Octopus (yacht)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the motor yacht Octopus. For other uses, see Octopus.
Octopus in Antibes, July 21, 2009
Owner: Paul Allen
Port of registry:  Cayman Islands
Builder: Lürssen
Yard number: 13622
Completed: 2003
General characteristics
Class and type: LR
Type: Motor Yacht
Tonnage: 9932
Displacement: TBC tonnes
Length: 126.20 m (414.0 ft)
Beam: 21.00 m (68.90 ft)
Draft: 5.66 m (18.6 ft)
Installed power:
  • 8 diesel engines
  • total 19,200 hp (14,300 kW)
Propulsion: 2 propellers
  • max: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
  • cruise: 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Capacity: 26 guests
Crew: 57

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


Octopus in Barbados, December 2, 2006
Octopus in Antibes Port Vauban, in 2009

Octopus has two helicopter[2] pads on the top 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 jet skis.

The exterior was designed by Espen Øino Naval Architects and built by the German shipbuilders Lürssen in Bremen and HDW[citation needed] in Kiel. The interior was by designer Jonathan Quinn Barnett of Seattle.


Some of Octopus main features are:

  • an owner-exclusive deck (including walk-in closet, study, outside bar with whirlpool)
  • a wood burning fireplace
  • a glass bottom swimming pool
  • a cinema
  • a complete recording studio once used by Paul McCartney & Duran Duran.
  • a hangar for two helicopters with two helipads one forward one aft.
  • a 45 foot 10-person submarine
  • a 63 foot sport fishing tender named Man of War, located behind the submarine in the central aft garage
  • 8 elevators, one dedicated to Allen's quarters in the aft; 4 crystal elevators in the grand foyer for the visitors arrival.
  • a jazz bar near the main theater starboard side down the hall from owners lounge
  • separate submerged hatch to release submarine without opening the back garage doors.
  • dental office
  • doctor's office miniature ER
  • full spa and exercise rooms
  • 6 retired navy seals to secure this yacht in international waters.
  • decommissioned NSA satellite to follow the yacht
  • a massive platinum artist custom made sculpture of a Octopus as a centerpiece on large dining table on the port side of owner's lounge.
  • many multi-million dollar paintings
  • many signed first edition books, one by Clint Eastwood who has been on the yacht many times.
  • It costs an estimated $384,000 a week to operate.
  • He employs a permanent staff of 60.

Paul's private room is not that large but beautifully laid out. His en suite bathroom is white solid Carrara marble and is as large as his room. Over his private desk is a large ceiling panel that comes out of the ceiling containing a very large flat screen TV like 52" and that was in 2005 when I worked on this ship.


Octopus was built in 2003 and refitted in 2008. It is owned by Paul Allen, who also owns Tatoosh, another of the world's 100 largest yachts.

Allen has 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.[4][5]

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 in 9,000 feet of water 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.

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. Armed with 46 cm (18.1-inch) 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.

On 7 August 2015 it was announced that the bell from HMS Hood had been recovered by the ROV operating from the yacht Octopus. After conservation, the bell is due to go on display in 2016 at the National Museum of the Royal Navy Portsmouth, England.




Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Octopus (ship, 2003) at Wikimedia Commons