The classic Bluebird of 1938 yacht is currently in Palma for maintenance, having come from Saint-Tropez. The yacht was built at the Goole Shipyard for Sir Malcolm Campbell, who held both the land and water world speed records at various times in the 1920s and 1930s. These were with vehicles named Bluebird.
The oceangoing yacht was designed by Scottish naval architects G.L. Watson to traditional specifications. Campbell had planned to sail to the southern seas, but the plan was frustrated by the Second World War. The yacht was requisitioned to take part in the evacuation of British forces from Dunkirk.
Many years later, the yacht was restored by Astilleros de Mallorca, work that was to lead to a 2008 World Superyacht Award from Boat International. The shipyard's director, Diego Colon de Carvajal, recalls that this was prestigious recognition for what the magazine described as "a work of art". Adaptations were made to the original specification, and Bannenberg & Rowell were responsible for new interiors in a classic British style but with a modern touch.
With its tall masts and conventional chimney, Bluebird of 1938 is like a miniature ocean liner of the classic era. It is 31.5 metres long and the beam is six metres. The 137 tonne yacht can reach twelve knots, powered by an 800 HP diesel engine. There is room for nine guests and six crew, a feature being the elegant VIP suite.
Malcolm Campbell's final land speed record was set at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in 1935. The final water speed record was on Coniston Water in 1939. He died of natural causes in 1948. His son Donald died in attempting a new water speed record on Coniston Water in 1967.