Think Mega Yachts are Tacky? This Converted Navy Flying Boat Has Far More Grace


Not everyone who owns a private yacht is a total uptight jerk. But those who choose a million-dollar luxury barge for the water instead of this beautiful Catalina flying boat are missing out on an experience that transcends traditional luxury leisure. Just needs some floorboards and some accessories before that can happen. Here’s the scoop, the Consolidated PBY Catalina, or OA-10, as the Army designated it, was a twin-engined multi-role military flying boat that was just as beloved by the people who served with them as any flashy fighter plane. Its twin Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radial engines were no powerhouses, but it allowed the lumbering 104 ft (32 m) long, 20,910 pounds (9,485 kg) behemoth to infiltrate deeply into enemy waters. There was even an assortment of 30. caliber M1919 machine guns and 50. caliber Browning machine guns housed in twin glass blisters for defensive armament. But when war was over, the emerging civilian market discovered that the Catalina had many other uses, not the least personal leisure vessels. This particular example was manufactured in the Consolidated Aircraft facility in San Diego, California, for the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war, it spent time as a testbed for the Innovator project. An upgraded Catalina rolling chassis with added Lycoming six-cylinder piston engines for some extra power. These modifications have since been removed. What remains of that project is currently being converted into a personal leisure vehicle with amenities that bridge the gap between a private yacht and a seafaring airliner. A collection of investors was undertaking the endeavor called the “Landseair” team and sold via the Aerometal International brokerage group of Aurora, Oregon. Their first modification was to mount auxiliary boats, one per wing on their underside. Once completed, this Catalina has potential as a highly exclusive leisure craft with the capability to sit docile in a quiet lake with champagne, music, and parties galore or fire up its radial engines and fly off to the next big Yacht gathering. It also, At $950,000 before taxes and fees, this is a rich boy toy that gives more clout than any non-airworthy yacht of its size.