14 November 2005
Ever wonder how those billionaires spend their money? Sure you do. For some, boating's the thing. But these guys aren't interested in just any old 200-foot yacht. No indeed. Megabucks buy megayachts. Take Paul Allen, cofounder of Microsoft. He cruises the world's waters aboard Octopus (photo above), a 416-foot floating palace complete with two helipads, seven smaller boats of varying sizes, a 10-man submarine, and a crew of 60. Reputed to be the world's third-largest private yacht, Octopus cost about US $200 million to build. Not to be outdone, Larry Ellison, founder and chairman of Oracle, launched his own US $200 million entry in the megayacht sweepstakes, Rising Sun (photo below), a 452-foot vessel with 82 rooms spread over 5 stories and 86,000 square feet of living space. Comparing the Allen and Ellison yachts, CNN/Money's Steve Hargreaves called Octopus "the rugged Land Rover of the high seas," whereas Rising Sun is "more the plush Caddy."