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SS Delphine: the last big steam yacht

Recognisable by her elegantly inverted bow, slender shape (78.5m long for a beam of 10.83m) and equipped with three boilers powering two 1,500hp quadruple expansion engines, the SS Delphine is the last steam-powered yacht still sailing in her original configuration. She was commissioned by the American automobile magnate Horace E. Dodge and lauched under the first name of his  aughter in  1921 atRiver Rouge,
near Detroit (Michigan). In 1926, she caught fire and sank in New York, but was recovered and restored. She took the billionaire and his family to the Great Lakes, along the East Coast to the  aribbean, Hawaii and Pacific islands. During World War Two, the vessel was requisitioned by the US Navy in 1942. Equipped with canons and renamed the USS Dauntless, she served as the flagship for Admiral Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief of Naval Operations. It was during this period that she was the place to be, hosting US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. It is even said that part of the Yalta Agreement would have been negotiated in the cosy comfort of her lounges. At the end of WWII, Horace Dodge’s widow, Anna Dodge, ought her and restored her for civilian use. Her name was changed back to SS Delphine, and in 1997 a Belgium businessman acquired her. It was his daughter, Ineke, who supervised a complete  destoration to her original 1921 condition and configuration, including the interior design and  team engines. She was officially re-christened SS Delphine in 2003 during Monaco Classic Week, with HSH Princess Stephanie of Monaco as the godmother.

  • News
  • 20 August 2019