Why is VC Tom Perkins already selling the Maltese Falcon, his 289-foot sailing yacht he finished building in 2006? For a quick profit, ostensibly. But he has likely botched the timing. In 2007, used yachts cost more than new ones because wealthy buyers wanted them immediately. That demand led to profitable yacht-flipping, similar to the condo-flipping of the late real-estate bubble. But that was 2007. In 2008, sales for yachts priced between $200,000 to $800,000 are down 50 percent, a broker told Fortune. Likewise, another recent megayacht sale didn't happen until the owner slashed the price by $7 million. Still, the market might be different if Perkins sails his $233 million ship through the Suez Canal, where petrodollar fortunes abound.