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Sailing with Charlie with Upholstery

The BVI is proof that the rich are getting richer. More and bigger mega yachts are appearing daily and the level of luxury on board each appears to be so overwhelming it borders on the ridiculous. Paul Allen's 416-ft Octopus boasts two helicopters, a submarine (launched from its own on board garage) and a remote controlled submersible for ocean floor crawling. There are umpteen launches, pleasure boats, water toys and inflatables. A full size basket ball court also impresses. But the 2003 Octopus is already somewhat outdated; what can new billionaire super yacht owners do to outshine predecessors?

The new 394-ft super yacht 'A' aspires to outdo the competition by incorporating much gold, silver and glass into its fixtures and fittings (special silver shower taps cost $40K a piece), as well as exotic animal parts in its interior décor. One wall is made up of white sting ray hides, while furnishings are adorned with alligator skins and kudu horns. This latter idea may be a trend following the somewhat bizarre feature incorporated into the furnishings of Aristotle Onassis' luxury motor yacht Christina. He had his bar stools covered in whale foreskins! This begs the question, how on earth do you obtain whale foreskins? One expert explained to Charlie that you need not one, not two, not even three but fore skin divers to secure the necessary accoutrement. It has been suggested that the ostentatious Onassis wanted this particular seat covering as a conversation piece but others in the know said that the very expensive coverings were more of an investment. Now, you may well ask how a used foreskin can ever increase in value and here's the answer: foreskins tend to expand, so it's possible that a simple stool covering could expand enough to provide a complete re-upholstering of a lounge suite. Yep, you sure have to hand it to Aristotle Onassis.

To the owner of mega yacht 'A' Charlie would like to offer this advice. Elderly oriental gentlemen often have an affinity for the aphrodisiacal rhinoceros horn, so experimentation with kudu horn could be a temptation; there may be times when you have to stow the furniture. You catch my drift?

Charlie is now offering his services as a consultant to new super yacht owners.

Julian Putley is the author of 'The Drinking Man's Guide to the BVI', 'Sunfun Calypso', and 'Sunfun Gospel'.

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