Editor’s note: A $1bn yacht might be the ultimate symbol of excess, conspicuous consumption, and waste. But make it “hydrogen-powered” and suddenly it’s a symbol of virtue, or so the bottom-feeding press would have you believe (see an exhibit below if you can stomach it).
And at all that Gates did not even earn his fortune (that he is now using to help keep you in lockdown), but is a tax parasite owing all his ill-begotten wealth to a state-granted monopoly patent. These were rightfully abolished centuries ago, but for some reason when it comes to the bogus concept of “intellectual property” a “patent” can still be obtained that ensures the sovereign will expend its own resources to force subjects to pay what amount to taxes (“license fees”) to a private entity.
For an environmentally conscious billionaire, what better way to combine luxury with your green credentials?
Bill Gates has commissioned the world’s first hydrogen-powered superyacht – believed to cost $860 million, giving him bragging rights over other ultra-rich seafarers.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the retired 64-year-old is behind the construction of the cutting-edge cruiser by Dutch superyacht specialist Feadship.
The custom build is based on blueprints for the 372ft (113 metre) vessel Aqua publicised at the Monaco Yacht Show last year by Dutch marine architects Sinot. It said the plans took “inspiration from the lifestyle of a discerning, forward-looking owner”.
Gates, who co-founded Microsoft and is the world’s second-richest person, is a regular superyacht holidaymaker but has not owned one, preferring to rent for summer trips around the Mediterranean.
His new vessel, scheduled to go to sea in 2024, will not measure up to some of the largest cruisers such as the 535ft (163 metre) Eclipse commissioned by Roman Abramovich, the oligarch owner of Chelsea Football Club, but its hydrogen power is a signal of Gates’s belief that investment in new clean technology is the best way to cut carbon emissions.
The designs for Aqua include two 28-ton vacuum-sealed tanks to store liquid hydrogen at -252C. The fuel will generate power for the two 1 megawatt motors and for passengers via fuel cells, which combine hydrogen with oxygen from the air to emit only electricity and water.