Gabe Newell, the billionaire co-founder of video game developer Valve Corporation was so scared of the pandemic that he converted his 220 feet long support vessel into a full-fledged hospital so he could explore exotic places with peace of mind on his Lurssen superyacht.


Billionaires truly have it all. From palatial mansions on land, private jets in the skies, and superyachts in the deep blue sea. But Billionaire businessman Gabe Newell took the bar several notches higher by converting his 220-foot yacht Dapple into a hospital ship that followed him everywhere in the pink of his health, pun intended. A product of the Netherlands Damen Yachting, Dapple hit the seas in 2014 as an explorer yacht but was eventually refitted to be equipped as a full-fledged hospital.


This is also the primary reason why the tycoon worth $7.86 billion bought the vessel in the first place. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich did the same thing, converting a ship into a floating hospital to ignore the pandemic in the lap of luxury and convenience. In less than a decade, Dapple has seen two avatars and is equally fascinating in both of them- as an explorer ship and a hospital boat. Let’s take a closer look at everything this support vessel holds, literally!

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Dapple Yacht, dappling in delight-
The 1,143 GT ship boasts an interior by Mark Berryman and provides accommodation for up to 6 guests in 3 cabins. Built for an experienced yacht owner who owns yacht Rocinante and has others in the making.

The bridge saloon

The versatile explorer yacht was perfect to fulfill the mothership’s immediate needs and, more importantly, provide a haven in a then pandemic-ravaged world. With four diesel MTU 16V 4000 M63L engines, she achieves a top speed of 21 knots.

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The Dive store.

The most outstanding known feature of the ship is its capacity to carry water toys. The support vessel’s large deck space houses a range of watersports equipment and tenders, including a 3-seat Triton 330 submersible, a 6.5 m jet rescue tender, a Pascoe SOLAS rescue tender, four Vespa Scooters, three Seadoo wave runners, a couple Seabob’s and a range of diving gear. Dapple features a helideck and a built-in dive center.


Billionaire businessman Gabe Newell co-founded video game developer Valve, the firm behind the renowned Half Life, Portal 2, Left 4 Dead, and Counter-Strike. A former Microsoft employee, he founded Valve with fellow Microsoft coder Mike Harrington.

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.