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M/Y Americana

M/Y Americana
Built 1929 - 140' Fan Tail Motor Yacht for the famous gangster Al Capone

Pictured in 1987 The 140' motor yacht Americana is the largest mega-yacht in existance today from the roaring 20's. Built in 1929 as a private yacht and rum runner for the famous gangster Al Capone. Al went to prison soon after Americana was commissioned, but the ship continued to smuggle booz while Al was in jail. Later The Americana was purchased by American Can Corporation and used as a corporate yacht.

In the 1940's The Americana was ceased by the US Navy under the War Powers Act and used as a sub chaser in the Pacific in WWII. The Americana later found a home in California as a private yacht named "Liberty". In the 1990's Americana was purchased by a new owner with orders to deliver her to New York, the city where Americana was made by Consolidated Shipping in 1929. After traveling hundreds of thousands of miles Americana would finally return to the city where she was born - New York. I took her there. My name is Capt. Gill Fisher.

M/Y Americana

The M/Y Americana runs on rebuilt GM engines made in 1929 using the original engine-order telegraph system.
"In other words there is no direct link between the bridge and the engines. A person two stories down
in the engine room must make it happen. If the engineer has to go to the bathroom the ship is out of control.
Total weight is 300 tons with only 1,000 horse power and no bow thruster," says Capt Gill.
"Americana is a fan tail motor yacht with two props in the water very close together.
And there is a five second delay at best between engine orders and actual prop wash.
The only navigation equipment aboard Americana is a sexton and a compass because that
is all they had in 1929. The M/Y Americana is 100% authentic roaring 20's from bow to stern.
It's is like traveling back in time a 100 years," says Capt. Gill.

"No one had a clue in 1986 that one day the majestic Twin Trade Towers would change
our world forever. Americans may forgive, but we will never forget," says Capt. Gill.

After days at sea in a bloody bad storm off of Cape Hatteras,
M/Y Americana reaches New York City. The patch on the hull done on the run
in the Bahamas held. All is well. I am speechless. Notice the engine controls
in the photo above. They are broken, the engine oil gauge is missing, and the
brass compass is broken. Oh well, thats yachting.

Now, where in New York City does one park a 140' yacht? We are low on fuel.
I called the owner. He says it is impossible that the ship is in NY. We are
two weeks ahead of schedule. I must be lost. "Have you been drinking?" the owner says.

New York Harbor

"All I can say to the owner from the depth of my soul is that I am not lost and that if you don't
find dockage soon Americana is going to be spinning out of control with no fuel in New York Harbor.
Oh and one more thing. God bless America. When the ship owner heard those words he knew for certain
that the ship was located close to the Statue of Liberty," Capt. Gill says.

M/Y Americana was built during Prohibition.
There is a button on the bridge that rings a bell in the bar in the event the captain sees any Federal agents coming.
The bar tender closes himself inside the bar hiding himself and all the illegal liquor. "The walls move, the shelf folds inward,
and the result is no evidence of the bar period. A skilled carpenter can't see it," says Capt. Gill.

All the interior wood is original 1929 custom teak.

The Aft Teak Deck. The brass fittings all original 1929.

Secrete Win Cellar Discovered

Capone used M/Y Americana to smuggle illegal liquor during Prohibition. "The new owner found dockage in New York right behind Malcolm Forbes shinny new 150' yacht The Highlander. That's great. If you are going to run into something it might as well be the most expensive yacht in New York City. Americana needs a bow thruster. They didn't have bow thrusters when she was made in 1929. They didn't have inflatable life rafts either and you know what they say about that. The Americana owner throws a party and invites 200 guest. He gives the crew 7 bottles of $ 20 champaign. The crew gives the Americana owner a $ 7,000 chilled bottle of French champaign dated 1929. The boss knows his crew doesn't have $ 7,000 and even if so they would not spend a nickel on him. Where did the $ 7,000 bottle of champaign come from? It came from a hidden wine cellar aboard Americana. Obviously the secrete compartment was sealed in 1929 and had remained undiscovered since the Great Depression. The secrete wine cellar was filled with bottles of wine and champaign all dated 1929. It was located deep in the hull below the waterline. Sea water kept the wine cold for over 50 years. The crew of Americana had found the secrete stash of Al Capone. They found it in the Bahamas months before. This seemed the perfect occasion to tell the owner about it." Capt. Gill says.

The owner must take care for the yacht and the crew must take care for the owner.
There are plenty of crew in the world but very few mega-yacht owners.
Our Photographs helped a new owner on the west coast restore Americana to original.
Americana will have a new name. Also, this web page
has inspired a mystery novel by Harley L Sachs.

Novel Based on Americana

Available online at www.lulu.com direct from the independent author.

Page Two

Click Page Two for more information about Americana.

Today Capt. Gill Fisher owns a furniture store in Hilton Head Island, SC.
See our Italian furniture collection at


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