Peter de Savary, an ardent sailor, superyacht owner, and real-estate entrepreneur, died suddenly on October 30, at age 78.
Born in England in 1944, de Savary developed the proverbial Midas Touch as an entrepreneur at an early age. He made his first million, establishing an import-export business in Nigeria, when he was 30. He continued to invest in a variety of businesses in diverse sectors in the ensuing decades, too. These included oil and shipping. However, de Savary earned the most renown from hospitality-oriented businesses. In fact, he established the St. James’s Club resorts in the late 1970s. The location in Antigua regularly attracted, and continues attracting, yacht and superyacht owners and their vessels. Additionally, he was responsible for establishing Port Louis Marina in Grenada in 2007. It soon became a southern-Caribbean superyacht hub.
Equally passionate about the water, de Savary owned nearly three dozen yachts in his lifetime. They included the 1906-built classic motoryacht Kalizma, the restored former tugboat St. Eval, and several sailing yachts like Gloria (below) and Silver Spray. He didn’t just cruise aboard them, however. He raced in regattas like the St. Barths Bucket aboard them, plus restored several of them. Arguably, among the ones most associated with de Savary is Vagrant. The American railroad executive Harold S. Vanderbilt took delivery of the 106-footer (32-meter) in 1913, a Herreshoff gaff schooner. In 2017, de Savary had Vagrant, then in quite poor condition, shipped to Royal Huisman for a 22-month restoration.
Further noteworthy on the yachting front, de Savary led the 1983 British challenge for the America’s Cup. The team ultimately lost to the Australian team in the finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup. And, finally, he helped establish the Pendennis shipyard, selling to the late Henk Wiekens and Mike Carr in 1993.
In a statement to the media, his family writes, “He was at his happiest smoking a large Cuban cigar, on a vintage sailboat with his trusty chihuahua by his side.” Furthermore, the statement reads, “Despite all his many achievements and succesess, he always maintained the most important thing in life was family.”
He leaves behind his wife Lana (pictured with him at top) and five daughters.
So sorry to hear this sad news.
Peter helped us ( Falmouth Fire Station ) with our first attempt at putting on a family Firework Display at Falmouth Rugby Club back in the 1980’s. This has continued every year since and we were so appreciative of his donation to help get things started.
No doubt , Peter will be sadly missed by many many people.
My thoughts are with you all.
Yours, Derek Richards , CCFB Retired.
Worked for Mr de Savary when he owned Falmouth Docks and we converted the working tug boat St Eval into one of his luxury yachts; great man and one the best bosses I have worked for. Condolences to the family of their sad loss.
3 months younger than me. Sorry to hear this news. My younger sister worked for a short time with them in London about 35 years ago.
R.I.P. Peter, you put my home town of Falmouth on the world map and the town still benefits today from what you did for the town. So I personally thank you for that.
And I do believe that you did the same to also make Lands End what it is today. It’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in the country.
I’ll say R.I.P. but I know you’re looking down on your family and that will reassure them that you will always be there. X
I am very sad to hear of PdeS’s passing. He was a kind man and a client and mentor of mine, when Newport Yacht Interiors updated his yacht GLORIA years ago. He was never too busy to take my calls when I wanted advice on entrepreneurship, he truly was a master. Here in Newport, he founded Carnegie Abbey, Brown and Howard, Vanderbilt Hotel to name a few. I thank him for his support and recommendations.
RIP PdeS. 🙏
My wife wrote to Peter asking him to buy Hayle Harbour at first he told her to ask the Council which they turned down, Peter did buy the Harbour and set in motion the upgrading of it. some times he would use our cafe or send sandwiches to go to the harbour office. Always had a smile and even arranged for us to go to Falmouth to see the houses he was building. So sad to hear of his passing and our condolences to his Wife and Children
I started with Peter when he was involved in blue arrow ,then he employed me as electrician to wire up some of his smaller yachts and motor boats he then went into the super yacht business decided to invest in us in Cornwall to build him a yacht called “taramber” named after his daughters Tara and amber after getting several awards for the build pendennis shipyard took off and the rest is history great man to work for when Henk and Mike took over I stayed with the company for 25 years and saw it grow even bigger
Noble John Appiah
l got to meet Mr Peter de Savary in the late seventies then an african student from Ghana in the UK. l had the rare honour and privilege of spending Christmas with his first wife ,Marcia and children Lisa and Nicola. He was a kind and friendly person. He made such a big difference in peoples lives. May He have a perfect eternal rest. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.