Saved From Ruin

Baron Marcel Bich one of Shenandoah's eminent previous owners

Baron Marcel Bich

It was not only her size and status that made her an ideal vessel for illegal activities, but her enviable speed too.

But it was no way to treat such an elegant craft. Eventually, a little battered and weary, she somehow made her way back to Cannes. A banker named Travers was often to be found holding court on board, but it was rumoured to be owned by the proprietor of a very large publishing house.

“…seized by the French Government as part of an unpaid tax scandal.”

Such mysterious ownership couldn’t last and in 1962 the yacht was seized by the French government as part of an unpaid tax scandal. For the next 10 years, Shenandoah as she once was, didn’t move, slowly decaying. Until a fabulously wealthy industrialist with a ballpoint pen saved her from permanent neglect.

Shenandoah at home in the South of France

Shenandoah at home in the South of France

That man was Baron Marcel Bich – the Italian industrialist whose fortune was founded on the Bic ballpoint pen as well as lighters and other gadgets. In 1970, as the decades turned, he fell in love with Shenandoah and for two years negotiated with the French government to secure ownership of her.