14 November 2005

My Yacht's Bigger Than Yours

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."