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Historic Yachts of Yesteryear, Acania of 1930, Consolidated

Discussion in 'Unique, Custom or New Yachts' started by Manusel, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Manusel

    Manusel Member

    Dec 31, 2011
    Destin, FL

    History of The Motor Yacht Acania.

    The Diesel yacht Acania designed by John H. Wells. For Arthur E. Wheeler of New York. She was built in 1930 at the famous New York ship builders, Consolidated Shipbuilding Corporation.

    Her Principal dimensions:


    136ft 2 ½ inches


    134ft 1 ½ inches


    23ft 1 ¼ inches


    8ft 9 ½ inches


    300 Tons

    Names Given to her over her 78 years.


    27th August 1930 to 10th August 1935


    10th August 1935 to 11th Feb 1947

    Southern Seas

    11th Feb 1947 to April 23 rd 1957


    Missing information


    Missing information

    Wild Catter

    Missing information

    Star Fjord

    April 23rd 1995 to July 20th 2008

    Returned to Acania

    20th July 2008 ----- New Owner

    Arthur E Wheeler was a prominent Wall Street banker,who despite the Wall Street crash of 1929, had two Acanias built. Acania I was constructed in 1929 by Pusey & Jones in WilmingtonDelaware and this Acania was built in 1930. We have concluded from the short period of ownership of Acania I that Acania II may have been indeed built for the rumored silent owner, Al Capone. The rumor has persistently followed Acania II thought out her history and along with the secret bar the many hidden and disguised lockers and the unusual coating on the water tank with out of place piping masquerading as tank vents and fill pipes give good reason maybe not to doubt the silent ownership.

    From 1934 until 1947, she was owned by Charles R. Walgreen of the Walgreen pharmacy family. During the Walgreen ownership, Acania was commissioned by the USA Navy for WW II and used as a experimental submarine echo finder. She was also reportedly used on several occasions by President Roosevelt for war meetings.

    In 1947, under the new owner Clifford Mooers, Acania left the USA bound for Canada, where she stayed until her return to the USA in 1957. She was not re-registered by the USCG until 1987. Little is known of her ownership between these dates. From 1988 until 1991, she was used by various charter companies on the east coast.

    In 1995, Mr. Miles Davis purchased Acania in Miami from a scrap yard. Needless to say, without Mr. Davis, Acania might have been gone forever--a lost piece of maritime history. Star Fjord, as she was named during Miles Davis’ ownership, spent her previous 13 years here in the Bay Area in San Francisco, the delta, Oakland and Richmond.

    It was through a chance meeting with Miles Davis that Acania’s current owner was able to purchase her for a long awaited restoration.

    Her new owner intends to bring her back to her original layout, which will be surprisingly easy since Acania is 90% original from the 1930 build date. This is a very rare find since most vessels her age have had several refits and layout changes. The 10% of her that was changed consists of the day galley and the main galley, both of which were torn out in the 1970s. Thank goodness this was all that was changed.

    Mystic Seaport museum has been fantastic in providing some 20 original black and white photos of Acania’s maiden voyage which can be viewed on this web site. (see our photo gallery). They have also researched and found a small selection of her construction drawings.

    Her new owner will be re-powering and installing new systems that meet today’s standards. This will include a new diesel electric propulsion system along with what we hope will be a hybrid option. Her original telegraphs will be kept as show and some of her incredible original electrical panels.

    The Acania restoration crew looks forward to presenting her return to the oceans sometime in 2010 on her 80th birthday.

    Please feel free to contact us if you have any information on this extraordinary motor yacht

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