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Superyacht named after 'Octopussy' goes on the market

26-Mar-2011 • Bond Style

Sitting solitary at the northernmost end of the Palm Beach International Boat Show sits the blue-hulled M/Y Octopussy, docked on a pier by herself, seeming a little sad -- reports The Triton.

Her beloved owner passed away in January, his heirs uninterested in yachting. So she sits in a boat show for the first time in a long time. Not many people at the show could remember the last time Octopussy, a 143-foot jet-drive Heesen, appeared for sale. Veteran crew, instead, recall her stern-to in Cannes in the late 80s, racing across the Cote d’Azur in the early 90s, anchored in the Bahamas in the 2000s.

Franz Huber, who served as the owner’s butler, chef and medical person for the past 10 years, said the yacht was the owner’s private refuge, where he and his wife would spend two or three months at a time visiting the Bahamas.

Huber shows the boat as though the owner, Mr. Hans Behr, were still aboard.

“This is where they always had breakfast,” he said of the dining nook off the main salon. “And they would sit here looking over the sunset.”

On the flybridge aft of the bridge, Huber showed the blue-and-white-stripped sun pad where Mr. Behr would lie at 2 a.m. and look at the stars. Huber brought him milk and cookies.

Huber admits he’s saddened more than he expected by Mr. Behr’s death. Huber worked for the Behrs 24/7, at their home in Switzerland, at their home in South Florida, on the yacht wherever it went.

“But I loved my job.”Now he’s tasked with managing the sale of his former boss’s assets as well as the medical attention of Mr. Behr’s ailing wife.

“It’s hard to come here and organize the selling of everything,” he said. “Mr. Behr was a good person. I liked him very much.

”Built in 1988 for John Staluppi, the yacht owner who named his yachts after James Bond films, Octopussy changed hands a few times since, but never her name. Mr. Behr bought her in 2000. At the time, she had dark woods in the salon, blacks and greys in the master suite, Huber said. Mr. Behr lightened the wood, walls and carpets, making it warmer, “giving it life,” he said.

The glass-enclosed dining room on the aft deck is legendary and has been copied by other yachts. When opened and at anchor, the Behrs spent every afternoon enjoying an aperitif as the sun set. Mr. Behr spent 35 years going to the islands and knew them well. And he was always behind the wheel when he was aboard.

“He knew where every rock was,” Huber said. “He never looked at a chart; he looked out at points. He’d stop and say ‘here’s a rock with lots of lobsters.’ The mate dove down and yes, there was a rock with lobster.”

When she launched in 1988, she was the fastest boat afloat hitting 53 knots, but Mr. Behr, never drove her faster than 25 knots, Huber said.

“He wanted to take care of his engines,” he said. “This was his baby.”

Earlier this month after a bottom cleaning in preparation for the show, engineers and technicians took the yacht out to see how fast she would go. She hit 38 knots.

M/Y Octopussy is listed for sale at $5.9 million with International Yacht Collection, which has its exhibit of yachts at the north end of the show on a concrete dock that is part of Palm Harbor Marina, and where Octopussy sits alone, awaiting a new owner.

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