Nahlin (Ex-Luceafarul, Libertatea)
LENGTH: 300ft (91.4m)
SHIPYARD: John Brown & Co., UK
REFIT: Blohm + Voss, Germany
Although facts pertaining to the restoration of this historic British-built yacht are largely unavailable, rumors abound. Perhaps Nahlin’s future is destined to be as extraordinary as her past. Widowed heiress Lady Yule wanted to see the world and commissioned the glorious yacht in 1929, circumnavigating the globe before making the yacht available for charter. In 1936, during his love affair with the American Mrs. Wallace Simpson, British King Edward VII forfeited the usual Balmoral vacation and instead chartered Nahlin for an intimate cruise. The scandalous affair drew such media attention that it became the catalyst for the English king’s abdication. Romania’s King Carol II was presumed to have little buying power until he paid $240,000 for the yacht in 1937. Scandal forced his abdication only a year later and the yacht reverted to the Romanian government. At this point Nahlin’s story turns to decades of decline. She eventually became a floating restaurant on the banks of the Danube and fell into disrepair. In October 2000, she found her way back home to G.L. Watson & Company, the yacht’s original design firm, which was appointed Special Consultants to the Nahlin Project. While the firm created CAD restoration drawings, sister company Yachtworks removed 450 tons of asbestos, heavy fuel oil and debris from the hull. Nahlin lived at the Nobiskrug yard for years and rumor has it that numerous problems delayed completion by two years. It is also speculated that the individual who picked up the $35-million repair bill is a UK-based entrepreneur and inventor. She sailed, powered by a new diesel-electric power plant, into Devon in 2010 looking rejuvenated and splendid.
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