Shining a Spotlight on 54m S/Y SHENANDOAH OF SARK

By Emily Dawkins

Standing at 54m / 178.3ft, sailing yacht SHENANDOAH OF SARK boasts an outstanding design alongside a wealth of history. Delivered in 1902 by New York-based shipyard Townsend and Downey, the incredible 54m sailing yacht offers the perfect unique vessel to explore the world: currently listed for sale, and also available for charter, with Burgess.

Rich in history and abundant in character, SHENANDOAH OF SARK stands proudly in the water. A large, three-masted gaff topsail schooner with a steel hull, teak decks and numerous original features, she is undoubtedly unmissable around the globe. We speak to SHENANDOAH’s Captain, to find out more about this completely unique vessel. 

‘Gracious, timeless, and authentic’ are the three words used to describe SHENANDOAH OF SARK by her Captain, and we can certainly see why. 

Initially commissioned for a US banker, SHENANDOAH was designed by renowned naval architect and engineer, Theodore E Ferris, who was responsible for the ‘Ferris Designs’ of the US Emergency Fleet Corporation used during WW2. Built in 1902 at Townsend and Downey’s Shooter’s Island facilities in New York, SHENANDOAH is recognised to be the near-sistership of Kaiser Wilhem’s well known 49m schooner, METEOR III, which was also built by the yard in the same year. 

According to her Captain, SHENANDOAH offers an unforgettable sailing experience: ‘for me, the most interesting thing about her is her unique history, as well as the feeling under sail which is one-of-a-kind.’ 

Previously owned by royalty, financiers, industrialists, noblemen, governments, and apparently, smugglers, SHENANDOAH OF SARK has become an icon of the sea. Featured in Vogue, a Rod Stewart music video, as well as circumnavigated numerous times, SHENANDOAH has incredibly survived two World Wars. Despite falling into disrepair in the 1960s, she has now never looked better. Following a full restoration in 1972, an additional extensive ten-year restoration by McMullen & Wing in New Zealand during the late 1980s, and numerous refits and upgrades under her belt (2004, 2009, 2016 and 2019), SHENANDOAH is in excellent condition. ‘She is maintained to the MCA large yacht code and has to reach a very high standard to keep this certification valid,’ comments her Captain, ‘due to this, she utilises a maintenance schedule that has been designed with that at the forefront, with aid from class surveyors and many years of constant evolution.’ 

Despite being abundant in history and original, one-off features, SHENANDOAH has numerous modern amenities, and according to her Captain: ‘she offers modern comfort that is better than a five-star hotel!’ A professional galley, fine dining, satellite communications and network connectivity, and an extensive entertainment system, await her guests onboard. Inside, her large saloon is filled with natural light, and home to a ten seating dining table, L shaped sofa, 55’ television with Linn stereo system and most notably, a baby grand piano. 

Alongside modern amenities, SHENANDOAH offers the ultimate enjoyable cruising experience for her new owners, or her charter guests: ‘she has very comfortable deck areas that guests can relax on, with a great covered outside cockpit area that allows the breeze to blow through. The dining experience is first class and all of her cabins are en-suite and well-appointed,’ her Captain explains, ‘we also have a great inventory of guest toys!’

SHENANDOAH OF SARK offers ten guests the chance to stay onboard in three sublime guest cabins and a full-beam owner’s suite, which boasts king-size beds and a large ensuite. Her extensive toys list includes a custom Ribeye tender, two sailing dinghies, six sets of diving equipment, two SeaBobs, one Fliteboard, kayaks, an array of towable toys, and four bicycles. 

It's not just SHENANDOAH herself that offers the best cruising experience onboard; her attentive crew and Captain ensure the utmost care and service to their guests, to guarantee lifelong memories are made. ‘They are an attentive, intuitive crew. We make sure we get as detailed a briefing as possible from the charter agent at the start, and as the charter progresses, we evolve with the guests during their cruise,’ comments her Captain, ‘if we sense something is wrong, we try to be proactive so as to always be thinking ahead. Each evening after dinner I usually sit down with the guests whilst they are having coffee to discuss the day's events and the program for the next day.’ 

SHENANDOAH’s Captain believes that, ‘one of the keys to a successful charter is to be flexible because people like to relax on holiday and therefore they like to be spontaneous without restriction. This is something we love to encourage and will try hard to make happen.’

Having traversed the world, SHENANDOAH can go anywhere, but her Captain recommends the warm, picturesque shores of the Med as the best cruising location for her guests: ‘She is great all over the Mediterranean, be it Ibiza or the Ionian, she has the ability to go wherever and fit in.’

For SHENANDOAH’s Captain, the best thing her new owner or charter guests can look forward to is, ‘having the most beautiful yacht afloat,’ as she truly is a, ‘ unique piece of naval history’. 

SHENANDOAH OF SARK is currently listed for sale at EUR 9,900,000 (EU VAT paid). If you would like to make an enquiry about purchasing or chartering this incredible vessel, get in touch with the team at Burgess today. 

"She offers modern comfort that is better than a five star hotel!"

Captain, SHENANDOAH OF SARK

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"She offers modern comfort that is better than a five star hotel!"

Captain, SHENANDOAH OF SARK
By Emily Dawkins