Own this yacht for $16 million; Rockford man is selling it on eBay
ROCKFORD — For sale: Gently used watercraft, carries 365, hits speeds of 30 mph. Tank holds 4,000 gallons. $16 million or best offer. Trailer not included.
That’s pretty much the way John Martin has listed his 123-foot-long, 60-foot- wide yacht on eBay. If he’s successful in his 10-day auction, he’ll break the online auction site’s record for priciest single sale.
Martin, who owns Martin Automatic Inc. and Arachnid Inc., put the Cloud X up for sale Monday morning. Opening bids start at $5 million.
eBay has attracted several local items of note over the years
A self-employed Roscoe carpenter placed her home on the site with a starting bid of $150,000.
Donley’s Wild West Town amusement park in Union was placed on eBay in 2003 when the owners of 29 years wanted to retire.
Rockford’s Toad Hall Books and Records was put up for sale last year after owners shut it down because of declining sales they blamed on eBay.
The store eventually sold to a Durand couple when the eBay auction bidding didn’t meet the reserve price.
The Rockford businessman said he originally wanted to put a “Buy It Now” price of $16 million on the item but wasn’t allowed under eBay rules because this is the first item he has ever put up for sale on eBay.
If it sells for the opening bid price, it will break eBay records. According to eBay spokeswoman Catherine England, the largest sale price recorded on the site was $4.9 million for a business jet in 2001.
The Cloud X was the first yacht built by SWATH International Ltd., a company Martin ran for 12 years before dissolving it because of heavy losses — a rare business failure for Martin. His other operations are leaders in their particular industries. Martin Automatic has about 265 workers designing and manufacturing web-handling equipment for the printing, packaging and converting industries, while Arachnid has about 50 employees designing and manufacturing electronic dart games.
The Cloud X operated as a ferry from West Palm Beach to Freeport, Bahamas, for just six months. It remains docked in Fort Pierce, Fla.
“I’m very proud of the boat. I don’t know if there wasn’t a market for it or we didn’t market it properly,” Martin said. “I know I was losing money on it at an alarming rate, and we just had to shut everything down.”
Martin said the Cloud X could be used one of three ways, as a ferry, which is what he was using it for; a megayacht — it has 4,714 square feet on the main deck and 3,370 square feet on the upper deck; or as an oil rig crew boat. He said its unique design allows it to operate in heavy sea conditions that hamper conventional supply ships.
The SWATH name stands for Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull. SWATH ships usually have two submarinelike lower hulls submerged while above water the ship resembles a catamaran. The design allows it to cut through heavy waves with reduced motions, meaning less seasickness for passengers and less tossing about of cargo. To read more about the design of the boat, go to www.swath.com/concept.htm.
“To buy it new, it would cost about $20 million,” Martin said. He said he does have a reserve price — a price the auction has to reach for the sale to be final — but he would not disclose it. By 5 p.m. Monday, no one had bid on the ship.Rushie