Did Bill Gates Really Buy a $645 Million Hydrogen-Fueled Superyacht?

Bill Gates

Bill Gates might have learned about the Aqua superyacht at the Monaco yacht show in 2019. fotopress/Getty Images

Rumor had it that Bill Gates, the world’s second richest person, had bought a £500 million ($645 million) superyacht that’s still in the early design stage to fulfill his family’s future recreational needs.

The luxury boat in question is Aqua, a hydrogen-powered concept ship designed by Dutch firm Sinot Yacht Architecture and Design, British newspaper The Telegraph reported on Sunday. It might have caught Gates’ eye at the Monaco yacht show last year, when the Microsoft founder attended the Global Champions Tour nearby with his daughter.

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But the yacht’s designer denied The Telegraph‘s report on Monday with an all-caps announcement reading “AQUA NOT SOLD” on its company website.

“The hydrogen concept Aqua is not linked to Mr. Gates (or his representatives) in any form or matter,” Sinot clarified in a statement, adding that the firm “has no business relationship” with Gates.

A spokesperson for Bill Gates hasn’t responded to a request by Observer for a comment on the news.

Aqua would have fit Gates’ bill nicely had he been really looking to buy a yacht. According to Sinot, the superyacht will be 370-feet-long when completed and will have five decks and space to accommodate 14 guests, plus 31 crew members. More importantly, Aqua will be the world’s first superyacht to be completely powered by liquid hydrogen, a key feature for eco-conscious billionaires like Gates, and can travel 3,750 nautical miles, roughly the distance between London to New York, at a top speed of 17 knots (about 20 mph) before it needs to refuel.

“For the development of Aqua, we took inspiration from the lifestyle of a discerning, forward-looking owner, the fluid versatility of water and cutting-edge technology, to combine this in a superyacht with truly innovative features,” Sinot founder Sander Sinot said of the concept boat last year at the Monaco yacht show.

The Guardian, which also reported Gates’ commission of Aqua, described the retired Microsoft CEO as a “regular superyacht holidaymaker who has not previously owned his own vessel.” However, Croatian news site, Total Croatia News, reported last year that Gates was the owner of a Power Play yacht, a 182-foott luxury boat built by Dutch company Damen in 2018.

Did Bill Gates Really Buy a $645 Million Hydrogen-Fueled Superyacht?