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  • Writer's picture. Meritocracy

Controversial Billionaire Adventurer Parting With the Superyacht That Was His Actual Home

Most of the world’s finest luxury yachts are owned either by top-level businessmen or celebrities. Home tells a different story. The first hybrid superyacht built by the world-renown Heesen yard belongs to an adventurer who managed to build a massive fortune and who became infamous for his failed space adventures, ending up in court.

Superyachts are often described as a “home away from home” for their wealthy owners. This 163-footer (50 meters) vessel was literally Harald McPike’s home in the Bahamas. The eccentric Austrian-born billionaire, rumored to have made his first million at blackjack, had reached some of the world’s highest peaks, and had skied to the North Pole, and was ready to reach a new frontier, the space one.

McPike was portrayed as mysterious by the media – the unusual billionaire who chose to live aboard his superyacht in the Bahamas. But he had become famous years earlier when he sued U.S.-based Space Adventures for an alleged breach of contract. The “space fever” was already brewing in 2012, and McPike was one of the few who could afford to secure a future trip to space.

He paid a total of $17 million just as deposits, hoping to go to space in the following years, onboard a Russian spacecraft. But the agreement was broken, with accusations on both sides, and McPike didn’t get to be the first billionaire in space. A settlement was finalized in 2019, and the adventurer carried on with his secluded life. But it looks like he is done with superyacht living as well.

Even with all the controversy aside, Home is a one-of-a-kind vessel. It was Heesen’s first-ever hybrid model, combining Van Oosanen’s efficient FDHF hull design with hybrid propulsion, resulting in lower fuel costs and emissions, plus reduced noise and vibration levels. Equipped with two 805 HP mtu engines, two generators, and two e-motors, Home has four propulsion modes, from hybrid to boost (a top speed of 16.8 knots/19 mph/31 kph).

The Dutch yacht boasts an equally-modern interior. The famous Cristiano Gatto created a clean, Ibiza beach club look, where huge ceiling-to-floor windows throughout are a key element. Home included all the features of a successful boat, from the jacuzzi and gym to an elegant bar and a large sun deck equipped with privacy glass screens. The owner’s room comes with a dressing room and a private office, and six other cabins provide accommodation for up to 12 guests.

The controversial billionaire’s literal home, unique in its own right, is up for grabs. Burgess Yachts lists it for $33.4 million (€29.5 million) – a home with a story.

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