Talitha: Why this classic motor yacht is an all-time great

With the smoothest of sheerlines, Talitha is the epitome of a classic motor yacht

If you had to conjure up a classic motor yacht from fundamental elements, you wouldn’t be far away from creating Talitha.

Those funnels, that stylishly flared clipper bow, the traditional counter stern – all that’s needed is Noel Coward in pressed whites and a reefer jacket, smoking a pipe and directing crew operations from the bridge.

Launched between the wars from the Krupp yard in Kiel to designs by Cox & Stephens of New York, after being commissioned by Russell Alger of the Packard Car Company, this superyacht has had a wandering life.

She started life with the suitably Jazz Age name of MV Reveler, soon passing into the hands of Charles McCann of the F. W. Woolworth retail firm (and renamed Chalena).

She served as gunboat in World War II as USS Beaumont, with armaments mounted fore and aft, providing a rare Krupp contribution the Allied effort.

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After the war she went back to private use as Elpital, until music and film producer and all-round empresario Robert Stigwood bought her and renamed her Jezebel. J.

Paul Getty bought her in 1988 and had her restored at Devonport under Jon Bannenberg’s guidance in 1993 (he added the second funnel to winning effect), and she has been immaculately maintained since.

The yacht is still owned by the Getty family and is used for family holidays. “We have a lot of fun on Talitha,” Tara Getty told us in 2010.

Where is she now?

Cruising the French Riviera and always a popular charter choice.

Talitha specifications

Yard: Krupp Germania Werft
Year: 1930
LOA: 75.3m
Designer: Cox & Stephens

First published in 2016 as part of Super Yacht World’s Hall of Fame


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