See the most beautiful yachts ever made, they offer fun, adventure, thrill, privilege and many memorable moments … if you’re the right company, though.
“Endeavour is one of my favourite yachts for a number of reasons,” Ed Dubois told SuperYacht World. “Firstly, she is a J Class yacht – one of only a few ever built. This class epitomised the very peak of yacht design before World War II and remains still, in technical terms, a class apart. These yachts were extreme in every way and demanded technology that was then in its infancy. They were superb yachts to sail upwind, but they were also fast reaching and downwind. They demanded a very high level of sailing skill, and indeed a high level of boatbuilding skill. Endeavour, I believe, is the most beautiful of all the Js built. Her purity of line is exquisite and I think the shape of the sheer is slightly better than any of the others including Velsheda (by the same designer).
“Charles Nicholson designed Endeavour in 1933 and she was used to challenge for the America’s Cup in 1934. It was universally acknowledged that she was faster than the defender Rainbow, and she won the first two races, but better sailing by the Americans allowed them to win overall. She has captured the imagination of so many people including, happily, Elizabeth Meyer, who acquired the yacht in the seventies and rebuilt her almost from scratch. I believe there is some original plate still present but the hull was rebuilt in the UK and then taken to Royal Huisman Shipyard to be fitted out. The interior, by John Munford, is beautiful – obviously not what was fitted originally when she was a pure racing yacht, but Munford created something that is entirely fitting.
Year: 1934 – LOA: 39.6m – Builder: Camper & Nicholson – Exterior: C & N – Interior: C & N
Designer Tim Heywood says: “When a client gives you carte blanche to create a design, it is a blessing and a curse, if you do not rise to the challenge, you will not gain the approval of your client or, eventually, the respect of your peers. Pelorus was a great project for us and we are extremely pleased with the end result, as was the client. I was able to develop the internal general arrangement plan, the external global styling themes and the practical engineering details to a level I had not achieved before.
The organic curves & forms of the superstructure are echoed in the lines of the hull, tying the two forms together, to produce a harmony that is easy on the eye, was quite unique at the time and, hopefully, will not date.
“The belt line that runs forward from the stern and sweeps down towards the anchor pocket, is inspired by the armour plating of the light cruiser HMS Belfast, which still lives just up stream from our old London studio. If I succeeded in creating a yacht that is thought of as attractive, by my brothers in arms of the design world, I am very pleased. Informed comments from professional, talented designers and client, means more than from any other source, especially if they are not negative! My partner, Vanessa, came up with our project name, we always give a name to our yachts, rather than a sterile number, and the client liked the name so much that he confirmed Pelorus as the yacht’s eventual name. The yacht has changed hands, but we are very pleased to see that she has retained her original name.”
Year: 2003 – LOA: 115m – Builder: Lürssen – Exterior: Tim Heywood – Interior: Terrence Disdale
Dickie Bannenburg of Bannenburg Designs say: “Famously, and perhaps notoriously, Carinthia VI owes her existence to the fact that her elder sibling Carinthia V survived for only a few months before ending her days several fathoms down in Greek waters. The unfortunate captain struggled ashore to find a phone to have an awkward phone conversation with Helmut Horten, his Owner. Mr Horten rang my father up almost the following day and told him to start work on her replacement which has now become, in an often over used phrase, a yachting icon.
She certainly wasn’t an icon when she appeared out of the Lürssen shed for the first time. With dramatic superstructure on a slim frigate-based hull, grilles and that distinctive blue windshield forward of the wheelhouse, my father’s design scared the pants off people and the perception of him hardened amongst conventional designers and naval architects as a dangerous radical. But now her pared down lines and slender masculinity scream good taste, restraint and a sense of suave style that is rarely seen these days.
Certainly her interior was purposeful, code for slightly austere, and by today’s standards there was not much interior volume for lavish living, not least due to the presence of three mighty MTU diesels. There are no swoops, no complicated fashion plates and absolutely no ability to walk down steps at the transom to a nice bathing platform. But all the better for it. Life on board was, I understand, conducted with a certain Austrian precision and Carinthia’s elegant and taut exterior, with deep blue paintwork and her gold coachwork stripe cut an unmistakeable dash in the harbours of the Cote d’Azur as she still does today.
Year: 2003 – LOA: 115m – Builder: Lürssen – Exterior: Bannenberg – Interior: Bannenberg
Source: Superyacht World