British Billionaire Has Iconic Vintage Yacht Refitted for $13M, Sells It for Only $8M

The 1986 Lady A was refitted for almost $13 million back in 2016 10 photos
Photo: Design Unlimited
1986 Superyacht Lady A - Refitted1986 Superyacht Lady A - Refitted1986 Superyacht Lady A - Refitted1986 Superyacht Lady A - Refitted1986 Superyacht Lady A - Refitted1986 Superyacht Lady A - Refitted1986 Superyacht Lady A - Refitted1986 Superyacht Lady A - Refitted1986 Superyacht Lady A - Refitted
Someone became the new lucky owner of the majestic 55-meter (180 feet) Lady A, and we mean that literally because it looks like a bargain. Not only is this one of the most iconic vessels launched at the beginning of the superyacht era and one of the few of its kind built in Japan, but it also underwent a massive refit (basically a rebuild) estimated at more than $13 million, paid by its former owner.
In 2015, Burgess Marine announced it would undertake the refit of one of the most beautiful yet discrete superyachts at the time, the vintage Lady A. The refit was completed in Portsmouth, UK, and even though it was never officially confirmed, the media talked about "the British customer" being the billionaire Lord Alan Sugar.

It appeared that Lord Sugar was willing to invest a whopping $13 million (enough to purchase a brand-new luxury yacht) to bring the old Lady A to contemporary standards and keep in mind that this was in addition to what he paid to purchase the yacht. In other words, it was a considerable investment that turned Lady A into a true floating mansion.

Beyond its sumptuous appearance, Lady A is considered an iconic vessel because it was launched in the 1980s when the superyacht era was just beginning. It was a pioneer in a way and also one of the masterpieces designed by the legendary Jon Bannenberg. Featuring naval architecture by Sterling Yachts, the 180-footer was built at a Japanese shipyard (Nishii-Zosen-Sterling), which also sets it apart from all the European- and US-built superyachts.

Throughout the years, this pioneer changed hands and names several times. It became famous as Southern Cross III, under the ownership of an Australian billionaire, prior to ending up in the hands of Lord Sugar, not only a billionaire himself but also a TV star.

The refit was completed by the summer of 2016. The revamped Lady A flaunted an extended upper deck, new zero-speed stabilizers, and a new exterior paint scheme. Its interior transformation, completed by Design Unlimited, made it even more opulent than before. The vast owner's suite gained a brand-new luxury study by converting one of the original guest cabins. The upper deck extension made room for a stunning al-fresco dining area. Luxurious fabrics and classic-style works of art created the ambiance of an old British mansion with all the amenities of a contemporary superyacht.

Lady A is one of the few in its size category to boast an atypical layout, where the main salon is found on the upper deck, replaced by a huge conference room on the main deck, which also doubles as a formal dining area. It's also unusual that the master suite is located on the lower deck along with three guest cabins, while the VIP suite and a smaller cabin are found on the main deck.

After almost a decade of ownership and huge investments, Lady A's alleged billionaire owner was willing to part with this iconic yacht for somewhere around $8 million (€7,9 million was the last known asking price), and this was after a significant price cut of more than $3 million earlier this year. A discrete, in-house deal brought Lady A to its new owner, who remains mysterious for now and who is perhaps getting ready to invest in a new refit of this beautiful '80s superyacht.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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