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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. 2 Following the 2020 US Presidential Election, BOAT delves into the archives to tell the full story of how Donald Trump bought the 86 meter Benet ti super yacht Manila and transformed her into Trump Princess.
“A certain level of quality.” That is the phrase that Donald Trump returns to again and again to explain just why he bought Adnan Khashoggi’s 86-metre yacht Manila. Trump points out, for example, the walls of the cabins covered in chamois leather and bird’s eye maple.
Donald Trump bought Trump Princess, he says, “because I was buying a great piece of art at a ridiculously low price”. The arms' dealer, who took advantages of connections with the Saudi royal family to amass a fortune worth around $3billion at its peak, acquired his first yacht when he was 18 and traded up as his wealth increased.
In the 1970s Khashoggi owned two yachts and while these were impressive, neither made quite the naked assertion of fantastic wealth he required, so he commissioned the British designer Jon Brandenburg to design the most sumptuous, the most incredible yacht the world has seen. “He wanted the best yacht in the world,” says Brandenburg, “and we achieved that at the time.” The vessel Brandenburg created cost $35million to build, but Khashoggi also commissioned Italian designer Luigi Studio to produce the interior and that is believed to have cost more than the yacht itself.
“No-one really knows what she originally cost,” says Jonathan Beckett, CEO of Burgess, the broker that arranged the sale to Trump. Insisting that she be totally self-contained, Khashoggi had included in the specification everything from a pâtisserie and three-chair hair salon to a screening room with an 800-film library and a hospital with operating theater.
Fuel tanks holding 618,256 liters of diesel give a maximum range of 8,500 nautical miles at the cruising speed of 17.5 knots. Three water-makers produce 45,000 liters of fresh water a day from the ocean and six mammoth refrigerators carry a three-month supply of food for 100 people.
Many of Khashoggi’s most lavish parties took place aboard Manila, but the yacht was also an invaluable business instrument. Ensconced in the various suites, they used the 150 telephones and the satellite communications system to arrange arms sales and commodities trades.
When contracts were ready to be signed, the yacht could quickly slip into international waters, where sovereign restrictions on business transactions do not apply. A tour of the entire yacht, which has five decks and some 100 separate areas, would take too long, but a description just of the owner’s suite should be sufficient to give an idea of the exquisite luxury on board Trump Princess.
It has a tortoiseshell ceiling, a three-metre wide bed, and bedside remote controls for the entertainment center, for room service, even for the curtains. From the bedroom we head down a corridor past a mirrored dressing room and into Trump's bathroom, where the onyx floor tiles are carved in a sunburst pattern.
That may seem a bit small, but there is a water jet so you can swim all day against the current and never reach the other side. A hydraulic lift raises the sunbed high above anyone else on the boat, enabling the sunbather to bask in total privacy.
When Khashoggi’s empire began to crumble during the mid 1980s, he procured a loan for $50million, putting up Manila as collateral. When Khashoggi defaulted on his loan in 1987, a Swiss holding company took possession of the yacht.
In September 1987, almost as soon as he learned that Manila was for sale, Donald Trump made a cash bid for the yacht. As soon as the news was broken, Beckett was suddenly deluged with higher offers from potential buyers who had been sitting on the fence.
Trump then spent $8.5million having the yacht refitted in the Netherlands by Camels who repainted the hull, rebuilt the main engines and replaced 320 meters of chamois leather. Trump makes the boat available for selected charities and “very high rollers who spend millions of dollars a year in the casinos”.
His father Fred Trump was a real estate developer. He was building affordable rental housing complexes in New York City.
The net worth of Fred Trump was estimated at USD 300 million. Trump was very successful in building large New York and New Jersey real estate projects, using attractive architectural design to win public recognition.
His branded golf properties include the Trump Natural Doral in Miami, the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles. He also owns the TRUMP ABERDEEN golf course in Scotland.
After he bought the Trump Taj Mahal in 1990, he ran into financial problems and had to sell his yacht. Nowadays Forbes estimates the net worth of Trump at US$ 2.5 billion.
In 2015 Trump announced that he would run as a candidate for the 2016 USA Presidential elections. And on November 8th he defeated Hillary Clinton in the general election.
The famous Luigi Studio was responsible for the yacht ’s interior. The Trump Princess was built in 1980 for Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Shogi.
During its days as Manila, the yacht was featured in the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again. Translated from the Italian Disco Vol ante in the original novel Thunder ball.
After Khashoggi ran into financial problems, he sold the yacht in 1988 to the Sultan of Brunei. She features a pool on the sun deck, a sauna, and a cinema.
When Trump ran into financial problems, he sold it to the Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Tall in 1991. Material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without a link to the original content.
He normally resides at his three-story penthouse on top of his Trump Tower at 725 Fifth Avenue in New York. Trump also owns a mansion named Seven Springs in Bedford New York.
The mansion has 60 rooms, three swimming pools, and a bowling alley. Further Trump owns the former Kluge Estate in Charlottesville, Virginia.
It was previously owned by John Kluge once America’s richest person. Trump also owns a Palm Beach mansion named Mar-a-Lago.
In 2018 Trump reportedly considered giving Putin a US$ 50 million penthouses. His largest private jet is a Boeing 757–200 with registration number N757AF.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the incident happened as ground workers were guiding a Bombardier corporate jet. Trump also owns a Cessna Citation with registration number N725DT.
The 725 refers to the address of his Trump Tower and the DT is obvious. As President of the United States, he has access to Air Force One.
In 1980, Benet ti built a yacht for Saudi businessman and billionaire, Adnan Khashoggi, for $100 million. Originally, this beauty was named after Khashoggi’s daughter, Manila, and was at the time ranked as one of the largest and most impressive yachts in the world.
As you’d imagine, Trump ’s refit wasn’t just adding a couple of deckchairs here and there: the yacht got the full works. A pool on the sun deck, a sauna, a cinema, an elevator, a disco and even a private hospital are just a couple of the amenities that Trump kitted it out with.
A year later, in May 1990, it was announced that Trump had actually gone ahead and bought Camels as an entire company. Two months after the acquisition, that Trump had, in fact, made, he sold Camels to American businessman Peter Tell.
The next year, in 1991, Trump Princess was sold to Prince Al-Waleed for $19 million who renamed the yacht to ‘Kingdom 5KR’.