Sunday, February 1, 2009

For Sale: The stuff that dreams are made of

It's the largest privately owned sailing ship in the world: 289 feet long at the waterline, with three 191-foot-tall computer-controlled rotating masts made of carbon fiber. It weighs 1,367 tons and can accommodate 12 guests in six staterooms. Although it's designed to carry a crew of 20, extensive computer control endows the ship with the ability to be sailed by a single person if needed. Price: $190 million.

Tom Perkins' Maltese Falcon
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I shot these photos of the Maltese Falcon in late September 2008 as the ship was making its maiden voyage to San Francisco, where it remained docked for several days. Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins had the yacht built in 2006 for his 70th birthday -- and now, three years and one global economic downturn later, the Maltese Falcon is for sale.

In the 1941 movie of the same name, Humphrey Bogart (as private eye Sam Spade) described the elusive Maltese Falcon statuette as "the stuff that dreams are made of." In these troubled times, it appears some dreams have a price tag that not even the mightiest titans of Silicon Valley can afford to sustain.