While Donald Trump once owned the third-largest yacht in the world, the current president believed the 281-foot Trump Princess wasn't quite big enough. In 1993, he toyed with creating a record-breaking private pleasure vessel, and even paid some $170,000 for its design, Fortune reports.
While the 420-foot behemoth never launched, Trump's first big boat still offers a peek at his love for luxury. Here's the story behind his former floating palace.
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When Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi commissioned the ship almost 40 years ago, it came with a $100 million price tag — equivalent to almost $300 million today. He named the boat after his daughter Nabila, but you might recognize the prow under yet another name. James Bond villain Maximillian Largo operated it as the Flying Saucer in the 1983 movie Never Say Never Again.
Faced with financial struggles, Khashoggi lost his boat to the Sultan of Brunei as collateral for unpaid loans. Donald Trump then took it off the Sultan's hands in 1987 for a reported $29 million, although he supposedly received a $1 million discount for renaming the ship.
After spending another $10 million in renovations, Donald and Ivana Trump welcomed New York press aboard the refurbished Trump Princess in 1988.
The revamped boat could host 22 guests and another 52 crew members, rivaling even mansions of the stationary variety.
With a pool, movie theater, disco, three elevators, two dining rooms, 11 staterooms and a reported 210 telephones, the ship didn't skimp on anything — especially the gold-plated fittings. Trump even replaced the helipad's H with a T.
Trump used the entertaining headquarters to host high rollers from his Atlantic City casinos, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Miss America Pageant contestants also earned invitations.
Only a few years after acquiring the yacht, the real estate recession forced Trump to give up on his seafaring lifestyle. He sold the boat to Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal for $20 million, according to the Washington Post.
With more money in his pockets, Trump (now dating Marla Maples) commissioned a larger sequel in 1993. "I am interested in building a 420[-foot] yacht which, when completed, will not only be the largest yacht in the world, but at the same time, the most beautiful," Trump reportedly wrote to Spanish ship builders. Pesky financing issues sprung up again though, and boat never came to be.
The original Trump Princess still belongs to Al-Waleed bin Talal, but it now goes by name Kingdom 5KR. Previously one of the largest yachts afloat, the ship now pales in comparison to the 500-foot giants currently commissioned by billionaires.