Image: BYM News
Shemara the 65 metre superyacht so beloved by Lord and Lady Docker in the 1960s has been rescued from decay and is to be completely rebuilt in Britain by British Businessman Charles Dunstone.
Shemara, was built in by Thorneycroft in Southampton and launched from there in 1938.
In 1943 while working as an anti submarine training ship with the Royal Navy she used her sonar to locate HMS Untamed a missing submarine that had been lost with all hands.
Shemara became famous in the 1950s for the many lavish parties hosted by Lord and Lady Docker who then owned her. The gracelessly gaudy pair entertained the nation, through the pages of the tabloid newspapers, with a succession of fancy cars, mink coats and champagne receptions on board the yacht.
In 1954 the nations eyebrows were raised when 45 Yorkshire miners were invited to Southampton for a cocktail party on board Shemara. “We had a riotous day,” said Lady Docker at the time.
In 1965 Shemara was put up for sale for £600,000. After a great deal of legal wrangling, the superyacht passed to the ownership of reclusive property tycoon Harry Hyams of Oldham Estates for £290,000.
He left her sitting in Lowestoft for twenty or so years where, according to rumour, crew prepared lunch for Hyams each day just in case he arrived, which he never did.
The yacht was refitted last in 1992 and in the past year was sold to Charles Dunstone who founded Carphone Warehouse. Dunstone is an avid sailor who enjoys racing sailing yachts and Shemara would make a fitting mothership for him to attend and race in superyacht sailing regattas around the world.
Shemara has now arrived in Portchester for a complete rebuild that could cost millions of pounds. Ironically the firm that has won the contract to rebuild her is Testbank, an organisation based at Trafalgar Wharf, a site once occupied by the Vosper Thorneycroft Group whose being emerged from the same firm that originally built the yacht
Talking about her refit and what it might be worth to the area Andy Green, a superyacht broker at the Trafalgar Wharf boatyard, told journalists at The News in Portsmouth, “A number of seven-figure agreements are there for the taking – to strip the yacht down, re-do her décor and repair her clapped-out engines.”