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West India Dock Review 2020

It is that time of the year when people begin to review the past 12 months, carrying on the tradition from previous years, normally we would be listing the ships that have visited West India Docks in the last year.

This year has been like no other and the only visitor we had was the Super Yacht Ilona in April.

For the marine lovers out there, I have decided to feature a few favourites from the last few years to show us what we have missed. The most exciting visitors of recent years have tended to be the tall ships which always cause plenty of excitement and gives us a reminder of how the dock would have looked in the 19th century.

Mexican Tall Ship Cuauhtémoc visited West India Dock in 2019.

American Tall Ship USCGC Eagle visited in 2016.

In 2014, the dock featured ships from The Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival.

Royal Navy ships have been regular visitors over the years, here is the HMS Westminster from 2014.

Other Navies have provided ships at the dock, most unusual were the Chinese Navy Ships Huanggang and Yangzhou in 2017.

NATO Ships often berthed in West India Dock, here are some from 2015.

Many types of ships have visited the docks including Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior III in 2019.

Perhaps the most unusual visitor was a H.M. Bruinvis, a Dutch submarine in 2012.

Let us look forward to the return of 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 2021.

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

Association of Thames Yachts in West India Dock

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Over the year, I do my best to chart the movements of ships in and out of the West India Dock, we have a number of super yachts, naval ships and tall ships. However around bank holidays, the dock is sometimes used for rallies where a large number of smaller ships and boats converge for a weekend of events.

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Over this August Bank Holiday, we have the pleasure of welcoming the members of the Association of Thames Yacht clubs to West India Dock for their 62nd Rally.

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The Association represents the smaller yachts on the Thames and organise a series of events to encourage boating skills including competitions, training sessions and social interaction with a BBQ and other get togethers.

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If you are visiting West India Dock over the weekend, you will have quite a range of craft to look out, the HMS Falken tall ship, the super yacht Ilona and the small yachts are soon to be joined by a regular visitor, the tall ship Stad Amsterdam.

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Super Yacht Ilona arrives in West India Dock – August 2016

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On a warm sunny day , the West India Dock  welcomed the Super Yacht Ilona, the Ilona last  visited the dock in December last year and also visited when the 2012 London Olympics was taking place.

The yacht stayed in West India Dock for a considerable time on her last visit and created quite a large amount of interest and will likely turn a few heads this time.

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The 73.81 metres (or 242 ft) long custom built yacht was launched by Amels in the Netherlands in 2004 and she has also refitted in 2006, and 2012. She is classed as one of the world’s top 100 largest private yachts and has the unusual feature of a helipad, when she was built the helicopter could be stowed in a hangar below deck. In the latest refit, the helicopter garage was replaced by a large 10m by 3m swimming pool.

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Estimated to have cost 100 million dollars, the Super Yacht Ilona is owned by one of Australia’s richest men, businessman Frank Lowy who made much of his fortune developing shopping centres with the Westfield Group. Lowy has also been one of the main individuals  responsible for developing professional football in Australia in the last decade.

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Unusually for a Super Yacht owner, Lowy and his family have used the yacht to travel extensively around the world and the boat is the fourth yacht called Ilona which has been built and launched for the owner.

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As usual in the secret world of Super Yachts, little is known about plans of the owner or the boat during its stay. Whatever the plans, the boat provides plenty of on board comfort with a cinema, a massage room and a gymnasium. The boat can also accommodate a maximum of 16 guests, in 6 cabins and carries a crew of around 28.

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Super Yacht Ilona arrives in West India Dock

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On a grey and miserable day, the West India Dock welcomed the Super Yacht Ilona, the weather is very different from the last time she visited the dock which was during the warm and sunny 2012 London Olympics.

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The 73.81 metres (or 242 ft) long custom built yacht was launched by Amels in the Netherlands in 2004 and she has also refitted in 2006, and 2012. She is classed as one of the world’s top 100 largest private yachts and has the unusual feature of a helipad, when she was built the helicopter could be stowed in a hangar below deck. In the latest refit, the helicopter garage was replaced by a large 10m by 3m swimming pool.

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Estimated to have cost 100 million dollars, the Super Yacht Ilona is owned by one of Australia’s richest men, businessman Frank Lowy who made much of his fortune developing shopping centres with the Westfield Group. Lowy has also been one of the main individuals  responsible for developing professional football in Australia in the last decade.

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Unusually for a Super Yacht owner, Lowy and his family have used the yacht to travel extensively around the world and the boat is the fourth yacht called Ilona which has been built and launched for the owner.

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As usual in the secret world of Super Yachts, little is known about plans of the owner or the boat during its stay. Whatever the plans, the boat provides plenty of on board comfort with a cinema, a massage room and a gymnasium.The boat can also accommodate a maximum of 16 guests, in 6 cabins and carries a crew of around 28 .