FrontRunners: Maltese Falcon

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During an interview last fall with 60 Minutes, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins declined to put a price tag on the construction of his prized Maltese Falcon, the world’s largest, most technologically advanced clipper yacht. "It’s certainly less than $300 million," he said coyly. In March, Perkins revealed the vessel’s actual value—or at least his asking price—when he listed Maltese Falcon with the brokerages Camper & Nicholsons (www.cnconnect?.com) and Perini Navi USA (www.perininavi.it/brokerage.cfm) for approximately $180 million. Its price notwithstanding, Maltese Falcon may not remain on the market for long. The 289-foot yacht, launched in 2006, features an unstayed rotating "Falcon Rig" that includes three fully retractable sails, which disappear into? ?carbon-fiber masts measuring 192 feet tall and weighing 25 tons. "Except for the U.S. Air Force, I’ve purchased more carbon fiber than anybody, ever," rel="nofollow" Perkins told 60 Minutes. Despite this distinction, Perkins and his carbon-fiber masts are parting company so that he can move on to a new maritime project: a custom-designed sports submarine.

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Photo by Ghislain Dussart/ Gamma-Rapho/GettyImages
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