Yes, there is money to be made in Silicon Valley—so much so that a list of the world’s largest yachts includes quite a few commissioning owners who are tech-industry titans. Some of these men still own their yachts, while others have sold them, but all have left their mark on the world of superyacht design and construction.
OCTOPUS AND TATOOSH
Paul Allen, after co-founding Microsoft with Bill Gates, has gone on to have a wide-ranging career that includes everything from owning the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers to founding the Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He’s also a well-known figure in the world’s superyachting circles, thanks to several motoryachts he has owned over the years. Currently, he owns the 413-foot Lurssen Octopus (one of the 20 largest yachts in the world) as well as the 303-foot Nobiskrug Tatoosh (one of the 50 largest yachts in the world).
Octopus reportedly has not one, but two helicopters; a submarine; a swimming pool; a music studio and a basketball court. The yacht can regularly be seen at the Cannes Film Festival, held each May on the French Riviera, where Allen throws parties for several hundred people—whom he entertains by playing with his own band. Allen also enjoys using Octopus for exploration, including having helped to find the remains of a Japanese warship that went down during World War II.
Allen bought Tatoosh on the brokerage market (reportedly for about $100 million). Tatoosh, too, has a swimming pool, one that is nearly six feet deep with a floor that rises to become flush with the deck when the yacht is underway. As of a few years ago, Tatoosh also reportedly had a lobster tank in her lazarette.
RISING SUN AND MUSASHI
Rising Sun remains one of the most jaw-dropping superyachts on the world’s waters today. She reportedly accommodates 18 guests with 45 crew, while Musashi takes the same number of guests with 24 crew. Because of her smaller length overall, Musashi can fit into ports where Rising Sun could not—one of the prime reasons that Ellison chose to go smaller.
Ellison is perhaps best known for his Oracle Racing efforts to dominate the America’s Cup, which his team will defend in July 2017 during races off Bermuda. He has transformed the America’s Cup in many ways, including by pushing for changes in the types of yachts that are allowed to race, leading to today’s foiling catamarans that seem to fly high above the water at speeds that were unimaginable to traditional-yacht skippers of races past.
Fountainhead is a presence in every harbor she enters. Before becoming a household name thanks to the television show “Shark Tank,” Cuban sold personal-computer software and founded a business called MicroSolutions that CompuServe bought for $6 million. He got into webcasting and sold a company called Broadcast.com to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion, co-founded a company specializing in high-definition satellite television and dabbles in everything from web-based basketball scouting technology to blogosphere-scouring search engine technology.
Cuban may be extroverted when it comes to his television and celebrity appearances, but with Fountainhead, he keeps details to himself. The yacht reportedly has interiors by Sinot Yacht Design, accommodations for 14 guests and a top speed of 21 knots.
A lot of drama surrounded the launch of Venus, including a dispute with the yacht’s designer, Philippe Starck, who claimed that the Jobs family owed him millions of dollars for his work. With that spat now reportedly resolved, Venus continues to be seen on the world’s waters, where she is a distinctive presence thanks to Starck’s unique approach to exterior styling. The designer himself has been quoted as saying that Venus “looks strange for a boat,” adding that the yacht’s appearance is a result of Jobs wanting to focus on intelligent design as opposed to an ostentatious display of wealth. Little is known about the interior of Venus, but rumors have circulated that a series of iMac computers grace the pilothouse.
Espen Oino designed Dragonfly to be built in lightweight aluminum, which gives her a top speed of 27 knots and a fuel efficiency that allows a range of 4,500 nautical miles at slower speeds—enough to explore wherever owner Sergei Brin might feel like exploring, anywhere in the world that interests him.
Brin reportedly bought Dragonfly following her being listed for sale at $85 million. At one point, Dragonfly was available for charter, being marketed in the Bahamas and Caribbean back in 2011 at a weekly base rate of about $525,000. She reportedly accommodates 18 guests with 16 crew.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on YachtWorld.com. Republished by permission.