Spencer Drives The Thing
The glamorous 48.5m super yacht T6, custom built for New Zealand paper magnate John Spencer, creates a fuss wherever it goes, whether Monaco, the Caribbean or the hazardous North-West Passage in the Arctic. On board is a helicopter that rises from a below-deck hangar, a rarity even among the toys of the mega-rich. The steel and aluminium T6 was built by Flyghtship in Auckland in 2006, said to be New Zealand’s only non-military vessel that could refuel a chopper at sea. In a Daily Mail article on mega yachts in Monaco, Spencer appeared to eschew the show-off factor associated with such vessels, using his T6 to explore the world. “Weatherbeaten paper-pulp magnate John Spencer frowns upon the use of super yachts as fashionable status symbols,” the article read. “‘I don’t want to sit here and drink gin and tonic. I want to drive the thing’,” it quoted him. Now in his seventies, Spencer is heir to his grandfather’s Caxton paper empire founded in 1890. During New Zealand’s summers he spends time at his main residence in Takapuna.