The problem was, according to owner Emily Roebling Cadwalader, other yachts owned by people like J P Morgan were bigger. She was the heiress of the industrial fortune that resulted from the wire and cable business that built the Brooklyn Bridge and others, so she wanted a boat that would eclipse all other private yachts. The Savarona II was launched in 1928, the Savarona III a mere two years later. The new boat was 407 feet long and cost about $10,000 per foot. For comparison, the average income in the US that year was about $1400.
The ship was powered by 6 steam turbines giving a speed approaching 20 knots and a range of 7- 10,000 miles. The hull was divided into 12 watertight compartments and was equipped with gyro stabilizers. Accomodations were sumptuous- designed to surpass anything owned by the Vanderbilts, Astors and the like.
To keep the show on the road... errr afloat.... required 83 crewmembers.
Unfortunately the Crash of 1929 had changed everything and after very little use, the yacht was put up for sale. It was not sold until 1938 when Turkey purchased the craft for its president. It's still there, though it is seldom used. More here.
The Savarona III is still the largest private non-royal yachts ever made, though for recent decadent yachts go here.
|Bill Robinson, The Great American Yacht Designers, Alfred A. Knopf, 1974|