Seattle Seahawks Paul Allen casting away that little 303-foot yacht

At first glance, you might misread it as yet another sign of troubled economic times:

Uncle Paul Allen, admiral of his own luxury-cruiser navy, reportedly is downsizing by putting his smaller commuter yacht, the 303-foot Tatoosh, up for sale.

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Asking price: around $172 million — although creative trades for medium islands or small nation-states will be considered.

Truth be told, the shedding of Tatoosh has nothing to do with the recession, which doesn’t touch people like Uncle Paul. Our Mercer Island sources coughed up several real reasons for the sale:

• Last hook on 250-slot luxury-vehicle key rack near the back door of the manse was taken by the SpaceShipOne rocket plane. Something had to go.

• It was the “small boat to be named later” in compensation package for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

• Couldn’t get the home-entertainment center from Tatoosh to share playlists from the other yacht, 416-foot Octopus, because of infuriating networking glitch in #@$! Windows Media Player.

• Cheaper to trade it in than update the gauche, 1990s-vintage helipads to current style standards.

• Takes 100 times more fuel and two weeks longer to get to the Cannes Film Festival than the 757.

• New Korean-made replacement yacht will come with a 100,000-nautical-mile stem-to-stern warranty.

• Face it: He still gets immense personal satisfaction from casually shedding a toy Oracle’s Larry Ellison is still scrambling to match.

• Screw the Caribbean: He’s off to outer space.