The history of charter superyacht Germania Nova
by Kate Hubert
Germania Nova is a stunning 60 metre gaff-rigged schooner (an exquisite superyacht): a replica of the classic 1908 Germania, using the same hull lines, deck- and sail-plans. The two yachts may look identical, but Germania Nova has a thoroughly modern heart beating in her traditional hull. Unlike the original, Nova boasts an engine, state-of-the-art navigational equipment, a professional galley and air-conditioning. Such modern comforts and conveniences would have been the stuff of science fiction back in 1908 – although the owner’s suite did come complete with a piano and the main saloon had an open fireplace…
The first Germania was conceived as a racing yacht and built for Dr Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, a German businessman and industrialist who used her to promote his steel business among the social elite. In her first year she won Cowes Week with a new course record and often raced against Kaiser Wilhelm’s Meteor IV, although, rather diplomatically, that was one yacht Germania Nova never beat. With a top speed of 19 knots, in one year alone, she won more than half of the regattas she entered and her winning streak only came to an end due the outbreak of World War I. Seized as a prize of war, she was sold on several times, ending her days in the US. In 1930 she foundered in a storm off Key Biscayne; she now forms Florida’s Seventh State Underwater Archaeological Preserve.
The new Germania Nova charter yacht captures much of the elegance and history of her predecessor; allowing charter guests to experience the thrill of sailing aboard a historic yacht in luxury and comfort. She is now very much a family charter yacht, eschewing regattas in favour of cruising the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas. For those with a passion for classic sailing yachts, she’s hard to beat, as David Price, Charter and Yacht Manager at Hill Robinson explains, “With well over five kilometres of running rigging onboard, it is not unusual to see the crew climb aloft to sort something out. Note there are no ratlines, the crew need to climb the rigging or go up the hoops on the mast.” When she’s not sailing, the crew can also use the rigging to set up swings for guests, a real hit with adults and children alike.
Her crew of thirteen include two chefs and a masseuse – all of whom need to be hands-on in sailing the yacht. Even with modern hydraulic winches, there is plenty to do, and guests are welcome to get involved. “Guests do take the helm for certain,” notes David Price, “Captains John Bardon and Justin Holvik are keen to give charter guests the most memorable experiences onboard. Steering is one of them!” Up to ten guests can enjoy the classic decor and compare photos of the original Germania in the four guest cabins and full-beam master.
When not running up the rigging, the chefs produce excellent European-style dishes, which can be taken in the main salon or out on the aft deck. Even under sail, the gimballed tables mean you can enjoy the fine cuisine even if Germania Nova is heeled over 20 degrees in a stiff breeze. At anchor, guests can choose to wakeboard, fish or dive, or simply relax with a professional massage.
Germania Nova is a unique boat, offering a glimpse of a glorious past with all the advantages of a modern charter yacht, and David Price neatly sums up her appeal.