XARIFA

Superyacht - - Refits -

Na­val en­gi­neer J.M. So­per de­si­gned “Xarifa” whi­ch was built at J. Sa­muel White & Co. Shipyard in Co­wes in 1927 for Fran­klin Mor­se Sin­ger who was one of the nu­me­rous sons of the weal­thy Sin­ger Ame­ri­can family who ma­de their for­tu­ne buil­ding sewing ma­chi­nes. Ob­viou­sly Fran­klin Sin­ger lo­ved beautiful things mo­ney can buy. His beautiful wife had sup­po­sed­ly mo­del­led for sculp­tor Fre­de­ric-au­gu­ste Bar­thol­di when he was tac­kling New York’s Sta­tue of Li­ber­ty. Ap­pa­ren­tly others claim Bar­thol­di had dra­wn in­spi­ra­tion for the sta­tue de­ploy­ing his own mo­ther Char­lot­te as mo­del. Two years af­ter ha­ving been laun­ched, pe­rhaps be­cau­se of the Wall Street cra­sh and en­suing re­ces­sion, Sin­ger was for­ced to sell the ya­cht in 1929. The new ow­ner Ed­ward Mau­ger a Bri­ti­sh gen­tle­man chan­ged the ya­cht’s name to “Ra­diant”. Six years la­ter Louis Em­pain a Bel­gian ba­ron who ow­ned se­ve­ral com­pa­nies in Ca­na­da bought “Ra­diant” chan­ged the name to “Oi­seau Blanc” and used her to cross the ocean from Eu­ro­pe se­ve­ral ti­mes as well as crui­sing ex­ten­si­ve­ly in the Uni­ted Sta­tes as well. At the ti­me of her laun­ch and for so­me years af­ter “Xarifa” was con­si­de­red an en­gi­nee­ring feat and a ve­ry ele­gant ma­ster­pie­ce and her schoo­ner rig ac­cen­tua­ted her flo­wing li­nes whi­le spor­ting a sump­tuous in­te­rior de­cor be­low deck and great com­fort for the ti­mes. The Bel­gian ba­ron did not keep her long. On­ly ele­ven years af­ter her laun­ch in Co­wes she was sold on­ce again in 1938 and be­ca­me “Ca­pi­ta­na” and then again “Geor­get­te”. Hans Haas scien­ti­st and un­der­wa­ter pho­to­gra­pher – who I had the plea­su­re of mee­ting so­me years ago – bought her in 1951 to sail around the world wi­th his wife - whi­le mo­stly pri­vi­le­ging the In­dian and Pa­ci­fic Oceans - he re-in­sta­ted the ori­gi­nal name and “Xarifa” ma­de her ap­pea­ran­ce in se­ve­ral of Haas’s films “Un­der the Ca­rib­bean” one wi­th Ja­mes Bond and al­so “The sai­lor from Gi­bral­tar” in 1967 wi­th Va­nes­sa Red­gra­ve and Jean­ne Mo­reau. An Ita­lian bil­lio­nai­re, Car­lo Tra­glio bought her in 1960 and her ho­me port was for ma­ny years Montecarlo from where she sai­led ex­ten­si­ve­ly and by 1970 she was mo­re than due for a mu­ch nee­ded tho­rou­gh refit to bring her back to her ori­gi­nal form and splen­dour. The la­te­st to­tal refit was car­ried out in 2014 af­ter 44 years from the fir­st this was car­ried out in the Spa­ni­sh to­wn of Vi­go at the Me­tal­ship Yards & Docks si­te.

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