The Belgian owners of the 1921 steam-powered Delphine, once the pride of the Great Lakes and the personal vessel of automaker Horace Dodge, is for sale at its base in Tunisia in northern Africa.
With its 257 overall length, 35-foot beam and a 14.5-foot draft, the Delphine is believed to be the largest private yacht ever built on the Great Lakes.
Launched in 1921, the boat was the ultimate in luxury, with private staterooms for 20 guests and a crew of 55. The Dodge family used the boat for cocktail parties, watching boat races, and other entertainments.
But the boat has a troubled history. Horace Dodge died before the Delphine was launched. On a trip to New York in the 1920s, the vessel caught fire and sank. Raised and restored, the vessel ran aground in the Great Lakes in 1940. She was sold to the U.S. Navy during World War II and spent the war years tied up at dockside near Washington, D.C., before returning to Dodge family control after the war.