How the rich downsize

Lohengrin_starboard.jpg
The Lohengrin, a 161-feet super yacht, half the length of a football field and richly appointed with all the amenities - and for $24.5 million she can be yours.
CBS

The owners of many yachts these days are finding themselves underwater ... financially speaking. Mo Rocca has their stories:


At the Miami Yacht Show, buyers (and gawkers) search for that special something that'll float their boat.

But it's the super yachts - those over 120 feet - that are the real showboats here.

Lavishly appointed, tricked out with Jacuzzis, elevators, even helicopter landing pads.

"Do you need to be a Russian oligarch to own this yacht?" asked Rocca.

"No, you don't," said broker Kevin Callahan. "You can be a guy from Cincinnati, Ohio!"

Yes, it may LOOK like a flashback to the "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous," but the last three years have been stormy for the boat business.

"I think people will think twice before buying a lot of excessive things," said Bob Toney, a yacht repo man.

Lately, business for him has been at a high-water mark. He even handled the auction of Bernie Madoff's yachts.

"One of them probably doubled its value BECAUSE it was owned by Bernie Madoff," Toney said.

Most of the boats he reclaims aren't from the super rich but the regular rich (who weren't as rich as they thought).

"Have you seen scenes of multimillionaires reduced to tears because they lose their boat?" Rocca asked.

"You know, it's funny, I would tell you it's more multimillionaires that have a sigh of relief than are reduced to tears," Toney said. "You know, 'I knew this was coming, but it's over with now and now I can go worry about the things that I should be worrying about: my job, my home and my family'."

Still, with the economy only now picking up steam, there are some irresistibly super bargains out there. I jumped right in:

"So, if somebody watching at home is in the market for a 240-foot super yacht, buy now?" Rocca asked.

"Boy, do I have a deal for them!" Toney laughed.

Bob McKeage sells super yachts. In nearby Ft. Lauderdale, he gave Rocca the hard sell on Lohengrin - at 161 feet, about half the length of a football field.

She was sold to its current owner for $33 million two and a half years ago. She's now for sale for $24,500,000 - about 30 percent off.

Manned by a crew of 10, Lohengrin is like a seven-star hotel, with the best of everything.

"Does every super yacht have a bidet?" Rocca asked.

"No," McKeage said. "I would say most American yachts do not have a bidet unless they're specified. In Europe you couldn't sell a yacht without a bidet."

Even the engine room sparkles!

"Oh, my gosh, it's like a disco!" Rocca exclaims. "Everybody dance now!"

Lohengrin is a dinghy compared to the world's largest yacht, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's 557-foot giga-yacht, Eclipse.

But as a starter yacht, it's fine.

"All right, great. I got a CBS News company credit card," said Rocca. "Would that work for you?"

"I don't think that's going to work," said McKeage. "It won't even buy the gas."

But we're the Tiffany Network!


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