Yacht: Cynara

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Launched as ‘Gwendolen’.

During her early years she was owned by Lord Northampton who has been her longest owner to date. Cynara was later used for charter in the Mediterranean where she entertained the likes of Prince William of Gloucester. Another of her accolades involves the film industry where Cynara starred in the film, ‘Arriverderci Baby!’ with Tony Curtis and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Eastward bound

Her 73.4 tons was sailed to Japan in 1973 to become a promotional tool for ‘Seibu’, a Japanese department store. Cooking classes were held on ‘Seibu’s luxury yacht’ as part of the companies’ ‘edutainment concept’ and she regularly went out on sunset cruises. During this time her devoted skipper took serious pride over the maintenance of the vessel, especially when it came to his varnish!

Apart from a few pieces of necessary hardware being replaced and a new teak deck five years ago, few things have been touched. A post-Victorian austerity reigns throughout the yacht. Memories of a past era abound from the gleam of the original rosewood panelling to the heavyweight cast-iron gimbals beneath the saloon table to the bronzed fold-away sink, still functioning in one of the guest cabins. The original glass panelled bar only awaits the clink of crystal to bring it back to life!


Cynara on the hard during an inspection in 2015 – Photo – Yoichi Yabe

The restoration


After 3 years of restoration Cynara finally pops out into the sunshine (24th March, 2020).

Photos: Chuck Demangeat


The first sails following restoration (June, 2020)

Photos: Nikki Wellings


Shortlisted for the CLASSIC BOAT AWARDS 2021

“Restored by a team led by Paul Harvey and Ben Hobbs, Designed Charles E Nicholson, Built 1927, LOD 95ft (29m), Rig gaff ketch

Cynara is proof, if any more were needed after Vagrant that big-yacht restoration is not dead. She was sold into Japanese ownership in 1973 and has been there ever since, in recent years often spoken about as “one of the last left to do”. Work on the gargantuan project began in April 2017, made up of a group of boatbuilders from 12 nations. She is now sailing again, and with an estimated 92 per cent of her Burma teak hull still original.” CLASSIC BOAT

Designer: Charles Ernest Nicholson
Type of Boat:
Rig: Gaff Ketch
Year Built: 1927
Built By: Camper & Nicholson, Gosport, UK
LOA m / ft: 33.4m / 109'8"
LOD m / ft: 29.2m / 95'8"
LWL m / ft:
Beam m / ft: 5.7m / 18'7"
Draft m / ft: 3.4m / 11'3"
Yard No: 149123
Sail Stats
Construction: Teak on Oak

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