Classic & Vintage Yachts
Wikipedia describes a classic as being “an outstanding example of a particular style; something of lasting worth or with a timeless quality; of the first or highest quality, class, or rank – something that exemplifies its class.”
Many of the most beautiful and spectacular yachts in the world were designed and built before the first world war, and quite a few are still cruising or racing, having been built before 1900!
Owning, preserving, restoring and maintaining a classic or vintage sailing or motor yacht is a mammoth and commendable task which is an extremely valuable service to the history of yachting as well as saying a lot about the generosity and greatness of these owners. Many of whom consider themselves as being temporary guardians and benefactors of these living legends before they pass on their yachts to the next owner who will hopefully respect their legacy and do the same thing. It is undoubtedly more challenging, and expensive to run, maintain or campaign one of these yachts, but the rewards are numerous and come in different ways.
Who has not admired classic sailing and motor yachts with their elegance and traditional designs from another era, unique craftsmanship, original features and charm whether at anchor, in a marina or simply underway? There can be nothing more spectacular and glamourous on the water than watching a classic yacht regatta with often huge and stunning yachts from a by-gone era. Have you ever been close up to a mark when the J-Class yachts are bearing down? Where are you more likely to see yachts playing host to the rich and famous, royalty, A-list celebrities and VIPS’s. Can you think of a better place for a cocktail party than the deck of a vintage motor yacht in an elegant marina or anchorage?
Would designers like Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, Charles E. Nicholson, William Fife, Edward Burgess and Alfred Mylne ever have thought that the yachts they designed or built would still be cruising or competing today? Amazing…
Complete restorations of many of these yachts have been completed over years of painstaking work where older and dangerous materials like asbestos have been extensively used and needed to be removed. Some yachts had been taken out of service and others have been built from plans where the original yacht has been lost. Many have had their rigs, layout and interiors altered from the original with more or less success, but they have been saved from the scrapyard or languishing abandoned to their fate in some sad port.
The Metric classes like the 15 metres, 6 metre and 12 metres and the J-Class America’s Cup racers regularly attend the classic yacht regatta circuit or have their own class regatta circuits despite being more than a hundred years old.
Restoring, building or rebuilding a classic yacht is a labour of love, dedication and passion. There are still some magnificent yachts waiting for potential owners to embark on that very special project or there are always a number of them, ready to go on the brokerage market or projects available for sale or to be purchased partly finished.