Anyone who had seen the superyacht Sultana a year ago would double take at the total transformation. She was built in 1969 by De Vries as Din-Dina III, later renamed Peer Gynt, and bought by a young owner in the nineties. By then, the hull and interior were in bad condition and needed to be stripped down. However, the costs became too much and the project was abandoned.
It was in 2007 that Kees van den Hoek, an owner’s rep, chanced upon the yacht while walking round the Chantier Navale de Beaulieu sur Mer yard. Instantly drawn to the yacht, Kees soon discovered that a mechanic, Mario, had been maintaining the yacht’s engines for years – made by Gardner, they are rare and high quality.
“The way that he spoke about her was touching,” says Kees. “He knew Peer Gynt in better days and was sad to see her slow decline.”
Although the yacht was a mess inside, Kees called an owner friend down to the yard to look at the yacht. “Nothing was left of the interior and technical installations, the engines were under a pile of rubbish, and parts were missing, including the last half of the prop shafts, the props, the steering pump, the steering wheel, the windows, the water pumps. But my friend, a young entrepreneur, fell in love with her lines. He wanted to buy her and rebuild.”
Working with Feadship, and Philippe Starck for interior styling fabrics and colours, the yacht was restored and refitted and is now ready to charter.
“My vision was for a ‘real’, not ‘retro’, classic yacht with a sturdy feel that would be extremely comfortable with lots of interior and exterior space and cosy corners,” says Kees.
View a gallery of Sultana’s transformation below: