Have you been wondering what that shadowy ship has been doing off Paradise Cove for the past few weeks? So were several other Malibu residents who contacted The Malibu Times to learn more.
Here’s what we found.
A heavy-duty explorer standing what looks to be five decks above the waterline, the mystery ship is a luxury superyacht called Plan B. She is not a military ship, though some residents mistook her for one due to her appearance. Plan B has a helicopter pad and a dark paint job, which a representative at luxury yacht brokerage Ocean Independence confirmed is as recent as last year.
In addition, Plan B has many “toys” and luxury amenities, such as a gym, an outdoor movie screen, a water slide, a small pool and sunbathing area with panoramic views, a massage room, and multiple tenders and watercraft with which to come ashore. The niche website Superyacht Times reports that Plan B could accommodate up to 12 guests in her king-sized master bedroom and four guest bedrooms as of July 2016.
As recently as 2016, the ship was chartered out by a brokerage called Ocean Independence, which is headquartered in Zurich but has an office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Then, for a time, Plan B was in the hands of brokerage Burgess, which has an LA-area office in Beverly Hills. However, the ship went o the market in April 2020. She is now owned by a private individual. A Burgess representative declined to share information about Plan B’s new owner.
According to lifeguards at Zuma Beach, Plan B has been anchored o the coast of Malibu for several weeks now and can stay as long as she likes.
This superyacht has circumnavigated the world at least three times since 2007, as reported by Superyacht Times. Plan B has sailed everywhere from Norway to the Mediterranean to Patagonia to the Galapagos Islands. An Ocean Independence representative confirmed that Plan B was in Floridian water a few months ago.
Plan B was built for the Royal Australian Navy in 1973. She was decommissioned in 1998 and later auctioned off for civilian use.
For a brief period in 2018, Curbed wrote, she was owned by tech billionaire Ted Waitt. His philanthropic foundation, the Waitt Foundation, which “partners with governments to help them improve livelihoods and protect ocean resources by implementing sustainable ocean plans” according to their website, utilized her for research expeditions.
At another point in her life, Plan B may perhaps also have been owned by Uzbek-Belgian billionaire Patokh Chodiev, though The Malibu Times was unable to confirm whether Chodiev simply owned a different yacht than the one currently off our coast that also happened to be named Plan B.
Forbes lists Chodiev as being worth $2.1 billion as of March 2019. Chodiev made his fortune through investing in natural resources in Kazakhstan in the mid-1990s, according to Forbes. Chodiev’s foundation’s website also says he founded Eurasian Bank and Eurasian Insurance Company, which is apparently Kazakhstan’s largest insurance company.
A blog called Super Yacht Fan reported that Plan B was once rumored to be owned by Brad Pitt because he has a production company called Plan B, but that these rumors were incorrect.
For the ultra-rich, superyachts are ways to vacation while still staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic. According to Burgess’ website, ports in France, Italy and Greece are open to EU countries, while other nations such as Fiji and Antigua are open to all.
That is, all who can afford it. Yacht charterers must pay a base rate. When Plan B was with Ocean Independence, she commanded up to $250,000 per week. In addition, yacht charters must pay taxes wherever they go, plus food, fuel and gratuities for the crew.