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Inside the ‘Fly Fleet’: billionaire Google founder Sergey Brin’s growing flotilla of megayachts, boats, and jet skis

photo of Sergey Brin's yacht on a neutral background with triangles in the Google colorsThe Google founder Sergey Brin has spent the past few years building up his “Fly Fleet,” including the 40-meter Butterfly.

Insider; Marianne Ayala/Insider

In a quiet harbor in California’s Redwood City, 30 miles south of San Francisco, there often sits a gleaming 40-meter yacht flying the flag of the Marshall Islands.

The sleek, silver-and-white vessel sits among a smattering of other high-end cruisers, but this boat is a bit different: Butterfly, as the yacht is known, is owned by the world’s 13th-richest person, Google’s cofounder Sergey Brin.

Butterfly isn’t the tech mogul’s only oceangoing investment. Brin has quietly collected a fleet of luxury yachts and water-sports vehicles that those in his inner circle call the “Fly Fleet,” a recent Insider investigation into the post-Google lives of the 49-year-old and his fellow Google founder, Larry Page, found.

The blossoming armada is just one part of how he’s keeping busy since stepping back from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, in 2019 — along with a string of high-flying parties, an effort to build a new generation of zeppelins, and hundreds of millions of dollars in philanthropic donations.

Butterfly, a yacht owned by Sergey BrinAlong with Butterfly, which often docks in Redwood City, California, Brin maintains a growing flotilla of yachts, jet skis, and skiffs.


According to people close to Brin, the Fly Fleet consists of three major vessels and a coterie of small craft and water-sports equipment. First, there’s Dragonfly — a 73-meter flagship yacht that features a helipad and movie theater and that was once described by Boat International as the “fastest, most fuel-efficient long-range cruising superyacht on the water.”

There’s also the 40-meter Butterfly, which is often moored in the Bay Area, can sleep up to eight guests, and was built by Danish Yachts.

According to associates of Brin, Butterfly’s crew members often spend their afternoon downtime kitesurfing in the bay off Redwood City and have gotten involved in the local community, from helping out with scientific research to giving swimming lessons to kids.

Rounding out the main trio is a smaller pleasure craft called Firefly, the lowest profile of the three vessels.

To maintain the fleet, along with a whole flotilla of jet skis, dinghies, kiteboards, and other sports vessels that Brin splashes around on, the Google founder employs a 50-person team around the globe, led by the master mariner Mike Gregory.

Butterfly, a yacht owned by Sergey BrinTo maintain the fleet, Brin employs a 50-person team around the globe, led by the master mariner Mike Gregory.


Many of Brin’s smaller water-sports toys — as well as Page’s — have been supplied by Kai Concepts, a startup that builds high-tech aquatic vehicles, including foilboards and a kite-propelled boat. Based in Alameda, California, the company is run by the world-champion windsurfer Don Montague, who cofounded a wind-power company called Makani, which Google acquired in 2013 and later shut down.

Brin is believed to have put money into the business — and Kai employees have helped out with manufacturing projects for Page’s now defunct flying-car startup Kittyhawk, two people familiar with the arrangement said.

Page is taking a different approach to boating, sources said. While he spends much of his time at his collection of tropical islands around the world, he has sold his superyacht Senses and downsized to an assortment of smaller vessels.

Read Insider’s full investigation into Sergey Brin’s and Larry Page’s post-Google lives»

Read the original article on Business Insider