The yacht, named the Alamshar, belongs to His Highness The Aga Khan, who leads the world’s 20 million Ismaili Muslims. Built by Babcock Marine, it is rumoured that The Aga Kahn flew in by helicopter this morning to pick up his purchase. Weighing in at 400 tonnes, the yacht moved from the dockyard out to sea at 2.30pm, travelling past Devil’s Point. The 164ft yacht – named Project 305 – was commissioned in the 1990s in the hope that it might break the world speed record for super-yachts as well as beat the transatlantic record of two days, 10 hours and 34 minutes. Built under a veil of secrecy, the Alamshar was intended to be a superstar among super-yachts, powered by engines capable of blasting it to more than 60 knots. However the boat, named after the Aga Khan’s racehorse, returned to the dockyard in 2008 after sea trials off Plymouth showed it could reach only 30 knots. At the time a source said: “This was supposed to reach 60 knots but it can go only half that speed, so the Aga Khan is taking legal advice. He’s not a happy man.”
The Aga Khan, whose full title is His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, is the current Imam of Ismaili Muslims. He has an estimated 20 million followers in more than 25 countries. The Aga Khan is believed to be a direct descendant of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. He is a religious leader, a multimillionaire philanthropist, and is known for his lavish lifestyle, and interest in beautiful women and racehorses. ‘Forbes’ magazine lists The Aga Khan among the world’s 10 richest royals with an estimated net worth of $800million. Other sources estimate his wealth at around $3billion.