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West India Dock Review 2021

It is a tradition of Isle of Dogs Life at this time of the year to write a review of the ships that have called at West India Dock. Whilst we have not had the numbers or variety of previous years, we have a number of interesting visitors.

It has been the year of the superyachts in the dock and three of the ships are still in the dock, Bravo Eugenia, PHI and Here Comes The Sun have been here since December. The old favourite tall ship Tenacious made an appearance and in Greenwich was the RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research ship for a time.

Bravo Eugenia superyacht

PHI superyacht

Moon Sand Superyacht

Here Comes The Sun Superyacht

Dr No

Super Yacht Kismet

Tall Ship Tenacious

RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research ship

Let us look forward to the return of more ships to the dock. The development surrounding West India Dock and Canary Wharf is gradually becoming completed and hopefully we can put the pandemic behind us in 2022.

I would like to wish our readers a happy and healthy New Year.

Bravo Eugenia superyacht in West India Dock

Last week, I was joking that in West India Dock it was like a superyacht convention, the arrival of the Bravo Eugenia has added to the excitement.

At 109 meters (358 ft) Bravo Eugenia is probably one of the longest superyachts we have had in the dock since the 2012 Olympics.

Bravo Eugenia was built by Oceanco in the Netherlands and was completed in 2018.

Bravo Eugenia has exterior design by Nuvolari Lenard, interior design by Reymond Langton Design Ltd., with naval architecture by Lateral Naval Architects.

Up to 14 guests are accommodated on board the superyacht with accommodation for 30 crew members.

For once, we know the owner of the yacht. It is Jerry Jones, owner of the NFL Dallas Cowboys team.

What we do not know is how long the $250 million yacht will be in London.

PHI superyacht in West India Dock

I do not know if superyacht owners are having a convention, but another superyacht has appeared in West India Dock. After a very quiet year for visitors to the dock, we are finishing the year with a bit of excitement.

The recent arrival is the 58.5m / 192ft superyacht PHI which was built at Royal Huisman’s newbuild facility in Vollenhove, The Netherlands. The brand new yacht can accommodate up to 12 guests in 6 staterooms, with 11 crew members.

PHI was designed by Cor D. Rover, with naval architecture Van Oossanen Naval Architects, and the interior of the yacht was designed by Lawson Robb.

The attractive yacht has a aluminium hull and aluminium superstructure with a top speed of 22.0 kn.

As usual in the secretive world of superyachts, it is not known how long the yacht will be in the dock or who the owner is.

Moon Sand Superyacht in West India Dock

After a very quiet summer, we have a little bit of excitement with the arrival of not one but two superyachts. We have already reported on the Here Comes The Sun yacht but the new arrival is the 55m superyacht Moon Sand.

Moon Sand was built by Lürssen who are known for building the largest yachts in the world, Moon Sand at 55m is the smallest yacht launched by the yard since 1955.

So we have in the dock, the largest yacht built by Amels with Here Comes The Sun and with Moon Sand the smallest yacht built by Lürssen since 1955.

Moon Sand was designed by Bannenberg & Rowell, Moon Sand is influenced by the design of the 1973 Lürssen superyacht Carinthia VI.

Moon Sand was built in Germany by Lurssen and is brand new being delivered in 2021. It is so new, there is little information about its layout inside.

Here Comes The Sun Superyacht in West India Dock

On a bright cold morning, we welcome Superyacht ‘Here Comes The Sun’ into West India Dock.

The 83m/272ft yacht was built by Amels in the Netherlands at their Vissingen shipyard. The interior was styled by British designer design house Winch Design and exterior design is the work of Tim Heywood Design.

When the ship was launched in 2017, she was largest superyacht ever built by Amels and was built to very high specifications. She was refitted in 2021.

Here Comes The Sun can accommodate up to 24 guests in 12 suites comprising five VIP cabins and four cabins that can operate as twins or doubles. She is also capable of carrying up to 27 crew onboard.

Her length is 83 m (272 ft), beam is 14.54 m (47.7 ft) and she has a draught of 3.85 m (12.6 ft).[4] The hull is built out of steel while the superstructure is made out of aluminium with teak laid decks. The ship has all the latest state of the art equipment like satellite communications, beach club, gym, deck jacuzzi, WiFi and air conditioning. It also has a piano, sauna, beauty salon, underwater lights and elevator.

Here Comes The Sun is certainly impressive and probably one of the largest superyachts that has visited West India Dock.

In the secretive world of superyachts, it is difficult to know who the owner is, but there are rumours the ship has changed hands recently for a considerable amount of money.

Dr No in West India Dock

After the recent visit by Kismet to West India Dock, we have a new arrival with the Dr No which is a 37 m / 121′5″ luxury motor yacht built by Narasaki Zosen in 1995. Dr No last visited the dock in May this year.

The ship is very unusual because it was first launched in 1995 as the Japanese Fisheries training ship Wakachiba at the Muroran shipyard.

The yacht underwent major changes under her first yacht owner, Tom Perkins, who acquired the vessel which was known as Blue Hunter in 2011 and developed it as an explorer yacht. The deck is littered with equipment to enable dinghies or submersibles to be launched.

The motor yacht can accommodate 12 guests in 5 cabins. The owner is not known which is not unusual in the yacht community.

You often see larger ships converted for explorations but very unusual to see something of this size being used in this way. Although some owners enjoy the luxury of superyachts, there is a trend to create explorer yachts to explore some of the world’s more exotic locations.

