Billionaire’s Mega Yacht Becomes One Distraction Too Many

Evidently, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen only needs one of the world’s largest yachts right now. Last week, the 57-year-old billionaire put his 301-foot-long vessel, Tatoosh, on the market through a Florida-based broker. It’s reportedly the biggest yacht ever to be put up for sale on the open market. (So gauche!)

Allen is hanging on to The Octopus, a 414-foot-long yacht that, somewhat amazingly, is but the ninth largest boat in the world.

Allen — who owns three pro sports teams, including the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers — is trying to offload the boat, named after Washington state’s Tatoosh Island, for roughly $160 million, according to reports. He reportedly paid $100 million for it in 2001. (Btw, according to Wikipedia, the boat was originally designed for Craig McCaw.)

If Allen doesn’t have time to enjoy his many toys, it’s  no wonder. Allen was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma last year. One of his largest holdings, the cable provider Charter Communications, filed for bankruptcy last year. And Allen, worth north of $13.5 billion, according to Forbes, is inexplicably embroiled in a fight to hang on to $20 million that was recently awarded to two former managers of Allen’s holding company, Vulcan Capital.

An arbitrator granted the award to David Capobianco and Navin Thukkarm earlier this year, agreeing with them that Allen — who in 2008 made a $1 billion profit off an investment in the publicly traded energy business Plains All American Pipeline — should have paid out his investment staff. They say that he instead dismissed everyone before they received their full share, as well as cut off their profit-sharing plan.

Allen filed legal motions in King County Superior Court back in March to dismiss the award. The judge upheld the arbitration panel’s ruling. Allen is now appealing.