Books on Boats: Superyacht Saga a Compelling Tale

Grand Ambition

Grand Ambition: An Extraordinary Yacht, the People Who Built It, and the Millionaire Who Can’t Really Afford It by G. Bruce Knecht (Simon & Schuster, 2013) It’s impossible not to cross courses with really big yachts (superyachts, megayachts, call them what you will) – as we do often enough on the BC coast, one of their favourite destinations – and not be intrigued by the rarified world they represent. If you share this fascination, this book is for you.
It follows the construction of the 187’ Linda Lou for a self-made millionaire who wants his new yacht to be the best ever built in the US. But the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent recession erode his ability to afford his boat – and threaten the builder’s prospects of completing it. And then the owner becomes ensnared in a Ponzi scheme… 

Author Knecht tells this dramatic story through the eyes and words of the designers, engineers, tradesmen and craftsmen who help create Linda Lou, exploring the gulf between their lives and ambitions and those of the big-yacht owner class. It’s an utterly contemporary tale of the rich and the rest of us that resonates particularly here in the Northwest, where harsh economic realities have taken their toll on our once-booming big-boat industry.

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