Sailing Yacht A: World's tallest superyacht takes to the sea

    Story highlights

    • Sailing Yacht A starts sea testing
    • Will be eighth longest superyacht in the world
    • Boasts the world's largest carbon masts
    • Expected for delivery in 2017

    (CNN)A superyacht so extravagant it looks more like something out of a sci-fi movie than real life has taken another step towards its launch as a fully-operational ocean-going vessel.

    Sailing Yacht A, Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko's latest venture, started its sea testing in Strande, Germany last month ahead of its proposed 2017 delivery.
      At 143 meters, it will be the eighth longest superyacht in the world, while its three carbon masts -- each measuring more than 90 meters -- are the tallest of any boat.
        All the sails together have the same square footage of a football field and will be able to withstand three times the weight of a commercial Boeing Dreamliner wing. The yacht is designed for a cruising speed of 16 knots (18 mph) and top speed of 21 knots (24 mph).
        All the sails together have the same square footage of a football field
        A conceptual design image of Super Yacht A.
        Having amassed his fortune in coal and fertilizers, Melnichenko has a net worth of $11.9 billion, according to Forbes, making him the 139th richest person in the world.
        The 44-year-old has spent an estimated $450 million on this vessel, which follows his 119-meter Motor Yacht A.
        He reportedly put the latter -- completed in 2008 -- up for sale in April for $300 million. It was photographed last month docked in London's River Thames.