Back in 1997, a ship called Senshu Maru was coming to life in Japan. The Niigata shipyard built the 134-foot (43 meters) steel vessel, which, according to Boat International, is among the top 30% of longest yachts in the world. It could accommodate ten guests and seven crew members, and its Niigata diesel engine allowed it to reach up to 13 knots (14.9 mph/24 kph) and cover distances of up to 7,600 nautical miles (8,745 miles/14,075 km).
Senshu Maru would start a new life in 2017 when it was acquired by the Fins Attached non-profit. It was renamed Sharkwater as a tribute to the late Canadian filmmaker Rob Stewart, known for the “Sharkwater” documentary. The old vessel’s new mission was to support scientists, marine science students, and documentary film crews, by taking them safely to remote locations.
Unlike other explorer yachts that are meant for pure fun and adventure, Sharkwater was using its capabilities to help sharks and the maritime environment in general. A former Japanese whaling vessel became an international explorer with a noble mission.
Team Sharkwater, a partner of Fins Attached in their mission to protect sharks, said that Rob Stewart had dreamt of “a vessel that would travel the world studying and protecting sharks.” And that’s what this ship did. But it looks like another chapter is about to begin. Sharkwater was recently sold for an undisclosed amount (the asking price was $2.4 million). The future destination is unknown, but its legacy will live on no matter what.