Octopus is the largest yacht in the world, measuring 413'4".

Octopus is owned by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. She has two helicopter landing pads, a basketball court, a movie theater, and a recording studio capable of professional level production. Since its size prevents her from docking at most ports, Octopus features a 60 foot tender and is expected to include a fuel cell powered 10 person submarine capable of staying submerged for two weeks.

Operated by a crew of 53 people, Octopus was launched in 2003 and has been seen in Portugal, St. Martin, and New Orleans. The 200 million dollar yacht was designed by Espen Øino Naval Architects and constructed by Lürssen in Germany. For comparison, the Queen Mary 2, the largest cruise ship in the world, is ~1130 feet long.

Allen also owns the 12th largest yacht, Tatoosh, which stays mainly in the Pacific, ranging from the Galapagos Islands to Palau and New Zealand. The cinema on Tatoosh has hydraulic seats that elevate if someone sits in front of you. He also owns Méduse, the 65th largest in the world. U2 has used the production facilities on Méduse for recording. There is some speculation that he bought Le Grand Bleu, the world's 6th largest at 354', from McCaw Cellular cofounder John McCaw and briefly owned it before selling her to a (presumably wealthy) friend of Vladimir Putin's.

Despite her cost and size, Octopus is expected to be the world's largest yacht for less than two years. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's 425-footer is planned to be launched in 2005.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, 07May04
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