Found rotting in a mangrove swamp Eilean is a Bermudian ketch that has been lovingly restored.
She is one of the last designs by William Fife III who, at the Fife shipyards in Fairlie, Scotland.
Now the Italian watchmaker Officine Panerai has arranged for a book to be published that details how this assignment was accomplished
“Eilean – A Classic Yacht” is the title of a new book devoted to the story of a 1936 yacht salvaged from deterioration, faithfully restored and returned to the sea.
Officine Panerai, the Italian luxury watch company has long historical associations with the sea and the Italian Navy and has been safeguarding and promoting the classic yacht culture over many years.
Fife shipyards in Fairlie, Scotland, created many of the most beautiful sail boats that can still be found at sea. Through first-hand accounts, archives, technical sheets and splendid vintage images, the book recounts Eilean’s birth, her first years sailing in Europe, Atlantic crossings and the glorious years spent in the Caribbean seas when she became recognisable world-wide as the yacht featured in the Duran Duran Rio video in 1982.
Officine Panerai discovered Eilean in English Harbour, Antigua in 2006, in an extremely poor condition, and took her back to Viareggio, Italy to be faithfully restored. Restoration took over three years and is illustrated in the book with a wide selection of images.
Now that Eilean has finally been returned to her element, the sea, and can be admired during the regattas of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the international circuit of regattas reserved for classic and vintage yachts, which is featured in one chapter of the book.
“Eilean – A Classic Yacht”, published by Flammarion and on sale in an exclusive selection of international bookshops at £80/€95/US$125.
It is written by François Chevalier – naval architect and restorer of vintage yachts, not to mention a highly celebrated journalist, illustrator and writer – and May Fife Kohn, a descendant of the founder of the Fife shipyards and author of the book “Fast and Bonnie: History of William Fife and Sons, Yachtbuilders”.
Enhanced by an elegant presentation box, the book measures 32 cm x 32 cm and has 192 pages