Currently operating as a luxury charter yacht (one week onboard costs nearly $250,000) in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, the Red Dragon has all the ingredients of a highly-successful pleasure craft: it looks stunning inside and out, it comes from a reputable shipyard with a focus on technical performance, and it belongs to a well-known magnate.
Red Dragon was commissioned in 2008 for a customer described as an "experienced yachtsman" Indeed, Kjell Inge Rokke had owned two spectacular superyachts prior to the Red Dragon (a 70-meter/230 feet Benetti called Reverie, and a 66-meter/216 feet Vitters, named Aglaia). The self-made billionaire started selling fish off a modest boat in Seattle and eventually returned to Norway, where he built an empire in the maritime industry.
The Kiwi builder introduced several innovations over the years, including racing-inspired technology, in-boom furling systems, and the first sailing superyacht with a helipad. It sadly closed its gates in early 2016, alleging a drop in demand for sailing yachts, worsened by the negative factors that impacted New Zealand's export at large.
Red Dragon remains one of the most memorable vessels brought to life by the Kiwi builder. It was created by Alloy Yachts together with the acclaimed Dubois Naval Architects. At the same time, Wilmotte & Associates, a design studio that had never styled a yacht before, was responsible for the Red Dragon's spectacular interiors.
Red Dragon is a luxury superyacht in every way, from its dimensions to the smallest décor detail. Alloy Yachts fitted it with custom-made winches and advanced Doyle "Ice" sails, known for being ultra-light yet exceptionally durable. High Modulus produced the carbon fiber main mast, rig, and boom.
This aluminum sloop's strength is reflected in its high speed and outstanding range. The Caterpillar engines ensure smooth sailing even at 15 knots (17.2 mph/28 kph), while a more economical speed can increase the yacht's range to an impressive 4,900 nautical miles (7,885 km). In other words, Red Dragon is a reliable world cruiser equipped for the most pleasant onboard experience, even on extended routes.
Up to 12 guests can be accommodated onboard the Red Dragon. Four guest cabins accompany the full-beam master suite, and the onboard gym can be converted into an additional cabin when needed. All staterooms feature en-suite bathrooms, climate control, TV screens, and multimedia entertainment.
The main salon, with a well-equipped bar, feels remarkably spacious due to the open-pan configuration, and it's the perfect spot for afternoon relaxation. When the sun is ready to set, it's the ideal time to enjoy cocktails on the lavish aft deck. During the day, guests can take advantage of the cockpit area for al-fresco dining, while the beautiful flybridge with a modern bar and a retractable hardtop offers wonderful views.
Beach shores and driftwood inspired the colors and textures. Carefully chosen details, such as the LED lighting placed under certain furniture pieces, the light-colored woods with a matte finish, and the silk carpeting, turn Red Dragon into a luxurious cocoon that delights all the senses. Sleek and aggressive on the outside, this high-performance sloop reveals its soft and indulging side onboard. It's easy to see why this sailing superyacht was a popular charter choice all these years.
As for Red Dragon's famous owner, he might soon part with this beautiful luxury toy. Years ago, the Norwegian magnate kicked off a highly-ambitious maritime project. He wants to build an unprecedented yacht that would also double as no less than the world's largest research expedition vessel in length and volume. This unique vessel is still under construction, and it's nothing like the Red Dragon, which remains one of the top sailing superyachts in operation today.