Historic Top100: 146m El Mahrousa the Royal Yacht

By George Bains

The Superyachts.com Top100 Largest Superyachts is a celebration of ground-breaking design and pioneering innovation. While we always have an eager eye out for new and upcoming Top100 designs, it is always worth reflecting on the milestones of the past. As look back on the historic yachts of the Top100, there are few with a history quite as significant as the Egyptian presidential yacht, 146m El Mahrousa.

Launched in 1865, El Mahrousa was built in London by British ship builders Samuda Brothers, with design and architecture by Sir Oliver Lang - who designed some of the finest British navy ships of the 19th Century.

Ordered by Egypt's ruler Khedive Ismail Pasha, El Mahrousa served as the Egyptian presidential yacht and has been present during some of the country’s most important moments. When Khedive Ismail was ousted in 1879, it was onboard El Mahrousa that he to Italy where he spent his exile. In 1951 the yacht was rebuilt and purposed for the Egyptian Navy, serving as a naval training vessel, while still occasionally serving as the presidential yacht. In 1979 she carried President Sadat to Yafa for peace talks with Israel. During her long lifespan, El Mahrousa has returned to the UK for significant works, first in 1872 where she was lengthened by 12m. After a major rebuild in 1905, she was lengthened for a third time in 1919.

The 146m classic superyacht has also played a significant role in the history of the Suez Canal. When the waterway opened in November 1869, El Mahrousa became the first ship to pass through the Canal with Khedive Ismail onboard. 46 years later, El Mahrousa was again used to inaugurate the opening of the New Suez Canal in 2015.

Currently ranked 9th in the Superyachts.com Top100, El Mahrousa has truly earned her place in the history books.

By George Bains
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