Originally launched by US yard Swiftships in 1997, the 91.4 metre explorer Voyager spent the first two decades of her life as a 63 metre supply ship called Candy Trader, used for commercial works. That all changed in 2016 when she arrived at Dania Cut in Florida to start a three-year conversion into an explorer yacht. When she emerged in 2019, blinking into the East Coast sunshine, Voyager became the largest conversion superyacht ever in the US. She features a bathing platform and helipad, while her five decks host a huge crew of over 70 members.
Top 20 US-built yachts
The USA has produced many fine yachts over the years, with the largest measuring in excess of 90 metres. BOAT rounds up the top 20 largest yachts constructed across the pond...
Voyager | 91.4m | 300'
Aquila | 85.6m | 281'
Launched in time for the 2010 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show from Derecktor Shipyards in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the 85.6 metre superyacht Aquila (ex-Cakewalk) is a full displacement, oceangoing superyacht with a steel hull and aluminium superstructure designed and engineered by Derecktor with the assistance of Azure Naval Architects and BMT Nigel Gee. The elegant exterior styling is by Tim Heywood while the traditional cherry-lined interior is by Liz Dalton. The yacht, owned by Charles and Diane Gallagher, accommodates 12 guests on the main deck with the owner's seven-room suite above. She is operated by 23 crew and carries three custom tenders each over 30 feet LOA.
Delphine | 78.55m | 258'
Automobile manufacturing mogul Horace Dodge named Delphine after his daughter, and his motor yacht was a familiar sight around Detroit and Chicago in the 1920s. She was equipped with an unusual quadruple steam expansion engine designed by her owner, which gave her an impressive top speed of 15 knots. During World War II she served as the flagship of Admiral King, the Commander-in-Chief of the US Fleet. Laid up in 1962, she was bought by the Seafarers International Union for use as a headquarters ship but fell into disrepair in the early 1990s. She was later acquired by a Singapore company which planned to convert her into a mini-cruise liner for Asian waters, but this sale fell through. Happily, she was purchased by a Belgian buyer, Ineke Bruynooghe, and a thorough restoration and conversion brought both the yacht and her original steam engines back to new condition.
Cocoa Bean | 73.76m | 243'
Built to ABS class in steel and aluminium with naval architecture by Trinity, when orginally launched in 2011 Cocoa Bean was the largest yacht to hit the water in North America. MCA classed, the interior design is the work of Evan K Marshall, accommodating 12 guests in six staterooms. Twin 2626hp Caterpillar engines give her a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 13 knots. In 2020, she emerged from a three year refit courtesy of Astilleros de Mallorca in partnership with Langan Design. Work included extending the brows on the upper decks, restyling the mast and the addition of a new boot stripe.
Laurel | 73.15m | 240'
Built by Delta Marine in the Pacific Northwest, Laurel has a steel hull and composite superstructure and is the second largest yacht to be built in North America since the Great Depression. Her sun deck extends fore and aft of a central observation room, the forward part being a belvedere terrace and the aft offering a gym, spa pool and sunbathing. Tenders are stored on the lower deck and launched through doors to port and starboard, plus a diving room opens to the large bathing platform created by opening the stern door.
Albatross | 72.2m | 236'
Launched at the Delta Marine shipyard in Dakota Creek in September 2016, Albatross is the second-largest yacht from this American yard to date. Very few details are known about this highly secretive vessel, but it is understood that her semi-displacement steel hull supports a GRP superstructure and three teak decks. Sporting an exterior by Espen Oeino International, the superyacht has a 13 metre beam and a Francois Zuretti interior with a volume of 2,066 GT.
- Builder: Delta Marine
- Country of build:United States of America
- Delivery year:2016
- Length Overall: 72.2 m
- Beam:13 m
- Gross Tonnage2066 t
DSSV Pressure Drop | 68.27m | 224'
The 68.27 metre DSSV Pressure Drop was described by owner, explorer Victor Vescovo, as being "not a yacht, and not luxurious." Used as a support vessel for Vescovo's host of deep submersibles, the yacht was constructed by US yard Tacoma Boat Building and originally delivered in 1985. A full refit in 2015 courtesy of Stabbert Maritime saw the yacht transformed into what it is today, able to accommodate 47 people – including 19 crew and 12 technical specialists. The yacht also features dry and wet science labs, full ocean-deep sonar, and an 11.2-metre Triton 36000/2 submersible.
- Builder: Tacoma Boat Building
- Country of build:United States of America
- Delivery year:1985
- Length Overall: 68.27 m
- Beam:13.1 m
- Gross Tonnage1914 t
Global | 67.06m | 220'
This vessel, described as a "sport utility" vessel by the yard that converted her, owes her rugged commercial appearance to her former life as an oil rig support vessel. Global (ex-Allure Shadow) is half yacht and half toy carrier, offering six double guest cabins with balconies, a saloon/dining room, a sky lounge with panoramic views opening to a forward observation deck, an eight metre freshwater swimming pool, a cinema, games-room/library and a full gymnasium with a spa area. Her huge decks can carry, among other toys, a helicopter and its full logistical needs plus a large sport fishing vessel. Global's big claim to fame is that she has a space capable of hosting events for 200 people.
Explorer | 67m | 220'
Explorer has had many lives, starting out as Clipper Cap Haitien, before being converted to a Shadow Marine vessel. In 2011, she had a major hull extension, to bring her from her former length of 51.8 metres to her current length of 67 metres. The latest refit was undertaken in order to add an additional deck dedicated to the owner’s use, which comprises the owner’s stateroom, private lounge, gym and spa. Other refit work included creating a movie theatre and upgrading all the audio visual and IT systems. Moving the helipad up also allowed the creation of a new open sun deck, providing ample entertaining spaces, and an elevator has been installed to serve all decks.
Blue Shadow | 66.75m | 219'
Blue Shadow acts as the overflow accommodation and support vessel for Golden Odyssey, which is owned by HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia. A keen oceanographer, her owner makes the yacht available for scientific purposes worldwide in support of the Living Oceans Foundation, of which he is chairman. The yacht carries Golden Eye, an amphibious 10-seater Cessna 208 with Wipair floats, as well as many special-purpose tenders, and offers a range of scientific laboratories and accommodation for up to 11 visiting scientists and pilots. It is often seen in the company of Golden Osprey, a 29 metre sport fishing vessel. Blue Shadow was built in the USA by the now-defunct San Diego builder Campbell Industries to the design of Francis & Francis, and was refitted in 2006.