Yard number 533
Naval Architect G.L. Watson & Co.
Length 91 m
Weight 2,017 tons
Tonnage 1.574 million kg
|Builder John Brown & Co|
Status Currently in service
Tonnage 1.574 million kg
Displacement 2.017 million kg
|Identification IMO number 1009417MMSI number 235075032Call sign 2CQY6|
Nahlin is a luxury yacht and one of the last of three large steam yachts constructed in the UK. She was built for Lady Annie Henrietta Yule, heiress of Sir David Yule, and was launched in 1930. She is currently owned by British industrial entrepreneur Sir James Dyson, who purchased her from Sir Anthony Bamford, Chairman of JCB. The name Nahlin is taken from the Native American word meaning "fleet of foot" and the yacht has a figurehead depicting a Native American wearing a feathered headdress beneath the bowsprit.
Lady Yule ordered three private yachts in 1929 from John Brown & Company, Clydebank, with Nahlin being the first built. In 1934 Nahlin was classified as one of the biggest private yachts ever built in the U.K. Numbered 533 at the yard, she was the vessel constructed by Brown's immediately before the RMS Queen Mary.
In 1936 Nahlin was chartered by King Edward VIII - rather than using the Royal yacht Victoria & Albert III, to "enable the avoidance of formality accorded to Royalty" - and used by him and Mrs. Wallis Simpson during a cruise in the Adriatic Sea. As Lady Yule was a strict teetotaler, the king took over the library on the shade deck where he replaced the books with bottles. The presence of Simpson on board the yacht first "alerted the world's media to the impending abdication crisis." Informal photographs of Edward and Simpson on board together during the cruise were not published in Britain but became front-page news in the United States. During the cruise, Nahlin was escorted by HMS Glowworm, a Royal Navy destroyer.
The yacht was bought in 1937 by King Carol II of Romania for £120,000 and renamed Luceafarul (Evening Star), and later Libertatea (Liberty). When the Romanian monarch abdicated in 1940, she became the property of the Romanian Ministry of Culture and was tied up in the port of Galați on the Danube as a museum and later as a floating restaurant.
In 1989 the yacht was rediscovered by luxury yacht broker Nicholas Edmiston who purchased the vessel in 1998 from the Romanian government and in 1999 sent her to Falmouth, Cornwall, on the heavy lift ship Swift. She was then towed to Devonport, Plymouth and then to Liverpool for restoration. Phase one of the project was delayed when restorers Cammell Laird went into receivership. Following a 15-year process of stabilization and a £25 million restoration led by G. L. Watson & Company the ship was recommissioned in 2010 as the Nahlin and is registered again in Glasgow, Scotland. The refit was undertaken by Nobiskrug at Rendsburg, Germany, and completion was at the Blohm + Voss shipyard, Hamburg, where diesel engines replaced her old steam turbines.
During restoration, the yacht's original mahogany-hulled 6.4 m (21 ft) ship-to-shore tender, believed lost for 60 years, was located in Scotland, having been fully restored by owner Willie McCullough. It has now been reunited with the yacht.
The Nahlin is 91.4 m (300 ft) long, and has a beam of 10.98 m (36.0 ft). Her draught is 4.42 m (14.5 ft). She is fitted with a propulsion system of 4 x 2200 hp engines, each providing 1619 kilowatts; total power for the boat is therefore 8800 HP or 6475 KW. Nahlin's maximum speed is 17.1 knots. She was originally furnished with six en-suite staterooms for guests, a gymnasium, a ladies' sitting room with sea views on three sides, and a library. Edward VIII famously had all the books removed from the library to make more room for alcohol to be carried during his cruise. The gymnasium had been converted to a stateroom by King Carol of Romania but has now been restored.