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Superyacht Reef Chief in West India Dock

It would seem that Superyacht season is in full swing with the arrival of the Reef Chief in West India Dock.

Reef Chief is a 49.07m, 160.76ft  luxury yacht which was built in United States of America by Trinity Yachts and delivered in 2009

The  yacht was previously named Anjilis and her luxurious interior is designed by Glade Johnson Design and her exterior styling is by Geoff Van Aller.

The yacht has a aluminium hull superstructure with an ultra-modern stabilization system.

Reef Chief can accommodate 11 guests in 5 rooms and can carry up to 9 crew onboard.

Various reports suggest the yacht has been sold recently, but as usual it is very difficult to find out who actually owns the vessel.

It is nice to see a few ships beginning to visit the dock despite the development all around the dock.

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SuperYacht Forever One in West India Dock

After a quiet period, there appears to be a bit more activity with ships visiting West India Dock, the latest arrival is the superyacht Forever One.

The 179 ft yacht was built by ISA yachts at the Ancona shipyard in Italy and launched in 2014. The yacht was designed by Horacio Bozzo Design with interior design by Studio Massari.

The yacht has a reverse bow and fold-down balconies with an unusual colour design on the exterior with red touches here and there. The red relates to the owners’ connection to Coca Cola.

According to various sources, Bruce Grossman is the owner of the yacht Forever One, he is considered to be one of the richest men in Mexico. The name Forever One refers to Bruce’s wife Elsa.

The yacht allegedly cost 40 million pounds and features all the usual features like Stabilizers , Jacuzzi (on deck), Beach Club, Gym, and Lift. The yacht can accommodate 10 guests in five large cabins and has a crew of 12

The yacht did visit the dock before in 2015, It is not known how long the Forever One will be in dock.

French Navy ships : Lynx (A751) and Guépard (A752) in West India Dock

After the arrival of three training ships of the French Navy,  Léopard (A 748), Panthère (A 749) and Lion (A 755) yesterday, we have two more ships arriving to with the Lynx (A751) and Guépard (A752.

All the ships are Léopard-class training ships which are used for navigational and practical training of potential French officers.

In the 1970s, the French Navy decided to build eight vessels to provide practical training in the operation and navigation of naval vessels. Lion and Lynx  were built by La Perrière in Lorient, and Panthere, Guepard and Leopard were built by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Manche (ACM) in Saint-Malo in the early 1980s.

The ships of this class usually have a crew composed of 1 officer, 10 sailors, and 4 quartermasters; plus 1 or 2 officers, 2 instructors, and 18 students.

Still in the dock is the Marienborgh yacht, so for a short time we have interest in the dock rather than watching the various developments moving higher and higher.

It is not often we have five naval ships in the dock, hopefully they will be here for a little while.

French Navy ships : Léopard (A 748), Panthère (A 749) and Lion (A 755) in West India Dock.

After a very quiet period in West India Dock, we welcome the arrival of three training ships of the French Navy. Léopard (A 748), Panthère (A 749) and Lion (A 755) are Léopard-class training ships which are used for navigational and practical training of potential French officers.

In the 1970s, the French Navy decided to build eight vessels to provide practical training in the operation and navigation of naval vessels. Lion were built by La Perrière in Lorient, and Panthere and Leopard were built by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Manche (ACM) in Saint-Malo in the early 1980s.

These types of vessels have been regular visitors in the last few years, but I do believe these particular ships last visited in 2013.

The ships of this class usually have a crew composed of 1 officer, 10 sailors, and 4 quartermasters; plus 1 or 2 officers, 2 instructors, and 18 students.

Still in the dock is the Marienborgh yacht, so for a short time we have plenty of interest in the dock rather than watching the various developments around the dock moving higher and higher.

I expect the visit is just part of the training on the ships and it is not known how long the vessels will be in the dock.

Morgenster Tall Ship on the Thames

Walking near to Westferry Circus, I saw the unmistakable sails of a tall ship and hurried to see which ship it was. To my surprise it was the Morgenster which reminded me of one of my great experiences from last year.

Morgenster was one of the ships taking part in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta and I was fortunate to be invited to take a trip on the Morgenster from Woolwich to Greenwich.

Whilst I have seen a lot of Tall Ships in West India Dock and at Greenwich and occasionally been on board to have a look around, actually sailing on a ship down the Thames was a wonderful experience.

There was something special about being under sail even in the safe confines of the Thames, before I get carried away it is worth mentioning that for the crew it is more hard work bringing down the sails and carrying out various duties. It did give me some insight into how much work would be involved sailing one of these ships across the Atlantic.

The Morgenster or  (Morning Star in Dutch) is a sail training ship based in the Netherlands. She was originally built, as a herring lugger under the name De Vrouw Maria, in 1919. In 1927, she was converted into a motor fishing vessel. She was renamed Morgenster in 1959 and continued to be used as a fishing vessel until 1970. After a period of use for sport fishing and a pirate radio station, she was converted back to a sailing vessel in 1983. She made her maiden voyage as a sail training ship in 2008, having been refitted as a brig.

She certainly looked a magnificent sight as she meandered her way along the Thames on her way to Tower Bridge.

Marienborgh Yacht in West India Dock

It has been a very quiet winter for visitors to West India Dock, no doubt due to the on-going building works around the dock.

However we do have an interesting visitor with the arrival of the Marienborgh. The boat is a two-mast schooner that dates back to 1912.

There have been long term plans for boat to be fitted out as a luxurious dining venue.  It was first proposed in 2012 but since then the boat has been to Holland and has been spotted in King George V dock in the Royal docks.

Little is known about the background of the boat or its plans but it has been put up for sale a number of times in the last few years.

Lady A Superyacht in West India Dock

After we have had a very quiet period in West India Dock, we welcome the arrival of the 55.17 metre superyacht, Lady A. The Jon Bannenberg designed yacht was launched in 1986, built-in Japan by Nishii Zosen-Sterling and named the Southern Cross and was originally owned by disgraced Australian millionaire Alan Bond.

It is widely believed the yacht was bought in 2015 by Lord Sugar but has recently been put up for sale for around £13 million pounds.

As usual in the secretive world of superyachts, it is difficult to find out who are the owners and why the yacht is visiting West India Dock.

The yacht had a major refit in 2015 and is considered one of the most distinctive yachts afloat. the yacht can accommodate 12 guests in a master stateroom, four doubles and one twin guest cabin. The sundeck design has a seated bar, Jacuzzi, and sun awnings with two private lounges at the foredeck.