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Octopussy, the Fastest Superyacht in the World, Pops Up in Dubai in Terrible Condition

It always pains the heart to see an icon in less than... iconic circumstances, and Octopussy is the very definition of a superyacht icon: a bold project that no one thought could be built and which eventually ended up setting a new world record.
Superyacht Octopussy was delivered in 1988 and is now undergoing a refit 13 photos
Photo: Yacht Harbor (Composite)
Octopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyachtOctopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyachtOctopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyachtOctopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyachtOctopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyachtOctopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyachtOctopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyachtOctopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyachtOctopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyachtOctopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyachtOctopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyachtOctopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyacht
Octopussy was once part of multi-millionaire John Staluppi's impressive fleet of superyachts named after James Bond movies. It wasn't just a superyacht he bought and owned but had been his brainchild since before construction started, as Staluppi is credited with being the driving force behind the project – financially and in every other aspect that matters.

Without Staluppi and his hard-headedness, there would have been no Octopussy.

Octopussy is a build by Heesen Yachts based on a Heesen naval platform with Mulder Design exterior and interiors. It's also the world's fastest superyacht, topping 53.2 knots (61.2 mph/98.5 kph) at launch, which turned it into a legend. The complicated construction process that preceded the incredible achievement only solidified its status as a proper legend.

Octopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyacht
Photo: Moran Yacht & Ship
That was in the late '80s, though. Since its 1988 delivery, Octopussy changed owners several times and went through a couple of refits that undid what Heesen had done to make it lightweight, highly efficient, and super-fast. It lost the crown of the world's fastest superyacht as owners added more lavish features, but it remained a steadily popular charter platform.

The last time it sold, in 2021, Octopussy was a mere shadow of its former self and in bad need of a glow-up. Its owner got the original team back together for a refit, promising a new world record as the world's most stable, thanks to a new propulsion system, a stabilization system, and structural changes. New interiors, a new paintjob, and the addition of a diving platform were also included in the brief.

In May 2023, Octopussy was in Florida for the refit, with plans for a late 2023 or early 2024 delivery.

It looks like the refit is facing another delay: according to reports, Octopussy popped up in Dubai earlier this month, looking worse for wear and still nowhere close to finished. The vessel has been stripped of all equipment, including weather gear, engines, and anchor, and arrived in Dubai by tugboat.

Octopussy, delivered by Heesen in 1988, was once the world's fastest superyacht
Photo: Moran Yacht & Ship
It's an empty hull right now, no longer able to travel under its own power and crewed by a minimal 2-person crew. As the video below shows, it's also banged up and patched, so whatever work took place or should have taken place at the Florida yard wasn't completed there.

As for the owner's decision to take the vessel all the way to Dubai to continue the refit, it's anyone's guess right now. Here's to hoping this legend lives to impress another day or, at the very least, to sail on its own at a decent, non-record-breaking speed again. It deserves this much.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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