Historic Vessel Set For Round-the-World Adventure

An historic yacht that was first launched in 1920 having been built to a design inspired by old Baltimore schooners is now, after a period of total reconstruction about to set off around the world on a journey that promises to be both an adventure and exceptionally comfortable, thanks to the extraordinary level of sophistication on board.

No.6 Texel, a 33m vessel entered service as a pilot schooner in Texel, Holland. But in 1933, she was purchased by Philadelphia cotton tycoon, and turned into a luxury yacht. After the Second World War, she was sold to King Farouk I of Egypt and remodelled to provide regal comfort. The vessel passed through a number of hands before being bought in 2001 by her present owner.

He chose to have her refitted in the Spanish shipyard of Atollvic. There he has seen her transformed into a yacht that blends a unique heritage with state-of-the-art systems.

The Vigo based yard is a specialist in the construction of custom sail and motor yachts in steel or aluminium, and they have restored over a period of five years

The shipyard first assessed No.6 Texel in 2005, and quickly realised the boat was in much worse condition than originally assumed. The hull, in particular, needed urgent repairs, with an estimated 85% of the steel requiring replacement. At this stage the owner decided to use the opportunity to dramatically overhaul the yacht and worked with an architect to alter the internal layout and increase engine capacity.

The yacht’s restoration began in dry dock with the careful removal of elements that could be kept, cleaned and reused. Parts that needed repairing or replacing were fabricated from scratch to match the vessel’s appearance by Atollvic’s sister company Vicalsa, a specialist in the production of custom steel parts, or where possible, they were sourced from similarly aged material.

The biggest challenge was in maintaining the original integrity of the boat whilst ensuring she was equipped for the modern age. The shipyard created a comfortable upper cabin that was packed with all the latest instrumentation for safe navigation, but that maintained all the materials that gave the boat so much of its original charms, such as veneered wood and leather.

The reconstruction of the engine room also presented challenges, with the incorporation of two new Scania engines within a space built for one, as well as a number of other elements, including modern levels of sound insulation.

For Marco Villar, Yard Director of Atollvic, the project has been an extraordinary experience. “No.6 Texel began as one kind of project and soon became something quite different. But we adapted and utilised all our skills to transform an old and run-down yacht into one of the most beautiful vessels imaginable. I am very proud of what has been achieved particularly on a schooner with such an illustrious history.”