Aussie superyacht ‘ruins’ iconic view
It's a stunning, 73m-long floating "work of art" with an infinity pool and a private cinema, but Aussie millionaire John Symonds' prize superyacht Hasna is not impressing New Yorkers.
Mr Symonds is selling the award-winning, custom-built vessel he bought a little over two years ago and figured the city's iconic skyline would be a perfect backdrop to showcase her considerable assets.
Since she went on the market last month, Hasna has been bobbing conspicuously around on the water and not everyone is happy about it.
Locals claim the vessel has been parked right in front of the Statue of Liberty - ruining views of the iconic landmark for tourists and residents alike.
The Department of Homeless Services worker said he had wandered down to lower Manhattan on his lunch break to enjoy what should have been an unobstructed view of the statue.
Instead, Mr Marrero found Lady Liberty partially obscured by Mr Symonds's floating mansion.
"Just because you have a lot of money, you get to do that? The Statue of Liberty is a landmark. You can't dock your yacht in front of it,'' Mr Marrero told The Post.
Another woman told the paper the superyacht's position screamed wealth and entitlement.
"We get it, you're rich," she said. "Maybe the yacht isn't selling, so he figured why not park by a national monument to garner interest?"
The businessman's long-time spokesman, Tim Allerton, said Mr Symonds was aware of the complaints but suggested they were an over-reaction to what was a common sight.
"Look, I've seen that picture (of the Hasna docked in front of the statue) and it's hardly even blocking the statue, I mean it would be really pushing it to say it ruins the view," he told news.com.au.
"There are a lot of big boats in front of the Statue of Liberty."
Staten Island Ferry worker Julio Montes said their was nothing wrong with Mr Symonds flaunting his wealth.
"People always dock their yachts in front of the statue - normally, they take a tender boat to the World Trade Center and go back and forth,'' he told The Post. "More power to the guy."
Mr Allerton said Mr Symonds, who is currently aboard the yacht with his wife Amber, had moved the vessel - not because of the complaints but because anchorage regulations prevent boats from docking in the same spot for more than 72 hours.
"John and Amber have been sailing up and down the coast with the whole family, from the Hudson to the Hamptons, having a wonderful time," he said.
"There's been a lot of interest in the boat, by the way, a lot of interest."
Mr Symonds is asking $160 million for the Hasna, which sleeps 12 guests in six luxurious cabins and has a crew of 21. An elevator serves the lower, main and bridge decks.
The boat has its own beach club, an eight metre infinity pool, a gym, hair salon, wellness centre and a 10-seat cinema.
The owners' suite, on the main deck, has his-and-hers bathrooms, separate dressing rooms, a lounge and a private study, according to Property Observer.
Mr Symonds is one of Australia's most successful property industry moguls, with a net worth of more than $600 million, made from selling non-bank home loans.
The 72-year-old is married to Amber McDonald, the 47-year-old former wife of Patrick Keating, son of former prime minister Paul Keating.
The couple have also been trying to sell their waterfront home at Sydney's exclusive Point Piper. In 2017, they were forced to withdraw the property from the market after the $100 million price tag failed to attract a buyer.
The Symonds' annual Christmas cocktail parties are legendary in Sydney, with the pair forking out hundreds and thousands of dollars on lavish decorations, entertainment and food