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Rich-lister's yacht on sale for $80m

New Zealand rich-lister John Spencer has put his pride and joy, the 49m superyacht T6, up for sale at a reported asking price of 39.5 million euros ($80.6m).

Mr Spencer's Whangarei company Flyghtship Construction took nearly eight years to build the superyacht, and the fit-out of its teak white interior was finished only two years ago.

The multi-millionaire has told London's Daily Mail that he frowns on the use of superyachts as fashionable status symbols.

"I don't want to sit here and drink gin and tonic," he told the newspaper while moored in Monaco. "I want to drive the thing."

Designed by Pieter Beeldsnijder, of Holland, T6 is said to be New Zealand's only non-military vessel that can refuel a helicopter at sea.

In a watertight hangar underneath its aft deck sits a �A3;1m ($2.2m) Eurocopter AS 350 B3, enabling Mr Spencer to rise Thunderbirds-style out of the deck and be airborne in minutes.

Mr Spencer - known as the "toilet paper magnate" after making a fortune from the Caxton paper mills - was worth an estimated $265 million when he commissioned the yacht. Now retired, he has been in the NBR "rich list" top 10 every year for at least a decade.

The 568-tonne yacht was built to Mr Spencer's requirements, with an ice-strengthened hull and capacity to support its own helicopter operations. It can sleep 10 guests, in addition to 10 crew, and has a maximum speed of 15.5 knots (29km/h).

- NZPA

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