Why this yacht matters: Alva was a favored name for yachts in the Vanderbilt family. The first Alva was a 285-foot three-masted steamer named for William K. Vanderbilt's wife. The second, commissioned and named after his mother by William K. Vanderbilt II, and built by the Kiel yard in Germany, was designed by Cox & Stevens. This Alva was outfitted with a complete gymnasium and a $60,000 seaplane. Her stateroom overheads were nine feet high, and the main living room's overhead was 15 feet high. Alva may have been the original, over-the-top superyacht but she nonetheless was put into service during WWII and became the USS Plymouth. She was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1943 off Cape Henry, Virginia, and sank.