Luxury yacht berths in Ipswich

SHE is one of the most luxurious yachts in the world.She has hosted film stars and a former US President and is owned by the billionaire boss of cosmetics firm Revlon.

SHE is one of the most luxurious yachts in the world.

She has hosted film stars and a former US President and is owned by the billionaire boss of cosmetics firm Revlon.

The Ultima III has spent most of her days cruising the Mediterranean and the Baltics and is often seen moored at the prosperous port of St Bart's in the French West Indies.

But what brings her to Ipswich docks? Perhaps she brings a visitor for supermodel Claudia Schiffer, one of the county's richest residents, or even a billionaire benefactor sailing to the rescue of cash-strapped Ipswich Town.


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The yacht, with just a handful of crew on board, is skippered by an East Anglian who fancied a visit home, and it is the perfect spot for maintenance.

Captain Richard David, 42, from St Osyth, steered the Ultima III into the Wet Dock on Thursday and is planning to spend a few weeks on the town's historic waterfront.

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He said he was waiting to hear from the yacht's owner, believed to be billionaire Revlon boss Ron Perelman, about the Ultima III's next port of call after travelling from the United States.

"We're waiting for the owner to figure out what he is going to do with us this summer and where we are going to be based. I think we might be heading for Germany or somewhere in the Mediterranean," he said.

"I brought the boat to Ipswich three years ago. It's beautifully situated between northern Europe and the Mediterranean and there are lots of good companies nearby so we can crack on with maintenance. It's also handy for me because I can visit home."

The Ultima III spends most of the winter moored at St Bart's and celebrities are often spotted aboard the yacht for festivities in early January.

But Capt David said it had also proved "a big magnet" in Ipswich. "I like to be tucked out of the way so there is not too much attention but lots of people have been stopping to have a look. It's difficult to miss."

He added: "I have been captain for five years and it's hard work. We travel a lot but it's good fun and I really enjoy it. It's a very comfortable boat."

The yacht is 187ft long and weighs 1,090 tonnes, and was built in 1998. It was purchased by Mr Perelman, 60, who is believed to be worth $2.5billion (£1.54bn) with interests in a wealth of industries. US magazine Forbes rates him as the 147th richest man in America this year.

He is married to Hollywood actress Ellen Barkin, his fourth wife, and the couple have entertained stars like rocker Jon Bon Jovi, former U.S. President Gerald Ford, film mogul Harvey Weinstein, actor Tim Robbins and actress Susan Sarandon on board.

The yacht can host up to 12 guests and has 16 crew members. It has a 4,000-mile cruising range, 22ft tenders and can hold 160,000 litres of fuel. Last year, the Power & Motoryacht website recorded it as the 20th biggest yacht in the United States.

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