Malahne originally was commissioned by W.L. Stephenson, the chairman of Woolworths in the United Kingdom who already owned the J-Class sailing yacht Velsheda. Malahne was later commandeered for military use during World War II, including taking part in the evacuation of Dunkirk, France. After the war, the yacht had several owners and was acquired by movie producer Sam Spiegel in 1960. He used her as, among other things, a floating production office during filming of Lawrence of Arabia, and he welcomed guests including Kirk Douglas, Jack Nicholson and Greta Garbo aboard.