U.S. Media and Real Estate Billionaire’s Luxury Yacht Donated to a Florida Foundation

Lazy Z is not only a venerable luxury yacht built by a prestigious shipyard and owned by a billionaire but has recently become the largest yacht to be donated. However, this isn’t a purely charitable act but an uncommon method used for vessels that are harder to sell, which benefits the owner as well.
The Lazy Z was the largest yacht built by Oceanco in 1997 7 photos
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Lazy Z was known by several names throughout its long life – it was built in 1997 by Oceanco and was extensively refitted a decade ago, but was continuously maintained and upgraded to high standards. At the time, the 166-footer (50.6 meters) was the largest vessel built by Oceanco, turning heads with its cascading design created by Richard Hein and the minimalist, luxurious interiors styled by Therese Baron Gurney.

Throughout the decades, it was known as a remarkable charter yacht that could accommodate up to 12 guests, enticing them with numerous al-fresco dining areas, a jacuzzi on the main deck, a large main saloon, and a dazzling selection of water toys. One of its most impressive features, according to the builder, is the “colossal” master’s suite unfolding over a third of the main deck.

The Oceanco yacht allegedly belonged to the American media and real-estate mogul Mortimer Zuckerman, a famous billionaire, but it wasn’t Zuckerman who donated it, as the vessel was previously sold in 2020. Now, two years later, it became the largest yacht to be donated, according to Superyacht Times, and a deal for its lease/purchase was recently closed.

What this means is that the former owner Lazy Z donated it to the National Save The Sea Turtles Foundation in Florida, which then has the right to lease it to a new customer, with a purchase option at the end of the lease. Yacht broker Jonathan Chapman told Yacht World a few years ago that this is a rare but successful type of transaction in the industry.

In the case of watercraft that are harder to sell, the owner prefers to donate them, which means he doesn’t have to pay maintenance and other expenses, plus he gets the tax right-off for the donation. On the other hand, the charity gets to lease the boat and eventually sell it for a much smaller price. There are only a few organizations that lease yachts, and Save the Sea Turtles is one of them.

The lease/purchase price wasn’t disclosed, but it’s an unusual turning point for a luxury yacht that was once estimated at $20 million and owned by a billionaire.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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