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The winners of the World Superyacht Awards 2019

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Rebuilt yachts: Haida 1929

Length: 71.1m

Original builder: Krupp Germaniawerft

Refit yard: Pendennis

Refit naval architect: Cox & Stevens

Refit exterior design: Cox & Stevens

Refit interior design: Adam Lay

Of the yachts entered for this class, the standout winner was Haida 1929, a motor yacht that was designed by the American naval architects Cox & Stevens for Max C. Fleischmann, a Santa Barbara businessman. This yacht, one of several of the same name owned by Fleischmann, was launched in 1929 in Kiel by her builders Krupp Germaniawerft. Since then she has sailed under many flags and names, perhaps the most recognisable being Rosenkavalier and the most recent being Doña Amelia.

She was in bad repair in 2017 when purchased by her new owner and was taken to Pendennis Shipyard for refitting, a task that he correctly anticipated would reveal hidden issues. The whole ethos of the work was of respect for the integrity of this historic yacht, a decision that was admired by the Judges, who were aware that while an ill-conceived rebuild would have destroyed this classic vessel, one that did not upgrade her interiors to meet modern standards of comfort might be money wasted. During the very detailed and well executed 17-month refit, 110-tonnes of steel and 90% of the pipework were replaced, the whole interior was tastefully reworked to the design of Adam Lay to create interiors evocative of her era, while a Hammam spa, massage room, and hairdressing room were added.

Early external features, such as stairways, were reinstated and her previous dip-pool was replaced with a larger swimming pool. Perhaps most notably, her original engines – built by Krupp in 1928 and probably the oldest marine diesels in their original installation – were rebuilt to their original specification rather than replaced, despite the inconvenience of having to stop them and restart them in reverse to go astern. The Judges considered this an eminently worthy rebuild that saved a historic yacht.

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