One of the wonderful classic motor yachts around, a remnant of a bygone era is the 1921 built SS DELPHINE.
Built in 1921 in USA by the Great Lakes Engineering works yard for Horace Dodge (who sadly died before she was launched) one of the largest American automotive manufacturers, this luxury motor yacht has retained her style and grace and spent much of her time on the Great Lakes of North America between Chicago and Detroit under her original ownership.She was equipped with an unusual quadruple steam expansion engine designed by her owner, which gave her an impressive top speed of 15 knots. In 1942 during World War II she served as the flagship of Admiral King, the Commander-in-Chief of the US Fleet as USS DAUNTLESS.
Laid up in 1962, she was bought by the Seafarers International Union for use as a headquarters ship in 1966 but fell into disrepair in 1986. Her only Atlantic crossing was in 1990 when she was acquired by a cruise line known as Sea Sun Cruises, a Singapore based consortium who relied on French bankers for funding which planned to convert her into a mini-cruise liner for Asian waters, but this sale fell through and was laid up in Malta at Bezzina Ship Repair Yard Facilities. SS DELPHINE was left to languish in a backwater, allowing decay to continue its relentless endeavors. The French bankers for the project arranged for her to be towed from Malta to Marseilles in France towed by the 1967 built, 30 tons bollard pull Maltese owned tug ELENA B.
Happily, she was purchased by a Belgian woman, Ineke Bruynooghe who completely restored her at a Belgian yard , an intensive project that was completed in 2003 with restoration and conversion after a faithful five year restoration bringing both the yacht and her original steam engines back to new condition operating as the world’s only surviving steam-driven luxury yacht.
SS DELPHINE arrived at her new home in Monaco in September 2003 to commence her new career as a successful charter yacht, able to accommodate 26 guests at €50,000 per day for the 2007 summer season. The world’s only surviving steam-powered super-yacht, whose two unique quadruple-expansion engines were designed by Horace Dodge himself.
Middle August 2020 she was spotted at Siracusa, Sicily.
Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Tuesday 25th August, 2020.