson pairs an onboard party scene with the “blingiest” of paint jobs.
Australian-born Aaron Fidler, former chief engineer-turned-superyacht owner, had clocked enough sea miles to circumnavigate the world three times before he bought AK Royalty in 2022. “I’d long dreamed of owning a fast and sporty Palmer Johnson, so when AK Royalty came to market I knew it was the one,” Fidler tells Robb Report. Painted gold to match his Lamborghini, the yacht home ports in Dubai where demand for day sails in the Arabian Gulf, as well as longer charters to Oman and beyond, is on the rise.
Fidler shipped the yacht from France to Dubai, where he now lives with his wife, Kseniya, and spent a year remodeling it. While the exterior is all about catching attention, the interior focus is on guest entertainment. All the action happens on one deck “so guests aren’t socializing between different levels,” Fidler says. When the main salon’s sliding glass doors are left open, guests have a clear view from the aft deck all the way through to the wheelhouse. It creates a cozy ambiance where dining, dancing, and relaxation take place on one level, separated by smart zoning.
Here are nine cool facts you didn’t know about the world’s only 24-karat gold yacht, available to charter with Burgess.
The Ultimate Bling Boat
A large part of AK Royalty’s multi-million dollar refit focused on revamping the exterior from white to gold, inspired by Fidler’s gold Lamborghini. The marine paint is mixed with 24-karat gold dust to ensure it glitters under the sun. The paint technique “took months to perfect,” says Fidler. It’s matched with a pair of gold jet skis and gold sea bobs, not to mention gold furniture, champagne flutes, and bathroom fittings.
Most owners tailor their yacht’s interior to their lifestyle and preferences, but there’s more to the wildlife theme aboard AK Royalty than meets the eye. On the wall behind the dining table, a commissioned painting by a prestigious Californian artist features a large white lion with a blue butterfly—the owners’ personal monikers. “The animals symbolize our personalities, I’m the lion and my wife is the butterfly,” says Fidler. There are also three large silver mirror-tiled panther sculptures—one that sits pride of place in the center of the main salon, and two that feature in the master—as panthers are Kseniya’s spirit animal.
Eight Onboard Captains
Led by Chilean-born Captain Pedro Argote, the AK Royalty crew of eight possess professional training that goes beyond your average yachtie. Alongside a qualified lawyer and doctor, there are two diving instructors, free divers, IT engineers, professional fishermen and a pilot. Even more extraordinary is that every member of the crew, from the deckhand to the chief engineer, is a qualified captain. “Should anything happen to me when we’re at sea, any one of my crew can safely bring the boat home,” says Argote.
Every Toy Imaginable
Fidler outfitted his yacht to catch the attention of Dubai day charterers, and he backed it up with “every toy imaginable.” It includes a dive compressor center, a 32-foot inflatable slide, a fly board, and a 12-person floating trampoline. Seabobs and jetskis bring the speed. Paddle boards and a giant inflatable flamingo bring the post-adrenaline fun. For fitness enthusiasts, the sun deck transforms into an outdoor gym with an onboard personal trainer.
Can Power Other Boats
Following the 2023 refit, which included an overhaul of the boat’s engineering systems and an upgrade of the generators, AK Royalty can mothership smaller boats, transferring fuel and power. “It’s down to the capability of our crew and the boat’s engineering systems,” says Argote.
The Mother of All Party Boats
AK Royalty is arguably the mother of all party boats. There is a six-person Jacuzzi on the sun deck, a state-of-the-art AV sound system with iPad controls and DJ decks that sit center of the aft deck “in the heart of the action”. When floor space is required for dancing, the DJ booth moves to the sun deck aft overlooking the crowd below for that outdoor nightclub feel. There’s even a dedicated DJ who flies in on request. “It’s all about creating that party atmosphere,” says Fidler.
Master of Dreams
The entirely refurbished monochromatic Fendi-themed interior enjoys marble surfaces, Fendi carpets, and gold-tinted mirrors. But it’s in the full-beam master suite where the real magic shines. Mirrored ceilings feature above the king-size bed and private lounge area. A large gold-piece games board invites guests to while away the hours. And the original his-and-hers bathroom in the master suite was ripped out and remodeled into one shared ensuite with a transparent acrylic full-sized bathtub and a steam shower with sauna.
For Fidler, who likes to travel everywhere at “warp speed,” AK Royalty’s top speed of 35 knots delivers performance in spades. At that speed, the boat can reach Oman in one to two hours. For fuel efficiency, Argote recommends the yacht’s cruising speed of 13 to 15 knots, which is still 3 to 4 knots faster than most boats in this category. Powerful zero-speed stabilizers keep the boat steady and guests comfortable.
Rather than store tenders and jet skis on the bow, AK Royalty’s foredeck is a dedicated outdoor movie theatre, with a 16 by 10-foot cinema screen for watching films under the light of the stars. Oversized sun pads comfortably seat all 12 guests, while the projector can be placed behind the screen, meaning when guests get up and move around they don’t cast a shadow and ruin the experience for everyone else.
Click here to see more photos of AK Royalty.
Source: Robb Report