One of the largest private yachts in the world – owned by a Russian-American oil tycoon – spent the weekend in Portland Harbor and attracted the attention of many boaters.

Kevin Battle, Portland’s harbor master, said Le Grand Bleu arrived last week, but it wasn’t until Sunday when the coastal weather cleared and the sun broke through that the ship really started getting noticed.

“It is one of the largest yachts in the world and it has been getting a lot of attention from boaters, who have been going out into the harbor to take a look at it,” Battle said Sunday afternoon as he motored past the ship, which was anchored near Fort Gorges. “I’ve been told that the ship is in for the weekend.”

A crew member told Battle that Le Grand Bleu may leave Portland Harbor on Monday, but the superyacht’s departure time could change.

Le Grand Bleu in a photo taken in 2010 in an unidentified location. Wikimedia photo

According to the business magazine Forbes, the 370-foot-long vessel is owned by oil tycoon Evgeny (Eugene) Shvidler. Shvidler was born in Russia but became an American citizen in 1994.

The ship was built by the Bremer Vulkan shipyard in Bremen, Germany, and launched in 2000. It was commissioned by John McCaw, an American telecom magnate, who sold the yacht to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. According to Yachts International, Abramovich gave Le Grand Bleu to his friend Shvidler in 2006.

Earlier this year, Shvidler attracted negative media coverage when he anchored the ship close to Liberty Island for several days.

The New York Post reported that Le Grand Bleu caused a controversy by obstructing views of the Statue of Liberty. Critics said the yacht blocked views of people who had taken excursion boats to see the statue.

Yachts International, which bills itself as the leading print and digital publication in the superyacht sector, reported that Le Grand Bleu has a helicopter pad on board. It also features a sewage and wastewater treatment plant and a water purification system.

 The ship also boasts two additional that it carries on the aft topside –  a 73-foot sailboat on the port side, and a 68-foot powerboat on the starboard side.

The ship is powered by two 9,730 hp engines, according to the website of Pastrovich, the ship’s designer.

The yacht has spent part of July moored in the Penobscot Bay, Maine, outside of Camden harbor. In early August, 2017, it was anchored in Casco Bay, near Portland, Maine.

The magazine lists Le Grand Bleu as the 31st largest yacht in the world.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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