Classic superyacht Nahlin celebrates 91st birthday

Written by Francesca Webster

The 91-metre steamship Nahlin has just celebrated her 91st year afloat and was seen this week taking refuge in Falmouth, Cornwall. Launched on the 28th April 1930, the steamship, previously named Libertatea, was designed by the Scotish firm G. L. Watson & Co and built in Clyde, Scotland, by John Brown & Co. The last time Nahlin was seen in Falmouth, she was mounted aboard a cargo ship en route to the beginnings of her restoration work in 1999. Nahlin cruising off GibraltarPhoto: Giovanni RomeroThe extraordinary motor yacht was part of a fifteen year campaign to rescue the steamship from dilapidation in Romania, in which her designers G. L. Watson & Co, were the major instigator. Nicholas Edmiston and a yachtsman named William Collier discovered the vessel in dire straits, and after 15 years of negotiation, returned the vessel to the United Kingdom in 1999. Nahlin in the Caribbean Photo: Benoit DonneFollowing her return to Scotland, her original designers pooled their historical resources and began to stabilise her condition, using photographs from ex.crew mates family albums to bolster their historical archive. Gradually, over 450 tons of debris was removed and her surviving interiors were surveyed, the team retaining as much originality as they could find, creating plaster moulds of original cornicing and moulding.Nahlin cruising off GibraltarPhoto: Giovanni RomeroGerman shipyard Nobiskrug undertook the body of the restorative work during a monumental rebuild between 2005 and 2010, while G. L. Watson & Co oversaw and project managed the rebuild. Blohm & Voss Repair GmbH in Hamburg were charged with her engineering. 

Nahlin in Antigua Yacht Club marina Photo: Benoit DonneIn 2010, Nahlin returned to the British Isles in full, turnkey beauty. The work on the steamship set a new standard for classic superyacht restoration work. Her restoration is widely considered to be one of the most significant classic restoration work ever conducted in the industry. The classic yacht Nahlin arriving in StockholmPhoto: Franz AirimanThe classic superyacht now has diesel engines, and her contemporary interiors were designed by Rémi Tessier. She has a top speed of 18 knots. 



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