Builder: Canadian Vickers Ltd.
Why this boat matters: Before Larry Ellison, Jim Clark or Paul Allen had earned their first nickels, there was Aristotle Onassis, the Greek shipping tycoon who brought the glamour of yachting on the Med to the world’s attention. He purchased a 325-foot Canadian River-Class frigate in 1954 for $34,000 and spent $4 million turning her into the Christina. She retains some over-the-top touches that have yet to be bested — for instance, bar stools that are covered with an ultrasoft pelt, made from the foreskin of minke whales! During the ’60s, heads of states and movie stars were routinely spotted aboard. Onassis was caught here en flagrante with Maria Callas, and it’s also where he met his future wife, Jacqueline Kennedy. When Onassis died, he left the yacht to his daughter, Christina, who gave it to the Greek government. Christina fell into disrepair but was eventually bought and refit. She is now available for charter in the Mediterranean as Christina O.
From the pages of Yachting**: It’s telling that we couldn’t turn up any reports on Christina in her heydays in the pages of Yachting. In that era, yachting was still a sport for bluebloods, and “real” yachtsmen rewarded conspicuous consumption with the cold shoulder. Oh, how times have changed!