Sailing a large classic like Eros is pure joy for veteran and novice sailors alike. Under a warm, tropical breeze, she heels gently and accelerates to ten knots or more, easily keeping pace with lighter and newer yachts. Guests can hoist sails, grind winches, take the wheel, or sit back and watch the crew at their positions; all once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Experienced sailors are welcome to charter Eros for one of the several classic yacht regattas she participates in during the year.
Eros is even more captivating today than she was at her launch in 1939. Recommissioned as a luxury charter yacht in 2010 after a monumental renovation, she now tips her hat to her illustrious past while exceeding the comfort and enjoyment of the most discriminating guests, turning heads wherever she goes.
History: The Story of Eros
1939: EROS Launched
Sailing Yacht Eros was built near the mouth of the Waveney River in Lowestoft, England in 1939 by American businessman, Henry von Berg, on the occasion of his marriage to Jean White, daughter of a British lord. Originally named Jeanry, she was the largest schooner of her day to emerge from the renowned Brooke Marine. On her inaugural cruise to the Isle of Wight, she was dramatically commandeered by the British Royal Navy to assist in the war effort as a coastal patrol boat, and later she is rumored to have participated in the auspicious evacuation at Dunkirk. Her owner was later killed in combat, and Jeanry was put up for sale in 1945.
1945 - 1970: A billionaire's pride on the mediterranean
Following the war, Greek billionaire shipping tycoon, Stavros Niarchos, purchased Jeanry as his private yacht, and renamed her Eros in honor of the Greek goddess of love and passion. An avid sailor, Niarchos was profiled on the cover of Sports Illustrated in August 1959. Henceforward, Eros became a well-known fixture within the prestigious Mediterranean yachting world. If walls could talk, Eros would undoubtedly have countless captivating tales to tell from these years.
1962: A royal Honeymoon
In May of 1962, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain spent some of their honeymoon aboard Eros. Niarchos had gifted the use of Eros along with his private Greek island, Spetsopoula, to the royal newlyweds. This illustrious occasion is detailed in A Life Under Surveillance, a literary account of Spain’s transformation from dictatorship to democracy under King Juan Carlos.
1970 - present: monumental restoration ushers eros into the 21st century
Over the course of nearly 50 years, Eros changed ownership only three times before anchoring with her current owners. She has recently completed a massive 18-year museum-quality restoration to adapt and upgrade this historical schooner to the standards of first class travel. No expense was spared in recreating her original grandeur, with particular attention paid to replicating her classic detail and finish work. While her internal structure, including steel framework and rigging, is either brand new or totally renovated, she proudly retains many original details, from her authentic turnbuckles and Admiralty bronze fittings to the bell from her 1939 naming ceremony mounted at the aft end of the bowsprit. Most notably, each Burmese teak plank of her hull is original to 1939, having been reinstalled following rigorous inspection.
Eros is now outfitted with the latest navigation, galley and engine room equipment. A Cordon Bleu chef-designed galley boasts all modern appliances. Air conditioned interiors, washer/dryer, and premium entertainment systems complete her modernization.
In preparation for the 2016-17 charter season, Eros has undergone a complete interior redecoration, seamlessly marrying the style and comfort of sophisticated luxury travel with the thrill of sailing aboard this historical masterpiece.
Eros is all at once a step back in time, and distinctly modern innovative touring vessel. It is with great honor that her new owners commit her to charter service, devoted to maintaining her beauty and performance in a way that would make her original owners and builders proud.
Two of the articles presented here (Wooden Boat and Latitude 38) feature Eros’ prior owners, Bill and Grace Bodle, who lovingly restored the yacht over a period of 18 years.