Super Yacht Kismet in West India Dock

It has been a very quiet year for boats visiting West India Dock but we have the arrival of a regular visitor over the years. The Super Yacht Kismet was last here in 2019 before the pandemic.

Kismet is a large superyacht and has visited the dock a couple of times before in 2014 and 2016. It often comes to London when its owner Pakistani-American billionaire businessman Shahid Khan wants to entertain guests attending NFL matches in London. His NFL team Jacksonville Jaguars play Maimi Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the 17th October 2019.

The yacht is often tucked away at the bottom of the dock for some time before being taken up to near Tower Bridge for entertaining guests.

Kismet is 308ft long has three decks and a private sundeck with a pool-Jacuzzi-BBQ area and all mod cons. The ship features exterior styling by Espen and interior design by Reymond Langton Design featuring marble and rare woods, it will accommodate 12 guests in six staterooms, and has a crew of 20.

This ship is the second vessel named Kismet owned by Mr Khan and estimated to have cost 200 million dollars, a previous 223ft yacht was sold for a rumoured £70 million in 2013. The new Kismet was built at German boatyard Lurssen.

Unusually for the secretive super yacht world, a great deal seems to be known about Kismet and it was rumoured in 2019 that the yacht was up for sale.

Tall Ship Tenacious in West India Dock

After a very quiet period, we welcome an old favourite back to West India Dock with the arrival of the STS Tenacious tall ship

The Tenacious is a wooden sail training ship which was specially designed to be able to accommodate disabled sailors. Launched in Southampton in the year 2000, it is one of the largest wooden tall ships in the world. It is 65 metres long with a beam of 10.6 metres at its widest point.

The Tenacious and the Lord Nelson  are owned by the UK-based charity the Jubilee Sailing Trust who have for many years have pioneered sailing for the disabled.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust became a registered charity in 1978 and was the brainchild of Christopher Rudd, a school teacher and sailor who wanted to give the disabled children he taught the same experiences his able-bodied students had.

Since its launch Tenacious has taken nearly 12,000 people sailing of these 3,000 were physically disabled and 1,000 were wheelchair users.

London: Port City at the Museum of London Docklands from 22 October 2021 – 8 May 2022

At this time, the ‘Tuscania’ was operated by Cunard on the London – New York passenger route.

I was delighted to receive news of a major exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands in October, the exhibition entitled London: Port City explores how the Port of London has changed and shaped the city, its people, places and language, over centuries. The exhibition will trace more than 200 years of experiences and intense activity on a river.

It is appropriate the the exhibition is in the Museum of London Docklands, itself originally part of West India Docks, London’s first enclosed dock system and packed with valuable cargoes from around the world from 1802 until its closure in 1980.

The first consignment of 28 railway carriages for Kenya & Uganda railways arriving at the Royal Albert Dock, lifted by the London Mammoth.

The exhibition will draw upon the extensive archives of the Port of London Authority (PLA) to present a wider picture of the complex operations that have enabled the Port to connect London to the rest of the world, from the final days of the 18th century to the creation of the huge London Gateway ‘mega port’ in the Thames Estuary. The exhibition will full of stories, incidents, major operations, characters, technological advances, pivotal moments, surprising details and little-known facts.

Imported bananas being handled at the Royal Docks.

Exhibition highlights include:

Revealing the stories behind 80 words and expressions that entered the English language and the place names of streets and pubs as a result of the docks including ‘crack on’, ‘aloof’ and ‘Mudchute’.

An impressive audio visual display that will transport visitors into the PLA control room, using large-scale projections to create a day in the life of the Port of London, with multiple spectacular views of the river and all of the activity happening 24 hours a day.

An interactive timeline reveals stories from the docks since 1800, using 222 objects from the PLAs vast and eclectic archive. Material ranges from sandals with hollowed out soles to smuggle opium, seized in the 1870s, to original plans for the world’s most innovative purpose-built dock complexes.

Many of the dockers whose voices feature throughout the exhibition recall being hit by a heady aroma as a new cargo was unloaded or as they made their way through different areas of the docks. Visitors will experience a suite of distinct scents, carefully blended to capture the original pungency of the port.

Trade Winds: London, a new artwork by contemporary artist Susan Stockwell, using archive material and international currency to explore themes of international trade, economies, migration and empire. Elsewhere, a new artwork by Hilary Powell uses experimental photographic techniques and film to explore the container shipping industry and the people who keep it going.

Importantly, the exhibition will address the wider global context of London’s seaborne trade, most notably its historical dependence on the sugar trade and slavery. A document commemorating the original unveiling of the statue of merchant and slave owner Robert Milligan, which was removed from outside the museum in 2020, is displayed alongside original plans for docks.

For more information visit the Museum of London Docklands here

Dr No in West India Dock

There was a welcome sign that life was returning to West India Dock with the arrival of Dr No which is a 37 m / 121′5″ luxury motor yacht built by Narasaki Zosen in 1995.

The ship is very unusual because it was first launched in 1995 as the Japanese Fisheries training ship Wakachiba at the Muroran shipyard.

The yacht underwent major changes under her first yacht owner, Tom Perkins, who acquired the vessel in 2011 and developed it as an explorer yacht. The deck is littered with equipment to enable dinghies or submersibles to be launched.

The motor yacht can accommodate 12 guests in 5 cabins.

You often see larger ships converted for explorations but very unusual to see something of this size being used in this way.