Ellison's luxury yacht docked just steps from homeless camps

Published: Mar. 8, 2013 at 10:33 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2013 at 12:24 PM HST
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KEWALO BASIN, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - The luxury yacht owned by billionaire Larry Ellison, the man who purchased most of the island of Lanai last year, has been spending most of its time docked in Honolulu this year.

Since early January, Ellison's 288-foot luxury yacht , with four levels of living space, has been docked at Honolulu Harbor or at Kewalo Basin when Ellison is not on Lanai.

One boating website says is the 41st largest yacht in the world, befitting America's third richest man.

Ellison's crew members were busy cleaning the decks, windows and glass railings of the vessel Friday.  It's named the Musashi, after the Japanese samurai warrior.

The boat leaves passers-by in awe.

"Choice.  Absolutely, I think, one of the best I've ever seen," said Kakaako resident Rolf Luttgau, who does maintenance work on several boats at Kewalo Basin." There a few of them that came here with the TransPac races from New Zealand, they were pretty big, but this is incredible."

There are two harbors on the island of Lanai. Manele Small Boat Harbor is too small for a boat of this size to maneuver in. Kaumapalau Harbor has a 400-foot dock, big enough for the Musashi. But the boat would have to move to make room for the cargo boats that bring goods to Lanai.

So it stays here at Kewalo Basin on Oahu and sometimes at Honolulu Harbor, paying about $2,200 a month rent to the state Harbors Division.

Kakaako resident Flora Ling bicycles along the wharf every day and when Hawaii News Now told her about his rent, she said, "Oh, that's not bad.  That's cheaper than an apartment in my building."

That rent does not include other charges like water and electricity.  The power comes from a big generator on the dock that's connected to the boat.  The vessel also pays the state a fee of $48 every time it enters Kewalo Basin or $69 each time it enters Honolulu Harbor.

The beautiful symbol of wealth sits only one block away from homeless campers' tents on Ilalo Street in Kakaako and just down the dock from the closed Fisherman's Wharf restaurant that's full of graffiti.

"I think it's beautiful and I don't understand what it's doing sitting in this derelict dock.  I mean, it's a totally neglected neighborhood," Ling said. "Maybe people will notice what a stark contrast it is between the homeless encampment and that poor Fisherman's Wharf restaurant has been sitting there ignored."

Ellison's vessel has two power boats stored on its stern and the can convert into a basketball court when the boats are put into the ocean.

Just across from Ellison's yacht at Kewalo Basin, sat another luxury vessel called Senses. The boat had a helicopter on the deck.

Websites said that yacht belongs to Google co-founder Larry Page.

Ellison formerly owned a much larger vessel that was the eighth largest privately-owned yacht in the world.  The 453-foot yacht named the Rising Sun featured 88 rooms.

Ellison sold that boat to music mogel David Geffen in 2010, and got his new smaller vessel.

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