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The Guardian : Secret buyer nabs Microsoft grandee’s super yacht “Octopus” for £200m

For £1m a week you can rent a 126-meter ship built for Paul Allen, with two helicopters, two subs, and a recording studio
A vast “explorer class” superyacht built for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has been sold for almost £200m and is now available to rent for anyone with about a £1m to drop for a week.

Octopus was the world’s largest yacht when she was built for Allen in 2003 and the 126-meter vessel marked a turning point in superyacht design, capable of being used for deep-sea exploration as well as living a life of luxury on the high seas.
On the market since Allen’s death in 2018, the superyacht was originally listed for sale at €295m (£250m) before being reduced to €235m. It is believed to have sold slightly under the asking price. The Allen family office declined to comment.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died aged 65 in 2018.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died aged 65 in 2018. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images
The identity of the Scandinavian buyer is unknown, but it is to be made available for charter via Mayfair-based yacht broker Camper & Nicholsons. The broker, which declined to comment, has not yet set a weekly rental price. However, other very large superyachts can cost as much as £1m a week to rent.
Octopus, the yacht of Microsoft Corp. co-founder billionaire Paul Allen, moored off Venice’s Grand Canal in 2005.
Octopus, the yacht of Microsoft Corp. co-founder billionaire Paul Allen, moored off Venice’s Grand Canal in 2005. Photograph: Chris Helgren/Reuters
In 2019, Kylie Jenner, the Keeping up with the Kardashians reality TV star and cosmetics empire billionaire, spent €1.1m chartering the 91.5m (300ft) yacht Tranquility.
The eight-deck Octopus has 13 guest suites, including a private owner’s deck. There is also a cinema, a gym, a spa, a basketball court, a pool (which converts into a dancefloor) and a pizza oven. It features not one but two helicopters, two submarines and space for seven tenders, and a large SUV. The yacht has quarters for up to 63 crew.
Allen, a keen adventurer, asked superyacht designer Espen Øino to create a yacht capable of carrying out expeditions. “It was a very ambitious brief, because none of the tenders, tools, RVs, subs, helicopters could be outside – they should all be concealed,” Øino has said.
The Octopus pops up in June 2020.
The Octopus pops up in June 2020. Photograph: Lorenzo Carnero/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock
The ship was used by the Titanic director, James Cameron, for a dive to the bottom of the 10,925 meters to the Mariana trench, the deepest point in the world.
Allen also used the ship to help to recover the bell from the British battleship HMS Hood, which was sunk by the Bismarck in the North Atlantic.
“When I first stood on the bridge, I felt as though I was on a spaceship,” Allen wrote in his autobiography Idea Man. He said having a pool, basketball court, cinema, and recording studio on the boat meant “all my passions come together in one movable feast”.
Paul Allen’s yacht Octopus moored at Canary Wharf during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Paul Allen’s yacht Octopus moored at Canary Wharf during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Photograph: Alamy
“It turns out if you go 1,000 ft down in the ocean, it’s really dark, and the animals are really strange,” Allen said in 2011. “But if you put on some Pink Floyd, it’s fantastic.”
The onboard recording studio has been used by Mick Jagger, Bono, Usher, and Joss Stone. Øino has said equipping the recording studio to Allen’s demands had been a particular challenge.

Paul Allen Obituary - Death Notice and Service Information

“Mr. Allen’s interest in music was enormous and the acoustic quality was nothing less than a shore-based one,” Øino said. “There were 54 tonnes of AV/IT equipment aboard. A very complex boat in many ways. I think he loved it.”
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Octopus’s exterior was designed by Espen Øino Naval Architects and built by the German shipbuilders Lürssen in Bremen and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel.[2] The interior was by designer Jonathan Quinn Barnett.
Consisting of eight decks, including a private owners’ deck, Octopus can host up to 26 guests accommodated in 13 staterooms and is crewed by a complement of 63 spread across 30 cabins. Entertainment facilities include several bars, a spa, library, cinema, gym, basketball court, and multiple lounges including a forward-facing observation area.
It has two helicopters [3] pads on the main deck, a twin pad, and hangars at the stern and a single pad on the bow; and a 43-foot (13 m) tender docked in the transom and a landing craft. There are a total of seven tenders aboard.
The yacht also has a pool, located aft on one of its upper decks,[4] and two submarines (one of them operated by remote control and capable of attaining greater depths).
The latter was lent to Google Earth for the “Explore the Ocean” project.[4] Side hatches at the water line form a dock for personal watercraft. At an economical cruising speed of 12.5 kts, Octopus has a range of 12,500 nm.

Sources: The Guardian + Other sources

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