World’s 100 Largest Yachts 2007 #34: Delphine
By visiting ssdelphine.com, you can see an assortment of amazing early photos of this yacht when Horace Dodge, the American automobile magnate, owned her, as well as learn interesting historical details, such as the fact that President Franklin D. Roosevelt discussed war strategies onboard in the early 1940's. Charter guests indulge in delectable dinners year-round in the Mediterranean. Check out the sample menu here that the chef provided for your salivating pleasure.
Y: 1921/2003; B: Great Lakes Engineering Works, USA; N: Henry J. Gielow; H: steel; E: 2/750-hp Babcoq & Wilcox steam engines
Belgian businessman Jacques Bruynooghe, the owner of Delphine, is a textile mogul who made his fortune producing denim jeans. In addition to textiles, Bruynooghe has dipped his entrepreneurial toes into an airline, racecars, and even movies (he was a producer of the 1999 film Blue Belgium).
Bruynooghe’s daughter Ineke has said it was love at first sight when he first laid eyes on Delphine in 1997, even though the vessel was abandoned and languishing in Marseille. After purchasing her he brought her back to Belgium to begin restoring the 1921-built steam yacht to her former glory. But, unfortunately, this love story took a sour turn last year when Bruynooghe was brought up on charges of human trafficking in connection with the restoration. Reports claim that he imported cheap Lithuanian workers and subjected them to inhuman conditions—a charge that Bruynooghe denied. The courts found him guilty in April of last year, and he was appealing the conviction.
But if you're thinking you can get a deal chartering Delphine because of the controversy, think again. She is still commanding fees of up to 50,000 euro a day.—Capt. Eileen Murphy
This article originally appeared in the August 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.