Designer superyacht Axioma is going to be the first seized Russian vessel to go to auction. It has a slightly unusual past though. Here’s how it used to look before it got put under lock and key (as well as a video showing the little-known side of superyachting you’ve probably never thought about).


News broke on Wednesday that Axioma, a gorgeous $75 million superyacht, will be the first seized Russian schooner to go to auction – in a single day, and without reserve.

Axioma was delivered in 2013 and owned by billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky, who made his fortune in the gas and steel industries. According to Boat International, Axioma will be flogged off on August the 23rd, 2022. Axioma was seized by authorities in Gibraltar in March on the basis of an outstanding 12.5 million loan due to J.P. Morgan, which the yacht’s international management company had not paid. Around this time, authorities realised Pumpyansky was included on sanctions lists – and discovered he was the beneficiary (read: owner) of the vessel. 

Last month, a Gibraltar court ruled that Axioma should be sold at auction on an “as is, where is” basis, to give J.P. Morgan its money back. The fact that it’s a no reserve auction has sparked rumours it will sell for much less than it’s worth (its estimated value is $75 million).

Axioma is one of the rare Russian-owned superyachts that people could charter when its owner wasn’t using it. It was very popular and reading its list of features, it’s easy to see why. The 236-foot (72-meter) yacht easily takes 12 guests (and a crew of 20), has a jacuzzi on the sun deck, a pool, a steam room, a sauna, an owner suite with its own private deck, a smorgasbord of water toys, various lounge areas and a 3D private cinema.

As Autoevolution reports, it was built by Dunya Shipyard, delivered under the name Red Square, and was most recently refitted in 2020, “when it also received the striking turquoise-blue paint job on the hull.” Speaking of that striking blue paint job, videos on Youtube, by Jared Watney – a former employee on a superyacht and a luxury content creator – show what Axioma used to look like before it got put under lock and key in Gibraltar.

According to its page on Yacht Charter Fleet, Axioma was used for cruising around the Caribbean in winter (October to April) and the Mediterranean in summer (May to September). Cruising the Med would cost between 450,000 euros (AUD $655,000) and 635,000 euros (AUD $925,000) a week (plus expenses) and cruising the Caribbean would cost between 295,000 euros (AUD $430,000) and 595,000 euros (AUD $867,000) a week (plus expenses).

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Watney’s videos, posted in January 2022, before Axioma got seized, show what the superyacht looked like inside, and how it would prepare for guests (including one area of the boat where everything could be moved to create a dance floor). He has also shown off the side of yachting you don’t often see, showing what happens on a superyacht when it’s in between guests, explaining why crew can actually be busier at that time than at any other.

Have a gander at the above video if you’re interested. And if you’ve got $75 million USD burning a hole in your pocket, why not take a trip to Europe on August the 23rd and take a punt at buying Axioma yourself…

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