Friday, January 21, 2011

Aww, Boo-Hoo
In boom times, yacht enthusiasts would order a new dream boat and keep their old one for the two or three years the builder needed to complete the new boat. Then, they would quickly sell the older yacht to impatient new millionaires and billionaires eager for their requisite status symbols.

But that equation changed with the financial crisis two years ago and took the superyacht market down with it.

Some of the wealthy have ended up like Peter A. Hochfelder, the principal and founder of Brahman Capital Management, a private investment firm in Manhattan. Mr. Hochfelder already owned a 134-foot L├╝rssen, named Blind Date, that was built in 1995. He commissioned a second boat in 2007, a 161-foot Trinity yacht, that he christened with the same name. It was completed in 2009.

Now, Mr. Hochfelder, who declined to be interviewed, has put both on the market, in the hope that he can sell at least one.
It just really really stinks that the yacht market has slowed. (It's also hard out there to be a pimp, or so I have heard.).

Here is a brief reminder though: According to the most recent census data, 14.3% of Americans live in poverty, that's about 1 out of every 7. That includes *more than a quarter of all African-Americans* and 1 out of every 5 children.

Don't get me wrong - millionaires are people too. They laugh and cry and suffer and help people and experience heart-break and joy and are deserving of all the same empathy the whole human race is. Money doesn't solve life problems, and it probably even creates some. But not being able to sell your yacht is not really one of them, not one that will generate much concern from me, anyway.


stevie t said...

Thank you Don. Once again you have humanized the marginalized. I now have a special place in my heart for yacht owners. I will say a special prayer tonight for Mr. Hochfelder.

Anonymous said...


I didn't think as a struggling (?) American you even knew the word "Yacht". Now you can really understand why we NEED to cut taxes!