East Hampton, Long Island - "Do I really look like I need a billion dollar bail out?" the reclusive owner of the world's most awesome ocean-going yacht chuckled this morning amid reports that a Qatari shaikha - believed to be the CEO of the Qatar Mausoleums & Royal Long-Drops Authority - has bombarded him with emails and phone calls asking to buy his latest $500million runabout.
Built by German marine engineers Lurssen and designed by Italian boatbuilders Nauta the 180 metre-long, 94,000 horse-power super yacht has been undergoing an extensive kit-out with the installation of the owner's $100billion private art collection ahead of a Thanksgiving Day inauguration party next week.
Huge secrecy surrounds the owner's identity as well as the name chosen for the new yacht which, since this year's April launch, has been undergoing extensive sea trials and engineering adjustments in preparation for its maiden voyage early in December.
International yachting circles believe that first cross-Atlantic run will only take place once Comet Ison becomes visible to the naked eye in a classic 'up yours' gesture to envious owners of other ocean-going craft - such as Brunei's disgraced princelet Jefri Bolkiah, owner of a boat called 'Tits' and Russian mobster Roman Abramovich whose $350million yacht 'Eclipse' has just become a superyachting also-ran.
Catch first glimpses of next week's extraordinary launch right here on this website.