Haida 1929: How Pendennis restored a classic
The 71 metre classic motor yacht Haida 1929 holds a special place in the hearts of the Pendennis refit team. Built by Krupp Germaniawerft, designed by legendary naval architects Cox and Stevens and delivered in 1929 to the Santa Barbara businessman Max C Fleischmann, Haida 1929 has a rich history. The yacht has had 12 owners since new and even saw service in the Second World War.
After first visiting Pendennis in 2011 as Dona Amélia for a short four-month refit programme, Haida 1929 sadly fell into a period of limited use while up for sale. But in 2016, the yacht sold to a passionate owner dedicated to restoring the yacht to her former splendour and protecting her original features. He even renamed her Haida 1929 as a homage to her heritage.
After purchasing his dream yacht, Haida 1929's owner was already well prepared for the refit, with reams of hand-drawn sketches and three MacBooks full of in-depth designs. The owner was clear in his desire to freshen up the exterior spaces while creating a light, bright and natural interior. But everything had to hark back to the 1920s and 30s, the era from whence Haida 1929 came. Now, the owner just needed a team to his vision to life. He was on the hunt for a yard with a proven track record in restoring classic yachts and quickly found Pendennis, which has previously completed the incredible transformations of yachts including Fair Lady and Malahne.
The yard’s specialist team was handed the mammoth task of restoring Haida 1929 while updating and modernising all systems and technology on board. Together with Edmiston Yacht Management and interior designer Adam Lay, the team began the painstaking 18-month refit programme that restored Haida 1929 to its former glory.
The extensive work included a complete review of the hull and extensive fabrication work to rebuild its structural integrity, with more than 100 tons of steel replaced. Additional structural changes were implemented elsewhere, with the sundeck seeing the biggest refresh. The open air dining area was extended, a new bar was situated forward of the funnel and the awning shade structure rebuilt. New seating and sunpads were installed and the smaller dip pool was replaced with a larger bathing pool, a huge task that required extensive strengthening works through three deck levels. The davits were also reinstated to their original position amidships, which opened up the owner's deck dining table to host eight guests, as well as creating space for an al fresco gym once the tenders are deployed.
The interior was also completely refreshed and overhauled. A storage area was replaced with a comprehensive and luxurious wellness area that comprises a Hammam spa, massage room and hairdressing parlour. The interior joinery was next, with the lighting and portholes all upgraded or refurbished. Most significantly, three new fireplaces were installed in the owner’s saloon, formal dining room and main saloon to create a romantic ambience throughout the boat. The interior décor also underwent a refresh, with cool Italian marble installed into the bathrooms, complemented by elegant and soft furnishings for a fresh, clean and calm look.
In the engine room, another mammoth task awaited. It was essential that the original twin diesel engines, which Pendennis estimates to be some of the oldest working engines of their kind, were preserved as the heart of the vessel. Despite no manual or records remaining, the Pendennis team fully deconstructed the engines and serviced a number of huge parts on site. Once reinstalled and serviced, the engines were painted in the same hue as the hull; a unique shade of turquoise that sits below the waterline.
The mammoth 18-month task to return Haida 1929 back to her original splendour cut no corners and even resulted in the yacht scooping a World Superyacht Award in 2019, an accolade that further established the exemplary reputation of Pendennis's specialist refit team.