Yachting aficionados may recall that The Highlander was delivered to the late Malcolm Forbes in 1986. She was the fifth yacht that Malcolm commissioned since 1955, and his third Feadship. The Highlander was nicknamed “the ultimate capitalist tool,” entertaining clients of his eponymous magazine every (and we do mean every) weeknight in New York City. Celebrities and statesmen, ranging from Elizabeth Taylor to President Ronald Reagan, were further entertained onboard. After Malcolm’s passing in 1990, the Forbes family kept her. However, due to the economic crisis, The Highlander was mothballed in 2009. She was put up for sale and sold to her current owners in 2012. “The Feadship and Bannenberg mix was irresistible,” the owners say, referring to the famed profile work of the late Jon Bannenberg.
Thankfully, the owners of Highlander have preserved that profile, despite a lengthening. The rendering below gives you an idea of what she looks like. They term Banneberg’s design “revolutionary.” Highlander is now 162’3” (49.45 meters), versus 151 feet (46 meters) at launch. Much of the extension is focused aft, for a raising platform, and forward on the upper deck, for alfresco enjoyment. “We believe there is a seamless transition between the original and the new,” the owners say. They’ve also preserved her celebrated green paint. All of this, and the shortened name Highlander, honor of the megayacht’s history. “The visionary personalities of Malcolm Forbes and Jon Bannenberg are still very much alike in this yacht,” the owners aver.
The biggest changes to Highlander have occurred inside. Whereas Malcolm Forbes had large reception and meeting spaces, Highlander now has a more customary megayacht arrangement. It necessitated removing walls and stripping everything out. Seven staterooms (including the master) accommodate 12 guests. Everything is much more modern-looking, with anigre and wenge woods.
With all new mechanical systems and a crew of 10 to 11, Highlander is being re-delivered in about a month. She’s also joining the Feadship Charter fleet. She’s available in the Med starting in May for $210,000 per week in low season and $240,000 per week in high season.
And who knows, maybe the owners will be inspired to cruise farther flung regions. Malcolm did, taking the steel-hulled Highlander to China and Bora Bora, plus Alaska. If not, they still have his custom 19-foot Cigarette to take along, too, painted in black with a brilliant red stripe.