yachts

Larry Page steals a captain

December 27, 2011: 5:00 AM ET
Larry Page's 194-foot Senses sleeps 12 comfortably.

Larry Page's 194-foot Senses sleeps 12 comfortably.

FORTUNE -- It's warfare on the high seas! Not quite, but the moneyed yachties of the world were abuzz when Google's (GOOG) Larry Page recently got himself a skipper for his 194-foot motor yacht Senses. The new captain is Chris Gartner, who was lured away from the Maltese Falcon, the futuristic clipper ship owned by Elena Ambrosiadou, the European hedge fund billionaire. The Falcon's prior owner and builder was Tom Perkins, the celebrated Silicon Valley VC; the 46-year-old Gartner had worked for Perkins for 20 years. When Perkins sold the Falcon in 2009 to Ambrosiadou for a reported $90 million, Gartner stayed on -- until this fall when Page, according to a source, made him "an obscene offer." Captains in the mega-yacht industry receive salaries as high as $250,000. (Google will say only that he was paid a market rate.) Senses, which Page bought for a reported $45 million, carries a Hobie Wave catamaran, a 28-foot classic Herreshoff sloop, and a helipad. Gartner will captain a crew of 13. No word on whether Page will have him use Google Maps to steer. --David A. Kaplan 

This article is from the December 26, 2011 issue of Fortune.

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