Whether Maktoum knew he was spoiling the Allen-Ellison rivalry or not, he certainly must have known his choice of a name could be seen as a tweak of another royal's cheek. For years Prince Khaled of Saudi Arabia has carried on a tradition of "golden yachts." Besides his 265-foot Blohm + Voss Golden Odyssey, he acquired a "toy caddy," Golden Shadow, which carries among its complement of toys a nine-passenger Cessna turboprop Caravan.
But like Sheikh Maktoum, Prince Khaled isn't all about excess. In addition to being minister of defense, Prince Khaled is president of a foundation that works for the protection of coral reefs, and Golden Odyssey is a veteran of several expeditions with scientific overtones. To remind himself and others of his charge, there is a living reef in an aquarium beneath the swimming pool.
The Golden Shadow is a 219-foot Campbell. To assist in the expeditioning of its larger sibling, it carries a decompression chamber for those coral reef divers and a medical suite that also caters to the underwater set-with staff.
Will Prince Khaled respond to Sheikh Maktoum's throwing of the gauntlet? Only the oil cartel at OPEC may know for sure, but odds are that somewhere at this moment an even bigger yacht than Golden Star is on somebody's drawing board. And with the way gas prices are rising, it will be a whopper.