Ellison also owns the maxi Sayonara, which won the infamous 1998 Sydney-Hobart race that cost the lives of six sailors from other yachts. Sayonara was in such another league that it literally outran a storm of epochal brutality across the Tasman Sea-further proof, if needed, that the rich do indeed lead different lives and play under different rules. And sail on different yachts.
Such as Octopus. The fifth largest private yacht in the world is Paul Allen's flagship. Launched late in 2003, Octopus was built under a shroud of secrecy by a consortium of two yards in Bremen, and then took off immediately for a winter cruise around the Caribbean. She has a permanent berth at the International Yacht Club Marina in Antibes, in the South of France, which Allen only acquired by purchasing the sitting tenant-the 162-foot Hanse, which he quickly sold. So great is the shore power required when Octopus is in dock that Allen had to install his own three-phase electrical substation alongside to avoid tripping the fuses for the whole harbor.
Like Allen's second yacht Meduse, Octopus is lavishly equipped for extended cruising, including an ice-classed hull that will give him the opportunity to also explore both the Arctic and Antarctic regions. The ship's own helicopter is housed on the aft deck and guests are encouraged to land their aircraft on a separate helipad situated on the foredeck. She also has a canal within the bowels of the hull with lock doors at the stern to allow a 60-foot submarine-which reportedly carries eight and can run submerged for two weeks-as well as a powerboat and other water toys to embark and dock. When the vessels are safely inboard and resting on their chocks, the water is then pumped out to provide a drydock facility.
Allen's third yacht,Tatoosh, named after an island in the San Juans, has to be one of the most attractive throw-ins on a deal in history. When fellow American billionaire Craig McCaw handed the keys to Allen, along with his America's Cup syndicate, he was delivering quality. On this HDW-Nobiskrg 301-footer, Allen and his family have the entire top deck to themselves. The owner's suite includes a full-width bedroom, two other staterooms, a communal family room, an office, gymnasium and an observation lounge above. Six guest staterooms, panoramic lounge and dining saloons and a cinema are positioned on the lower decks.
Toys include a McDonnell Douglas MD500 helicopter (and a second helipad for guests to drop in on); a 40-foot German Frers all-carbon daysailer that, given the right winds, will outperform its mothership; a 37-foot speedboat to starboard and a swimming pool. A tender, PWCs and other watersports equipment are stored in the stern garage where there is also a diving room and decompression chamber.