The Grammy Award-Winning artist Billy Joel has given us hits like She’s Always a Woman, We Didn’t Start the Fire and An Innocent Man. Playing the piano since the age of four, he’s become one of the top-selling music artists of all time, from behind the black and white keys.
According to Celebrity Networth, Joel has a net worth of more than $225 million, making his more lavish purchases and love for luxury an easy task to handle.
Joel has a monthly residency at Madison Square Garden, ongoing since 2014, and tours sporadically today. Born in the Bronx and raised on Long Island, Joel has never left. He currently lives in a $33 million mansion featuring five bedrooms, three staff rooms, two guest houses and an indoor and outdoor pool, a bowling alley, a tennis court, and 1,500 feet of waterfront property.
Despite being a short drive to New York City, Joel has always owned boats, a reported five yachts at one time in the past, and he routinely buys and sells the amenity.
The Making of the Vendetta
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Joel and longtime custom yacht designer Doug Zurn have created yachts before. After all, the singer/songwriter has reportedly owned more than 21 boats in the past few decades. After working with Zurn to create the 38-foot ‘Roundabout’ yacht he regularly used to shuttle back and forth to the city, Joel reached out to Zurn again in 2005 to design a larger and more luxurious yacht, Vendetta.
The classic design was reminiscent of the 1920’s commuter yachts used on the Long Island Sound. It had to be something that could safely navigate on the Long Island Sound, down the Hudson River, and along the eastern coast of New York.
The sophisticated exterior looks like a ‘gentlemen’s boat’ of the early twentieth century, according to Money Inc., and includes a black, gold, and red design. It was built to be faster, lightweight, and contain luxurious amenities. The yacht is 57-feet long with a 15-foot beam and weighs less than most boats of its size due to a hull created with a foam core and layered with hybrid Kevlar. It has two 1300 HP diesel engines encased in a soundproof room for less noise when it reaches top speeds. With a cruising speed of 41 knots and a maximum speed of 47 knots, the Vendetta could easily slice through choppy waters on the east coast.
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Inside the Vendetta
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The interior matches the exterior in the way it resembles the classic commuter yachts of the past. However, modern amenities and large spaces differ from the gentlemen’s yacht of the 1920s. The cockpit offers additional space for up to six guests, including the captain. Below deck, the Vendetta offers a large seating area, small galley, and dining table, and two settee bunks. Plenty of storage space above and below deck allows guests to stow bags and even gear for Joel’s next performance. The Vendetta also has a custom Raymarine electronics system.
The online boating source Soundings spoke to Joel about his many yachts owned over the years, calling the Vendetta the ‘prettiest boat’ he’s owned. Joel recalled rich businessmen like J.P. Morgan and Vanderbilt owning commuter yachts decades ago. He was looking for a unique and original design, expressing frustration in boat shows. Joel said much of what is designed today looks like ‘computer-designed blobs’. He enjoyed the fast and convenient way to travel on the Vendetta but said it wasn’t a yacht to sleep aboard. Even though the Vendetta didn’t’ include bedrooms, Joel enjoyed arriving in the city in style.
Where is the Vendetta Now?
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While the Vendetta was a fun and stylish way to get around for about a decade, Joel put the boat up for sale in 2016 at the Palm Beach Yacht Sale. He quickly changed his mind, however, when he learned of The International Seakeepers Society. Later that year, he donated the yacht to the organization.
The International Seakeepers Society’s mission is to promote oceanographic research, conservation, and education, working specifically with the yachting community. They use marine sciences to raise awareness about global ocean issues, and with Joel’s love of the water, it makes perfect sense that the Vendetta would be used for such purposes.
Working with people like Joel, the International Seakeepers Society is able to eliminate the costs of the boat and allows their non-profit funds to be used toward scientific research instead.
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Sources: Celebrity Net Worth, Money Inc. , Soundings, International Seakeepers Society
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