Islanders may be accustomed to sightings of mega-yachts during summer months, but the arrival of the Vibrant Curiosity at the anchorage just outside Dering Harbor got the phones ringing at the Reporter.
The yacht — according to SuperYachts.com and other published reports — is 280 feet four inches long, with a 47-foot beam and draught of just over 13 feet. It has twin 4,680 horsepower engines that allow it to travel at a top speed of about 20 knots and a cruising speed of 17 knots with a range of 5,000 nautical miles.
Owned by German billionaire Reinhold Wuerth, Vibrant Curiosity was reportedly purchased for $111 million. Launched in 2009, it was designed by an Italian company, Nuvolari & Lenard. It flies the flag of the United Kingdom, leading a couple of those in attendance at a village of Dering Harbor event to speculate that guests might include British royalty.
Efforts to discover who was aboard the yacht during its stay off Shelter Island have been unsuccesful.
The yacht, which has accommodations for 14 people and a crew of 26, most recently made the news August 1 when the New York Post ran a story about it headlined: “Another jackass billionaire blocked Lady Liberty with his megayacht.”
The story described the frustration of some tourists who were unable to get a clear photograph of the Statute of Liberty because the yacht reportedly was anchored so as to “hog the free view.”
Mr. Wuerth, according to a Forbes profile, runs a family wholesale screw business, Wuerth Group, that is “the leading global supplier of assembly and fastening materials for the automotive, construction and engineering trades,” prompting The Post to dub him, of course, “the screw king.”
Locally, a group of swimmers approached crew members who’d arrived at the Section 9 beach by tender to set up for a children’s birthday party on Friday. One of the swimmers, Carole Tiernan, said they were concerned that the crew members might encroach on sensitive seagrasses in the area. But they were unable to winkle any information out of the crew.
A couple staying aboard their sailboat in Dering Harbor also were unsuccessful in discovering anything about the occupants. Marji Cyr, in a call to the Reporter, raised the possibility that the boat might be available for short-term cruises. No information could be found to support that idea.
Islanders might worry that the arrival of Vibrant Curiosity heralds an invasion of mega-yachts, but a debt of gratitude is owed to the multimillionaires of the past who berthed their ocean-going sailing vessels here.
Some of them asserted political pressure to can proposals to build bridges connecting the Island to the north and south forks because the proposed spans would’ve blocked the tall masts of their yachts.