Forbes Middle East


For Sale: A Microsoft Co-Founder’s $300M Yacht

Jamila Gandhi
For Sale: A Microsoft Co-Founder’s $300M YachtImage source: Fraser

Yacht-management firms Fraser and Burgess have both listed the super-yacht of the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for sale.

Allen, who died at the age of 65 in October, left Microsoft in 1983 - just eight years after its founding year -  after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. He co-founded the tech giant in 1975 along with Bill Gates.

Despite leaving in 1983, he amassed a fortune and acquired sports teams, art, and even a German-built mega-yacht. Measured at 414-foot, the “Octopus” is on sale for a whopping $326 million – four times more what Allen paid for his NBA franchise, the Portland Trailblazers and the price of five 650 Gulfstream jets. At least half his assets are billed for charitable purposes after he joined the Giving Pledge. He gave away more than $2 billion, including $500 million to his Allen Institute for Brain Science.

Built by Lurrsen and delivered in 2003, at the time the Octopus was the world’s largest yacht, but now doesn’t even appear in the top 10 list categorized by length. Its hybrid propulsion system gives her a maximum speed of 19kn and transoceanic range of approximately 12,500nm at her economical speed of 12.5kn.

According to the listing, once upon a time, this yacht traveled the Antarctic coast and the Northwest Passage, hosting the famous and elite. A notable finding includes the discovery of the wreck of the WW2 battleship IJN Musashi off the Philippines. Burgess reports the yacht has undergone a recent refit this year.

For a third of a billion dollars, the yacht comes furnished with two helipads, a swimming pool which can be converted into a dancefloor via a retractable glass system and two elevators. The interior is designed by Seattle’s Jonathan Quinn Barnett, translating over its exteriors classic nautical design. Additionally, a private deck and bar, a hot tub and an alfresco dining area are available for more intimate gatherings on the sea.

Entertainment options also don’t fall short with multiple offerings like a movie theater, a library, a basketball court and a spa for the zen-calling moments. Allen’s love for music led to the yacht hosting a top tier recording space, which saw the likes of Usher, Johnny Cash and Bono experience the sea-borne studio. In 2011, the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger also used the boat as an impromptu recording studio.

The yacht is not available for sale to US residents in US waters.

Jamila is a wealth reporter at Forbes Middle East Magazine, where her work includes billionaires’ philanthropy, influence and leadership insights.

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