Iconic yacht Calypso begins refit

The explorer superyacht Calypso, once belonging to the late Jacques Cousteau, has recently begun a two-year refit and restoration project in Turkey.

The rebuild of the 43m vessel is being coordinated by former America’s Cup sailor Patrice Quesnel, who was appointed by President of the Cousteau Society, Francine Cousteau.

Calypso was first launched in 1942 as a minesweeper for the British Navy, before being converted into a Maltese passenger ferry, then a research vessel for renowned explorer Jacques Cousteau in 1951.

Calypso’s hull was transported to Turkey from France earlier in the year, with the project officially beginning earlier this month.

She has a number of her original parts still intact, including her pilothouse, propellers, shafts and Volvo engines. A number of essential equipment items from the laboratory and galley are also currently being stored in the USA for reinstallation.

In a recent interview with Boat International, the naval architect and project manager Ed Fry commented, “The Cousteau Society is still active worldwide and Calypso is seen as a symbol of the past accomplishments. When seaworthy, Calypso will be available to charter for ocean research.”

Calypso had previously sunk in 1996 in Singapore Harbour following a mooring accident, but following Cousteau’s insistence that she must be saved, the Society is now able to fulfil his wishes, 20 years later.

For more information, visit the Cousteau Society

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