When the U.S. Economy Collapses, I'll Watch Through Gold Binoculars From the Deck of My "Giga-yacht" | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

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When the U.S. Economy Collapses, I'll Watch Through Gold Binoculars From the Deck of My "Giga-yacht"

Images courtesy of www.4yacht.com
Giga-what? Giga-yacht! It's for sporting men who feel crowded on their 180-foot "super-yacht" and whose claustrophobia still flares up on a 220-foot-plus "mega-yacht." That's a gigayacht pictured above. I had to shrink the graphic, but if you look  closely on the left side you'll see a helicopter, which gives you a sense for the massive scale. This boat, immodestly named "Everest," will be 656 feet long -- the biggest yacht in the world. That's longer than two football fields. And that's more than half the length of a cruise ship, though the ship's listing broker, Craig Timm, is quick to point out that, "The difference is in the interior appointments." The cruise ship's paint job is to the Everest what "a bulldozer paint job is to a Ferrari." Or at least it will be once it's built.

Timm, with Fort Lauderdale-based www.4yacht.com, says he's still looking for a "special client" to pay the half-billion dollar price tag for this monster. Only then will construction begin. "No spec," says Timm. "This is built to order. You pick out exactly what you want."

I gotcha -- sorta like, Pimp My Yacht. After the jump, a shopping spree for our giga-yacht, which we'll buy after we hit the Powerball jackpot 31 times in a row.

Before we start, though, let's make some clarifications. All comparisons with cruise ships must end with size. The cruise ships often pack more than 5,000 people on board, conditions made possible only because the middle class will tolerate anything. By contrast, the Everest will have comfortable accommodations for no more than 36, who will be spread across the yacht's 17 apartments. Of course, the owner gets the distinction of the private penthouse suite at the ship's top deck.

Nothing ruins a dinner party faster than a crew of swashbuckling Somali pirates. The execrable manners, the unsightly dental hygiene, the unbearable body odor, the executing of the ship staff, the raping of the women, the kidnapping of the children, the paying of the ransom... There must be a better way. Which is why you'll be relieved to learn that the Everest can be equipped with deck-launched torpedoes and ship-to-air missiles, features that will turn a pirate invasion into a fireworks extravaganza for you and your guests. Timm also recommends that his buyer employ a security team of "divers who can be in the water morning and night." If a pirate ship still manages to conquer the Everest, well, then it's a good thing you remembered to pack your helicopter and -- if that's out of reach -- your submarine.

Oh, about the missiles and torpedoes: Timm cautions that it could cause some hiccups with foreign navy vessels, "because at that point, we're talking about a warship, and you might have difficulty getting into the country." Point taken.

I asked Timm about buyers, starting with our own local Prince of the High Seas, yachting enthusiast and former trash baron H. Wayne Huizenga. "No, we haven't heard from him," says Timm. Probably H.Wayne's still pissed about having to pay taxes to an ungrateful Obama administration when he sells his stake in the Dolphins. Oh, how that man suffers.

Surely, then, this boat was designed with someone like, oh, Bernard Madoff in mind? "No," says Timm. "I think he's out of the running." Right, he's had a bit of legal trouble. Ditto, Jeffrey Epstein. Fine then. Let the bidding begin between the Saudi princes.

-- Thomas Francis