What’s Up With Dan Snyder’s Yacht?
11:32 AM EDT on July 21, 2022
I have been thinking a lot about decorum recently. There are so many things people don't do not because they are unethical or illegal, but simply because someone at some point has decided that doing those things would be rude. The closer the planet creeps to a climate apocalypse and the closer the country creeps to an internal conflict that will kill people, the more vestigial this all feels, and the less interested I feel in maintaining those norms.
In my opinion, the first norm to go should be comfort for very rich people. Being rich, as I have written many times, is a choice. It is not like being poor, which is a hardship from which you may never escape. Someone with too much money can always give some of it away. Being rich is not some inherent self. It's not a prison. It's greed, and it's a choice. Choices, as every child is taught, have consequences. At this moment, though, the consequences for very rich people's terrible behavior tend to land on everyone else. We are the ones hurting so that they can have fewer taxes.
All of that is to say, I have decided that I no longer think that privacy is a right that the ultra-rich deserve. If you choose to, say, take a three-minute flight across Los Angeles instead of sitting in a car, the people who will die of thirst when the country runs out of water, possibly very soon, should get to know what you did and yell at you about it. That doesn't seem remotely sufficient, but at least it's something.
For this reason, I've really enjoyed the existence of accounts like @elonjet, which has almost 500K followers on Twitter and simply tracks where Elon Musk's jet is. Planes have to report their locations. Boats have to report their locations. That information is public. A little shame can go a long way, or might if the person at which it is directed was still capable of feeling it.
The most recent of these accounts that I've enjoyed is called @DanSnydersYacht. As you can imagine, it tracks Dan Snyder's yacht location, and also sometimes that of his jet. This is particularly relevant because Dan Snyder is currently fleeing any kind of accountability he could possibly face for decades of bad behavior.
As my colleague Ray Ratto wrote, "Danny Snyder is to shame what Chet Holmgren is to that vague bloated feeling from overeating." But that doesn't mean that shaming him is not worth the effort. If he can't feel shame, maybe we can create rage high enough and hot enough that it might be put to some constructive use.
Before we get into the interview, it is important to note that Dan Snyder's yacht is worth $192 million, has an IMAX theater in it, and is as long as a football field. In 2011, when gas was much cheaper than it is today, Dave McKenna reported for Washington City Paper that it cost $388,685.44 to fill up the yacht with gas. It is certainly more now. The yacht is so big that it has four smaller yachts on it that are used to ferry people to shore.
I spoke with the creator of @DanSnydersYacht about why they run the account, and what they think we can learn from it.
KM: Why did you start this twitter account for Dan Snyder's yacht?
DSY: I started the yacht tracker account from a desire to see Dan Snyder held accountable. The NFL investigation into workplace sexual harassment against the Commanders amounted to no public report and a slap on the wrist for Snyder. He skipped out on the owners meeting and voted by proxy through his wife. He appeared to attend games all season and coach Rivera said he talked to Snyder weekly. He now owns 100 percent of the team.
I was watching the Congressional hearing in June and found it ridiculous that Roger Goodell could make time, but Snyder was too busy. I saw a statement that said Snyder was in France and then started Googling more about him, figured out I could track his yacht, and then saw his yacht was in France with him while the Congressional hearing occurred. I hope the attention on Snyder's yachting to avoid the subpoena helps put pressure on him to testify before Congress, and that the women who came forward as part of the NFL's investigation get to see Snyder held accountable.
How do you feel about the subpoena?
It is ridiculous that a subpoena is needed and even more ridiculous that he can avoid it by island hopping around Italy on his yacht. Mark Zuckerberg can find time to come off his yacht and hydrofoil to testify before Congress and I imagine Meta is a little more complicated to run than a football team.
Are you a D.C. sports fan? What is your relationship to Dan Snyder?
I've lived my whole life in the D.C. area and watch the Commanders, Capitals, and Nationals as much as I can. I haven't been to a Wizards game since Jordan played for them and don't feel like I have missed much. (Love you Ted, but Wizards need to completely tank and rebuild instead of being poor to middling for decades.) My only relationship to Dan Snyder is as a fan and attendee of games.
How often do you check the yacht's location? How do you do this?
I check the yacht and also the jet locations a few times throughout the day. Its all publicly available info through websites like VesselFinder and ADS-B Exchange. Ships have to broadcast their location to avoid accidents. Same for planes. The FAA lets owners hide a plane's location from appearing on FAA data by request, which Snyder appears to have done. But ADS-B Exchange is run by individuals who have their own sensors to detect a plane and then collectively upload the data to the website. Some real pirate radio shit and props to people who collect and upload the plane location data.
Do you have... any experience with these kinds of trackers? Like do you use anything like this in your day job/normal life?
No, I just learned about it through reading. There's a college student, Jack Sweeney, who tracks Elon Musk's jet through a twitter bot (@elonjet) and I read a couple stories about him a few months ago. Then stumbled upon yacht tracking through stories of people tracking Russian oligarchs' yachts after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
What kind of trends are you seeing already in the yacht?
Snyder's yacht has been island hopping around the Mediterranean for the last month. In reading about yachting, the Mediterranean is the place to be during summer and the Caribbean is where yacht owners winter. Also people should understand just how ridiculously expensive the yacht is. You can read about it from the builder's website, but the yacht has an IMAX screen, a helipad, and what I found most ridiculous is that his yacht has a yacht. The Lady S has four smaller boats called tenders that carry people to shore. The biggest tender is 34 feet long, so basically a yacht.
What has the response to the account been like?
It's been great, and the number of followers grew surprisingly quick. It started getting attention when the local sports radio programs picked it up. Shout out to Grant and Danny. I think for D.C. sports fans, it's slow right now with only the Nats playing and them being so bad. Plus it's even worse with the Nats and Juan Soto basically breaking up on live tv during the Home Run Derby.
Is there anything else you think I should know?
Jerry Jones has a bigger... yacht than Dan Snyder!
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.