Summer sails

At the time of writing there's a forty-million-dollar yacht called The Gene Machine moored up in Malaga's swanky, if rather generic, port. Apparently it belongs to a scientist chap who named it after one of his most important fields of work - machines. Only joking, genes.

This is baffling to me on almost every conceivable level. If you had a few bob to spare, why in earth would you spend it on a boat? A boat that you'd probably end up using only a couple of times a year, once the initial thrill had worn off. If you fancy pinging round the Greek islands once in a while, surely you could just hire a yacht whenever the whim descended.

Anyway, let's say you are, indeed, mad as a box of frogs and go ahead with the purchase, why then would you spend 40 million dollars on it? I mean, I don't think anyone could really tell the difference between, say, a 10-million-dollar boat and one worth four times that unless they were some kind of yacht-obsessed anorak freak, holed up in their pizza-box-strewn bedroom reading Yachting Weekly from cover to cover sixteen hours a day. And that, surely, would completely defeat the object.

No, spend your ten million on something which at best will cause the average passerby to say "Wow, look, Mary, a really big boat!" on their way for an ice cream and then you'd have a spare thirty million to spend in more important things like beer and kebabs. Who knows, you might even find it in your heart to whizz a couple of quid over to your favourite charity while your outlandish ego would continue to be duly satisfied as people would still refer to you as 'Dave with the big boat' which is surely what you were after in the first place. Unless your name isn't Dave.

Anyway, you might be surprised to learn that I've never owned a yacht (mainly because I do, indeed, spend all my spare cash on beer and kebabs) but I presume they can only be a constant source of grief, requiring constant maintenance and random, unexpected payments. Lord knows, owning a car has enough associated niggles - insurance, tax, emissions thingies, MOTs , mothers-in-law telling you to slow down... but a yacht? My minds turns to fudge at the very thought.

Still, in the end, I suppose it's true what they say - whatever floats your boat.