Tom Perkins had done it all. He'd made a fortune, conquered Silicon Valley, even been Danielle Steel's fifth husband for a time. His venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, was an early backer of Genentech, Netscape, and Google. But when he turned 70 a few years ago, Perkins decided to do something even grander and a bit crazier: He would build the biggest, riskiest, fastest, most technologically advanced, single-hulled sailing mega yacht in the world. The 289-foot Maltese Falcon, launched in spring 2006, is that engineering dream come to life.
If the 1,367-ton Falcon were anchored in New York Harbor, its masts would nearly reach the tablet in the arm of the Statue of Liberty. The exterior has teak decks, a varnished cap rail, and exquisitely finished surfaces — all attributes of a classic ship — yet the overall look is sleek, metallic, and ultramodern, almost foreboding. When Darth Vader builds his own intergalactic yacht, it will look like this.
Wow. Tom Perkins wins..