Lurssen Yachts 312' "Kismet II" Superyacht Redefining Destiny by Judy Waldman Lurssen Yachts recently celebrated 140 years of producing exceptional custom yachts at seven yards in northern Germany. It takes state-of-the-art facilities and a highly skilled workforce of 1800 to produce such awardwinning beauties as Limitless, Peloris, Rising Sun, Ice, and Dilbar. Lurssen’s latest launches are Orchid, Omar, and Dilbar III. Yet Kismet is “the cat’s meow!” While not the largest yacht built by Lurssen, Kismet ranks #40 in the world's largest yachts and holds the record for the largest yacht to dock at Bahia Mar. During her return visit to South Florida, coinciding with the recent Miami Boat Show, Kismet’s quayside location dwarfed many of the downtown Miami buildings. Although Kismet certainly pushes the super yacht nomenclature into ‘gigayacht’ territory, Lurssen’s biggest launch goes to Azzam; the world’s largest yacht at 180 meters and brags of leading the pack at 30 knots. Two significant points that top my list of superlatives: (1) Lurssen accomplished a magnificent engineering feat and (2) What a great country America is to nurture this class of economic enterprise. While it is YachtForums’ policy to not disclose owners unless it has been publicly broadcast elsewhere, this one is easy. With a four foot jaguar perched on the bowsprit, Kismet’s master either owns it, bags it, or the process of elimination by way of internet search leads one to Shahid Khan. Now that the cat is out of the bag, here’s the background: Born in Pakistan, “Shad” came to the United States for his college stint at age 16. While attending the University of Illinois, he began working at Flex-N-Gate; after graduating university with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, Shad became Flex-N-Gates engineering manager. From there Shad combined his meager savings with a loan from the Small Business Corporation and created his own company Bumper Works which revolutionized the automobile world with a one-piece lightweight bumper. Shad’s entrepreneurial spirit compelled him to buy his former employer combining Flex-N-Gate and Bumper Works and becoming a major supplier to all of the major automobile manufactures in North America, Japan, and Europe leading to Flex-N-Gate being the 12th largest North American automotive supplier with more than 16,000 employees in 62 manufacturing plants worldwide. In January 2012 Shad Khan purchased the Jacksonville Jaguars football team. Shad had become familiar with Jacksonville since the northeast Florida port is one of the largest destinations for automobile shipping and Shad established himself at the Blount Island Terminal for the installation of his patented bumpers in the imported vehicles. In 2013, Khan purchased the Fulham Football Club.