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SUPERYACHT #517
May 2005

Article selected from our quarterly magazine dedicated to the largest and most luxurious boats with information, interviews, technical articles, images and yachting news


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Article by
Daniele Carnevali


METEOR
A yacht rich in history

Rather than buy a new vessel, certain owners prefer to look at the used market which often offers unique possibilities, vintage boats, maybe in wood and with a rich marine charm all of their own. With skilful restoration they can keep in step with current technology.

This is the case with "Meteor", a historic 28 metre motor yacht built by the Gamble Hestehauge shipyard of Svendborg to the design of the Dane Sophus Weber. Launched on 15th April 1939 and purchased by the Danish count Heinrich Carl von Schimmelmann of Lindenborg, "Meteor" was the yacht of the Nazi hierarchy and even hosted Hitler and Eva Braun during the period of Nazi occupation of Denmark.

 

For further information: Cantiere Navale Basilio Postiglione, Via Lucullo 4, Bacoli, Baia (NA); tel. +39 0818687039 - 8687041; website www.cantierenavalepostiglioneb.com; e-mail info@cantierepostiglione.it.

 
Having survived the vicissitudes of World War Two the motoryacht remained the property of count Schimmelmann until his death in 1971. It then passed on, by way of numerous owners including Derek John Roe, the Luliad company and the filmmaker Augusto Caminito, into the hands of the company Classic Yacht Charter, set up by broker Alfredo Amato and lawyer Giuseppe Gitto. Currently, "Meteor" is tied up at the historic Basilio Postiglione shipyard which over the years has distinguished itself with important constructions such as the 1936 "San Domenico", dinghy class racing boats, Stars, Finns, Monotypes and others, as well as vessels for the Navy. In '56, moreover, the Postiglione yard broke a record with the creation of a wooden mast of around 47 metres for the Shamrock class yacht "Astra" which is on show today at the Yachting Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo. "Meteor" was entrusted to the masterful hands of this shipbuilding concern whose know-how in refitting and building in wood has been shown to be more than adequate in redoing a motoryacht of this class. The interventions involved the entire hull and superstructures, the interiors and all on-board plant. The hull underwent important rehabilitation both externally and internally with special interventions on the planking and structures. Furthermore, some internal bulwarks were dismantled and renovated. The hull was torched down to the wood and the planks and joints re-caulked. Work was carried out on the main deck, whose teak staves showed all the signs of the fatigue of many years at sea, on the deckhouse, on the forward skylight and on the forward starboard bulwark which was split and detached from the hull. The old and obsolete patch-up jobs were renovated. The decking has been replaced with new seams and the after hatch is now watertight. As for the interiors, the Postiglione yard preferred to renovate the original furnishings rather than carry out extensive modifications to the layout. All the cabins and bathrooms, the bridge, the galley and the dinette underwent restructuring of boiserie, equipment and furnishings in general. The corridor now has a new wall cupboard while one has been removed from the dinette, together with a column, and the sofa has been shifted farther back than its original position. In the owner's suite the yard created furnishings in accordance with the original design. The electrical system was completely replaced with new cabling, just as all the systems of the engine room were removed and replaced after appropriate reconditioning. The engine now uses new control and starting systems, exhausts and discharge pipes, The reconditioning work also involved the diesel system and the anchor winch motor which was replaced by a new generation version. After all the works listed above, "Meteor" underwent scrupulous analysis by the Association A.R.I.E. whose verdict confirmed the fine rehabilitation work carried out by the Postiglione Shipyard of Baia di Napoli which succeeded in wholly renovating such an important yacht.