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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,” 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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