Design and Technology
Broker Tour: MARALA
As a masterpiece of understatement and yet a symbol of exceptionalism, join Senior Charter Manager Stephanie Archer to discover why MARALA sets sail as a nominee for the 2023 World Superyacht Awards.
As we prepare for MARALA’s attendance to this year’s MYBA Charter Show in Barcelona, we joined Stephanie Archer for an exclusive tour of the painstakingly restored 59m Camper & Nicholson yacht, MARALA.
Stephanie's wealth of experience and passion for MARALA were evident as she walked us through every corner of the yacht, highlighting the meticulous attention to detail that went into her extensive five year refit.
From light fittings and switches to the original engines, every inch of this yacht exudes character and soul. Seventeen pieces of original artwork have been completely refreshed and now adorn the yacht’s walls. Her original M.A.N. engines have been fully overhauled and the delicately restored dining room floorboards hold echoes and memories of a bygone era.
Exuding style, precision, and character, MARALA's rich history of wartime service, Hollywood glamour, and sheer elegance is sure to captivate even before you set foot on her deck. With an unparalleled blend of modern amenities and vintage charm, this iconic vessel is a true testament to the beauty of classic yachting.
Starting with the refit of the forward crew area and engine rebuild at Melita Marine in Malta, followed by a further two year refit at UK shipyard Pendennis, this iconic 1930's art deco superyacht has been restored to her former glory.
During the refit, upgrades were made to the steelworks, domestic and electrical systems, and a completely new guest area was created. Stephanie told us “One of the most remarkable aspects of MARALA is the attention to detail”. Each room is unique and takes guests on a journey through different periods of her life.
The internal joinery and fabrics have also been renewed, with all woodwork that had to be replaced made with American walnut from just two trees. “Throughout the refit the Owners and shipyard went to great efforts to replicate the style of Camper & Nicholsons’ original 1930s joinery, and the lightly-stained walnut was only moderately lacquered so that the open grain remains apparent.”
But what truly sets MARALA apart is her fascinating history. Built by Camper and Nicholsons in 1931, she has had unusually few Owners for her age, meaning her character, basic layout, and original engines have all been preserved. Beloved by several notable Owners, guardian of wartime naval crew, and host to distinguished guests such as Salvador Dali, Frank Sinatra, and international royalty, MARALA is now a historical icon infused with character from each era of her life.
“I believe MARALA is perfect for those who appreciate timeless elegance and old-world charm but desire modern amenities and technology.” The yacht's recent refit has perfectly balanced these two aspects, resulting in a yacht that is both functional and luxurious. “Her unique layout, and classic design, such as her large engine room that accommodates the original eight-cylinder engines, and her private Owner's cabin located on the upper deck with stunning views make her the perfect choice for a luxury yacht charter.”
SALON & DINING ROOM
Upon entering the main salon, you'll immediately notice the exquisite attention to detail and masterful craftsmanship on display. One of the highlights of the yacht is her grand dining room. Once host to guests such as Salvador Dali and Frank Sinatra, the salon offers – in Sinatra’s words - nothing but the best for guests to enjoy formal dinners around her beautifully crafted table and chairs. Here Stephanie tells us “the intricate brass latticework gracing the salon windows and immaculate steel plate hull rivets, are a testament to the expert craftsmanship that went into building this vessel.”
The interior carpentry is equally impressive, highlighting bespoke veneers and straw parquetry alongside delicate silk wall panels. The easy flow from one area to the next is beyond seamless, exuding style, precision, and character as you move through the yacht.
“The salon also showcases an enchanting mix of original, old, and new elements, flawlessly blended to create a comfortable and clever space. Notably, the sole television can be found in the picture-perfect salon, remaining loyal to the authentic surroundings.”
Upon entering the Owner’s suite, found on the upper deck, Stephanie explains how “The Owner wanted to honour the yacht's history and maintain her elegance while incorporating practicality and comfort into the design.” Featuring a king-size bed, a private lounge area, and a stunning en suite bathroom, the original art deco influence is evident throughout the yacht, but particularly in the Master suite. Stephanie notes this pointing to a beautiful de Gournay chinoiserie panel on the forward bulkhead that pays tribute to the glamorous cruise liners of her era.
During the recent refit, a number of changes were made to revert MARALA back to her original design. Including the Owner's stateroom which was returned to a double-window layout on either side, and the railings encircling her foredeck. “These changes contribute to flooding the room with natural light, allowing guests to relish the exquisite details of the interior while also taking in the breathtaking surroundings from the upper deck's elevated position.”
Moving to the lower deck, MARALA's guest accommodation is nothing short of impressive. Featuring 6 luxurious staterooms for up to 12 guests, “each cabin is furnished with exquisite linens, providing a relaxing and comfortable stay for all guests on board.”
Comprising a master suite located on the upper deck, one VIP cabin, two doubles, and a twin. There are up to eighteen crew members on board, ready to provide outstanding service on your charter.
Onboard comfort and entertainment are also top-notch, with features such as a deck Jacuzzi and Wi-Fi connectivity seamlessly integrated to help you make the most of your time on board.
The cabin designs are a journey through different periods of MARALA's life, with 1930s style waxed linen panels, nods to her time in military service, and Savoy blue accents symbolising the Palace of Savoy in homage to a former Owner.
For example, the Japan cabin is adorned with 66 individually dyed goat skins that blend perfectly, while the Savoy cabin features a short sleigh bed from the 1950s that has been lengthened and replicated to provide a comfortable twin.
As we move throughout the staterooms, Stephanie keenly points out the multiple restored and reused brass door and drawer fittings, along with the 22 refurbished 1930s US Post Office telephones that have been thoughtfully installed throughout, adding further history and character to this already impressive vessel. “Notice the four light fittings refurbished by Dernier & Hamlyn, small stools from each cabin restored and reupholstered, and much of the artwork still hanging on the bulkheads.”
As you would expect from a classic yacht of this size, specifically built for Mediterranean cruising, MARALA boasts stunning and expansive exterior deck spaces. With various external modifications carried out during the refit, Stephanie pointed out “the exterior hard-topped shelter and tender storage on the Owner's aft deck have been removed to make way for a brand-new external entertainment and socialising area.”
This spacious and beautifully finished area features a cinema space and Jacuzzi, providing the ultimate entertainment experience for guests on board. “The attention to detail in the external modifications carried out was a clear indication that every aspect of the yacht had been meticulously considered to ensure MARALA’s originality and elegance remain.”
One of the key external modifications made during the refit was the decision to restore MARALA's lines to their 1930s roots. This involved the removal of the bulwarks and side deck structures that had been added in the 1950s and 60s. The removal of these structures helped in creating more open and inviting spaces on board, providing guests with an even more luxurious and comfortable experience.
“You couldn't help but feel this yacht was made for a certain type of Owner. Someone who appreciates history, art, and culture, and who wants to experience the magic of the Mediterranean in the most luxurious way possible.”
If you're looking for a yacht with character, history, and all the modern amenities you could ask for, MARALA is the perfect choice. With her stunning restoration, attentive crew, and endless entertainment options, she is sure to provide a truly magical charter experience.
MARALA is now cruising in the Mediterranean, and available for charter. So if you're looking to experience the ultimate in luxury yachting, on board an iconic yacht, MARALA should definitely be at the top of your list.