Octopus (yacht)

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Octopus in Antibes, July 21, 2009
Name: Octopus
Owner: Estate of Paul Allen
Operator: Fraser Yachts
Port of registry:  Cayman Islands
Builder: Lürssen
Yard number: 13622
Launched: August 1, 2003
Completed: 2003
General characteristics
Type: Superyacht
  • 9,932 GT
  • 2,979 NT
Displacement: 8,850 t
Length: 126.20 m (414 ft 1 in)
Beam: 21.00 m (68 ft 11 in)
Draft: 5.76 m (18 ft 11 in)
Ice class: 1A
Installed power:
  • 8 diesel engines
  • total 19,200 hp (14,300 kW)
Propulsion: 2 propellers
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) max
Range: 14,250 nmi (26,390 km; 16,400 mi)
Capacity: 26
Crew: 63

Octopus is a 414-foot (126 m) megayacht owned by the Jody Allen-controlled estate of the late Paul Allen. It is one of the world's largest yachts. Launched in 2003, Octopus is a private vessel that is regularly lent out for exploration projects, scientific research initiatives and rescue missions.[1]


Octopus in Barbados, December 2, 2006
Octopus in Antibes Port Vauban, in 2009
Octupus in Hamburg, August 1, 2019

Octopus has two helicopter[2] pads on the main deck, a twin pad and hangars at the stern and a single pad on the bow; and a 63-foot (19 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,[3] 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.[3] Side hatches at the water line form a dock for personal watercraft.

The exterior was designed by Espen Øino Naval Architects and built by the German shipbuilders Lürssen in Bremen and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel.[4] The interior was by designer Jonathan Quinn Barnett of Seattle.


Octopus was built in 2003 and refitted in 2008.

Allen loaned Octopus, which is equipped with a submarine and ROV, for a variety of rescue and research operations. These include assisting in a hunt for an American pilot and two officers whose plane disappeared off Palau, and loaning his yacht to scientists to study the coelacanth, a "living fossil" that was once believed to be extinct.

In January 2011, while en route to Antarctica, one of its helicopters was forced to make an emergency landing in the waters off the coast of Argentina. While the helicopter was severely damaged, there was no loss of life, with only the co-pilot suffering minor injuries. Allen was not aboard at the time.[5][6]

In 2012, he loaned the ship to the Royal Navy in their attempt to retrieve the ship's bell from the Admiral-class battlecruiser HMS Hood, which sank to a depth of 9,000 feet (2,700 m) in the Denmark Strait during World War II, as a national memorial. HMS Hood was hit by a shell from the German battleship Bismarck; its magazines exploded and the ship sank in minutes with a loss of over 1,400 lives. The bell was located but not recovered, due to adverse weather conditions. On August 7, 2015 it was announced that the bell from HMS Hood had been recovered by the ROV operating from Octopus. After conservation, the bell was put on display in 2016 at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth.[7]

In March 2015, an Allen-led research team announced that it had found the Japanese battleship Musashi in the Sibuyan Sea off the coast of the Philippines.[8] Armed with 46 cm (18.1 in) main guns and displacing 72,800 tonnes (74,000 tons) at full load, Musashi and its sister ship Yamato were the largest and most heavily armed battleships in naval history.[9]

From 2018 to July 2019, the yacht underwent a refit at Blohm+Voss and is reportedly for sale with an asking price of €295,000,000.[10]

In October 2019, the estate of Paul Allen, announced that the yacht would be up for sale for $325 million. It was not announced if the sale went through.[11]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 30, 2015. Retrieved April 6, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "The Wild World of Paul Allen". Daily News. February 5, 2006. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Madeline Stone (May 21, 2015). "11 crazy facts about Paul Allen's $200 million superyacht". Business Insider. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "OCTOPUS Yacht | Superyacht by Lürssen". www.superyachttimes.com. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  5. ^ "Microsoft Allen's yacht helicopter in emergency landing". Reuters. January 31, 2011.
  6. ^ Golliver, Ben (January 31, 2011). "Portland Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen's Helicopter Crashed, Allen Not Aboard, Co-Pilot Suffers 'Minor Injuries'". Blazer's Edge.
  7. ^ "HMS Hood's bell unveiled at Navy museum Portsmouth". BBC News. May 24, 2016.
  8. ^ "More details about warship recovery by superyacht Octopus". www.superyachttimes.com. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  9. ^ "Japan's WW2 'Musashi Battleship Wreck Found'". BBC. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  10. ^ "OCTOPUS Yacht for Sale | SuperYacht Times".
  11. ^ Warren, Katie. "Paul Allen's 414-foot superyacht is for sale for $325 million. Take a look at the late Microsoft cofounder's yacht, which has 2 helipads and a glass-bottomed underwater lounge". Business Insider. Retrieved August 6, 2020.


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