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where are they now?

“In 1901, Kaiser Wilhelm ordered the schooner yacht to be built for him by the firm of Townsend & Downey Shipbuilding Co., on Shooter Island, New York City. The designers were H. G. Barbey & A. Carey Smith, the launching took place Feb. 25, 1902. The Meteor’s racing record was not impressive & in 1909 she was sold to a Dr. Carl Dietrich Harries, who rechristened her to Nordstern.

In 1921, she was sold to Maurice Bunau-Varilla, owner of the Paris newspaper Le Matin. In 1924, she was bought by an Italian Baron, named Alberto Fassini. In 1932, Fassini sold the yacht to a man named Gillet, who shortly turned her over to Camper & Nicholsons, British yacht brokers. After a few months of idleness she was bought by an American named Francis Taylor. Taylor sailed her for several years and then sold her to Sterling Hayden who returned her to her former owner.

In 1940, Taylor sold her to Gerald S. Foley who in turn sold her to a David Feinburg. Feinburg sold her to Nicholas Allen. That year the Navy requisitioned her. Today, the Meteor III, whose name was changed to Aldebaran, lies in the yard of a ship’s breaker by the name of John Witte, only a few miles from where she was built.”  – The New Yorker – Where Are They Now? (1946)

(Meteor III was built in just four months for a cost of $150,000. The steel schooner displaced 314 tonnes, was 161ft LOA with a beam of 27 feet. When fully rigged she carried 11,612 square feet of sail. There were 2,000 at her launching, but not the Kaiser. He sent his younger brother to represent him. Witte paid $2,500 for the yacht and broke her up for scrap.)