XARIFA 1927. ABM YACHT SUPPORT
I have had the pleasure of having sailed in one of the biggest classic yachts that are sailing around the world.
This beautiful and magnificent yacht is headed by Diego Massó, excellent captain and very profesional. His crew are 6 who work very hard to maintain the boat in the high standards.
Undoubtedly, Xarifa 1927 is a piece of history.
Schooner Xarifa was designed by engineer J.M. Soper and built by J. Samuel White & Co. Ltd. at Cowes, UK, in 1927. Many articles published by Yachting magazines of the time praised her and her magnificent accommodations, describing her as one of the most elegant and luxurious yachts of her time.
Her first owner was Franklin Morse Singer, one of the many sons of the multimillionaire king of the sewing machine, Isaac Singer, and a well- known American yachtsman. As he did with all his previous yachts, he named her Xarifa, an Egyptian word which means 'charming lady'.
In 1930, he ordered his new next yacht and sold the Xarifa to the British businessman and newspapers magnate Edward Mauger (who was given the title of Baron Iliffe in 1933). Mr Mauger renamed her as Radiant. During this period, the yacht was raced actively and hosted important private social events on board.
In 1934, she was bought by Camper & Nicholson.
In 1936 the ship was sold to the Baron Louis Empain, the youngest son of Baron Édouard Empain, a wealthy engineer, entrepreneur, financier and industrialist from Belgium, who gave her a new name, Oiseau Blanc. Under this ownership, she crossed many times the Atlantic Ocean, sailed the St. Lorenzo River and took several cruises in Europe and in America.
"The yacht is certainly one of the most beautiful units currently afloat. By acquiring this beautiful unit, Baron Louis Empain definitely moves at the head of Belgian yachting. We sincerely welcome the Oiseau Blanc and wish her a beautiful sports career."
Around 1938 the yacht was sold again to Georgette Malou and called her Georgette.
The next year, in June 9th 1939, Ms Malou transferred the yacht to Professor and Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison of the American History Department of Harvard, who re-baptized her as Capitana, in honor of Columbus´s Flagship. For a long time Prof. Morrison was interested in Columbus´s voyages to America. He wanted to discover what sort of navigator Columbus was and to identify accurately the various landfalls which the navigator made on this new continent. He decided that the only way to get any really accurate results was to replicate Columbus´s voyage as accurately as possible.
The expedition sponsored by Harvard University, consisted of two ships, the flagship Capitana and her 45-foot ketch tender, Mary Otis. Capitana began her expedition on September 1st 1939, two days before the outbreak of WW2 and set sail from New London, Connecticut on their way to the South of Spain.
In June 8th 1940, the yacht changed hands once again and was bought by Clementino Benoliel De Carvalho, the son of Antonio Miguel de Carvalho, owner of the company Antonio Miguel de Carvalho et Cie. from Cape Verde. The boat was registered for trade use between New Bedford and Cape Verde in what was known as the Brava Packet Trade routes.
In April 1941 Capitana was acquired by an Icelandic merchant called Magnus Andersson in New Bedford, who took her to Reykjavik to be used for fish transportation between Iceland and Europe. He later sold the vessel in 1947 to the Danish owner Tuxen and Hagemann, converting her into a fishing vessel, while preserving her name.
In 1951 the famous Austrian Scientist and voyager Hans Hass (some refer to him as the Austrian Cousteau) bought the yacht. He initially renamed her Manta, in honor to one of the principle actors of his acclaimed film Under the Red Sea, released on October 2, 1952 and which was awarded first prize at the Venice Film Festival, as well as winning other major awards. However, he soon gave her back her original name, Xarifa. The yacht took many voyages around the world, especially through the Pacific and Indian oceans, thus becoming famous for Hans Hass’ oceanographic and scientific researches.
By way of the International Institute for Marine Research, this new research ship was mostly financed through the proceeds of Hass´s film Under the Red Sea, and then by way of photo safaris in the Red Sea and by the BBC.
In 1960 she was purchased in Singapore by Italian multimillionaire Carlo Traglio. Under his ownership, she went through a refit in Italy and was then taken to her new home port, the Tee-Pier in Port Hercule, Monaco, where she remained berthed until 2012.
Finally, she was bought in 2012 by a Panamanian company, current owner of the Xarifa. A new full refit and her outstanding original architecture, made it possible for the Xarifa to recover all her strength and magnificence.
In 2014 she participated in several regattas, displaying once again her splendour and elegance.
Among other curiosities, it seems that since 1927 the Xarifa welcomed well-known personalities on board (Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor and his wife Wallis Simpson, Sir Thomas Lipton …) and hosted important international meetings.
During WWII, she was also used for carriage by the Danish Resistance between Denmark and neutral Sweden.
She also appeared in the film, The Sailor from Gibraltar (1967), with Vanessa Redgrave and Jeanne Moreau.