Former Mercenary Turned Oil Tycoon Is Selling His $53M Stunning Custom Toy, the Beast

Ngoni blends the top-level performance of a professional sailing yacht with the luxury of a millionaire's superyacht 22 photos
Photo: Royal Huisman
All millionaires have fancy toys, but only a few of them have the knowledge and passion for choosing models that can stand the test of time through incredible performance and innovative design instead of being just another flashy item. When a millionaire also happens to be an avid sailor, you can bet that his luxury yacht is truly one of a kind.
Luxury Dutch shipyard Royal Huisman is known for its head-turning creations, where an impeccable finish reveals design and technology innovations. The stunning sailing yacht Ngoni was no exception, with everyone in the industry raving about it when it was delivered in 2017. Affectionately dubbed “the Beast,” this sleek yet “fast and furious” vessel was-custom made for a true connoisseur.

Its name gives away its ownership – the Ngoni people are an ethnic group from various countries in South Africa, where oil and diamond mining tycoon Tony Buckingham frequently traveled for his businesses. But Buckingham isn’t your typical oil industry millionaire – he is also a professional sailor who won numerous trophies on behalf of Great Britain.

And, to top it all off, Buckingham also has a very interesting, controversial background in private military affairs, which media has described as a “colorful past.” The former CEO of Heritage Oil denied these affairs and any connections with powerful people but based on British intelligence documents and other findings, some sources still describe him as a former mercenary.

This adventurous background could only lead to an equally impressive yacht, as far as millionaire toys go. The 190-foot (58 meters), designed by Dubois Naval Architects, successfully combined a sleek hull with an enormous rig. The huge 247-foot (75 meters) mast, with 9,183 square feet (853 square meters) of mainsail, is what makes Ngoni a beast. But its design innovations, such as the rounded plumb bow, and top-level engineering, like the manual steering system, enable an experienced owner to tame this impressive vessel.

Ngoni’s molded glass superstructure, with electrically-controlled windows, is also striking. A luxurious spa swimming pool and a large tender await on the premium teak foredeck. Inside the yacht’s lavish living spaces, designed by Rick Baker, every element exudes luxury. The owner’s suite includes custom furniture, a large study, generous bathrooms, and access to a large gym.

Although built to his exact specifications, the controversial oil millionaire is letting go of the stunning Ngoni, after only four years. For almost $53 million (€45 million), a new master can try to tame the Beast.
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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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