From basketball courts to floating helipads, here are the megayachts owned by some of the wealthiest people in tech
Paige LeskinMar 14, 2019, 01:33 IST
Billionaires can afford toys that most people can only dream of: private planes, penthouse apartments, and even entire islands.
Some billionaires have taken to purchasing multi-million-dollar yachts, complete with movie theaters and dance floors, that they can use to host family and their other wealthy friends.
Here are some of the tech elites who own private yachts.
Some billionaires, like Elon Musk and Bill Gates, buy private planes to take control of the open skies - others purchase yachts to access the open seas.
There aren't too many tech billionaires with yachts. Perhaps it's because while private planes can be used for work-related trips and quick time-saving flights, yachts are generally relegated to play. The yachts of tech billionaires, like Google's Sergey Brin and Larry Page, reflect that view - their boats are decked out with amenities like gyms, spas, pools, nightclubs, and movie theaters.
If you want to find out what life is like aboard these multi-million-dollar yachts, some of them are available to rent out for a few nights or weeks at a time. For instance, chartering the yacht owned by Alphabet President Sergey Brin has cost past customers $773,000 a week.
Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison owns a 288-foot yacht named Musashi that he acquired in 2013.
Ellison previously owned a bigger, 454-foot yacht called Rising Sun, which was designed specifically for the CEO in 2005. That yacht reportedly has 82 rooms, a movie theater, a wine cellar, and a basketball court. However, Ellison sold off the Rising Sun to music mogul David Geffen for a reported $300 million.
Ellison's Musashi is a sister ship to the yacht of another billionaire, Sears CEO Eddie Lampert. However, the yacht, named Fountainhead, is often mistaken for belonging to billionaire investor Mark Cuban. "The guy who owns the boat tells everyone that it's mine," Cuban told Page Six in 2016. "It’s so crazy ... I don’t even own a boat."
Ellison's yacht reportedly influenced the decision of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs to get a boat himself. However, Jobs never set foot on the boat — the yacht was commissioned in 2008, but wasn't completed until 2012, a year after his death.
When Jobs died in 2011, his yacht — along with his $14.1 billion fortune — was inherited by his widow, Laurene Powell Jobs. The 256-foot yacht in named Venus, and is worth $130 million.
The Google cofounders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are two of the richest people in the world, at No. 10 and No. 14, respectively. The two billionaires are known to splurge — in addition to each owning a superyacht, they both own private planes as well.
Alphabet CEO Larry Page owns a yacht named Senses, an 194-foot boat costing $45 million that he bought in 2011 from a New Zealand businessman. The yacht has a private beach club with a Jacuzzi and sun beds, both indoor and outdoor dining areas, and a helicopter pad.
Meanwhile, Alphabet President Sergey Brin owns a longer, 240-foot yacht that he bought for a cool $80 million in 2011. It's reportedly the world's fastest superyacht, and is equipped with a dance floor and open-air cinema.
Brin's yacht is named Dragonfly. The boat shares a name with Google's once-secret project to launch a censored search engine in China. It's still not clear whether Google has totally abandoned the project or not.
But Brin and Page aren't the only two high-powered Google figures with yachts. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt owns a 194-foot yacht name Oasis. The yacht reportedly features a pool and a gym-turned-nightclub. He bought the boat in 2009 for a reported $72.3 million.
For Skype cofounder Niklas Zennstrom, his interest in yachts skews toward racing and competitive sailing. Zennstrom has gone through a succession of boats named Ran, and his most recent purchase is the seventh in the series.
The latest yacht, appropriately named Ran VII, is the most technologically advanced of all of Zennstrom's boats. The racing yacht uses electrical power, which Zennstrom says makes it "lighter, less drag, quieter, and most importantly it is environmentally friendly."
The 40-foot yacht will compete in regattas through the racing team owned by Zennstrom and his wife, Catherine. The Ran Racing team launched in 2008 and has won some prestigious regattas.
Barry Diller, chairman of digital media company IAC, co-owns a $70 million yacht with his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.
The sailing yacht, named Eos, is 350 feet long with six bedrooms. The power couple has hosted many celebrities over the years — a few that have been spotted aboard Eos include model Karlie Kloss, actor Bradley Cooper, journalist Anderson Cooper, and singer Harry Styles.
For Jim Clark, the cofounder of Netscape, one yacht hasn't been enough. Clark has owned boats for more than 30 years, and in 2012, put up two of his sailing yachts for sale.
Clark listed the boats for a combined $113 million: the 136-foot Hanuman for $18 million, and the 295-foot Athena for $95 million. However, as of 2016, Clark had yet to offload Athena. Clark also previously owned a 155-foot yacht named Hyperion, and currently also owns a racing yacht named Comanche.
Charles Simonyi worked at Microsoft until 2002 and oversaw the creation of Microsoft Office software. A few years before he left, Simonyi decided to purchase a yacht. He told the designer that wanted his yacht to be "home away from [his] home in Seattle."
The product of that conversation in 1999 is Simonyi's yacht named Skat, meaning "treasure" in Danish. The yacht measures 233 feet long, and is unique with its nontraditional design and gray color. Skat features a matching helicopter, a gym, and motorcycles.
Opulent British billionaire Richard Branson owned a yacht, until he sold it this past September. The 105-foot catamaran sold for $3 million, significantly lower than the €8.5 million ($9.6 million) price Branson listed the boat for in 2014.
Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, bought the boat in 2009. He named it Necker Belle, a nod to his private Caribbean island, Necker Island.