Originally commissioned by W. L. Stephenson, the chairman of Woolworths in the UK, Malahne was designed by Charles E. Nicholson and built by Camper & Nicholsons in 1937. Christened using the endings of his three daughters names; Velma, Sheila and Daphne, Malahne was used extensively to cruise the Atlantic before being commandeered by the British Navy at the outbreak of World War II. As HMS Malahne she served on the English Channel and took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk.

From World War II to Hollywood – post war Malahne had a number of European and American owners before being acquired by film producer Sam Spiegel (Bridge over the river Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia) in 1960. The parties on Malahne became as renowned as the guests who attended with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Grace Kelly and Jack Nicholson to name but a few.

From heaven to hell – during the early 1980’s Malahne was sold and ‘modernised’, the result of which was a classic yacht, drenched in history, being made to look unrecognisable and devoid of personality.

There and back again – now, thanks to the dedication of Edmiston & Company, Pendennis Shipyard and classic yacht experts G. L. Watson & Co, Malahne has been restored to her original style and modernised whilst respecting her history. Nicholas Edmiston, chairman of Edmiston & Company commented, “I was fortunate to interest an owner who understood and embraced this vision, and who entrusted Edmiston to pull together a team that could bring Malahne back to life.”

Key to the successful revival of Malahne is the resurrection of the original 1930’s appearance designed by G. L. Watson & Co. Managing director William Collier stated, “The challenge of recreating many of the yachts features while achieving a faithful restoration of the hull shape has been very rewarding. Together we have brought an historically important yacht back to life.” Interior design of the crew accommodation may also be accredited to the classic yacht experts, as well as joint project management with Edmiston Yacht Management.

The Art Deco interior design was created by Oliver Laws, whose expertise has previously been applied to the interiors of Claridges in London. The designer, Guy Oliver, explained, “the owners brief to ‘make Malahne look as if she had been in continuous ownership since she was built’ was wonderful and daunting. The new Malahne had to function with contemporary requirements for air conditioning and technology, all of which had to be contained in an original envelope. I spent a long time establishing a language and grammar for the interior, with bespoke detailing, woods and materials appropriate to the period, (which were all hand worked and finished), as well as designing and sourcing the original furniture in a lightly eclectic way to give an air of authenticity and continuity. The result is a vessel of charm and elegance that makes a distinctive statement for which I am sure she will become renowned.”

Mike Carr, managing director of Pendennis concluded, “Over the past two and a half years the team has worked incredibly hard to bring Malahne back to life. Seeing the final transformation from her 1980’s form back to her original design, her launch marks a proud moment for everyone involved. Our tradespeople from all areas have applied quality, care, pride and passion to every aspect of the project. There have been unprecedented opportunities to showcase their restoration skills, whilst sympathetically integrating modern systems. Malahne now commands a special place in the Pendennis fleet.”

After sailing from Falmouth, the 50.29m Malahne will join her owner in the Mediterranean.


Profile links

If you like reading our Editors' premium quality journalism on SuperyachtNews.com, you'll love their amazing and insightful opinions and comments in The Superyacht Report. If you’ve never read it, click here to request a sample copy - it's 'A Report Worth Reading'. If you know how good it is, click here to subscribe - it's 'A Report Worth Paying For'.