M/Y CUJO: More than a vessel a piece of history
27 Octobre, 2019
AN AMAZING CHALLENGE:
Yachtside Group facing a great challenge. It was in early August that Yachtside was chosen to sell an unusual boat, a unique piece that was almost half a century old but did not get a ride. It is the M/Y CUJO, a jewel of the Fayed family
Jon Van Numan ownership:
In 1972, the world renowned Baglietto Shipyard builds a boat for John Von Neumann, the famous entrepreneur and socialite, who brought Porsche and VW to the United States. It was a profiled vessel, to go fast and outperform anything else on the water, whilst also being noticed. CUJO was born.
After a few years of good loyal service, JVN decides to sell Cujo to build an even more extreme and faster vessel. Cujo is sold to Mohamed Kashoggi, the cousin of Dodi Al-Fayed and son of Adnan Khashoggi. The family bond and friendship they share results in Mohamed Khashoggi selling the boat to Dodi.
By then, sadly, Cujo is in bad shape. The vessel is brought to CARM in Lavagna for a full refit, which doesn’t scare off Dodi. Work begins and shortly thereafter Cujo regains her splendor and gains additional pizazz by becoming more functional and more practical.
Doddy Al Fayed ownership:
From that moment onwards, Dodi and Cujo become inseparable! In St Tropez, the Hollywood producer and Cujo spend some unforgettable summers together. Cujo becomes the icon of partying for celebrities, models and friends of Dodi. Robert Downey Jr, Winona Ryder, Brooke Shields, Tony Curtis, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis...and so many others flock down to Cujo, moored in front of the Café de Paris, in the world famous port of St Tropez.
This went on until 1997, when Princess Diana and Dodi got together. Cujo was there, always ready to please her guests, carrying Princess Diana and Dodi for a few days. Sadly, this was to be the last summer for them.
Cujo’s crew is devastated. Emotionally attached to the owner and to the boat, they stay on, faithful to the family and everything that it stood for. Eventually, Captain Stefano is summoned by Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al Fayed to captain his own vessel, the 70m Sokar built by Codecasa. Stefano leaves Cujo with tears in his eyes after years of loyal service to Dodi. Sadly, Cujo stays in the family but she is only used as a fast taxi boat between the airport and the family villa in St Tropez.
Deprived of the love that Dodi gave her, Cujo’s condition started to deteriorate slowly, losing her soul as a fast and fun military type interceptor. She is decommissioned in 1999 and remained unused in a covered storage facility at the CARM shipyard for several years by the family.
Moody Fayed Ownership
By 2016, Dodi’s side of the family decides to put her up for sale. Several offers are received but in comes Moody, Dodi’s cousin. These two were very close, and the idea that someone could take away Dodi’s baby and all the memories was something he couldn’t allow to happen. Moody makes a counteroffer, which is accepted by the family trust. He saves Cujo at the last minute. An extensive refit gets underway, nothing is left untouched, with a budget of 800’000€, Cujo is reborn, improved and modernized. She regains all her splendor. The result is breathtaking.
Cujo was used extensively by the current owner for the last two summer seasons, mostly cruising in Sardinia and the Amalfi Coast, but having young children and spending more time traveling, and spending time in their home in Porto Cervo, they have taken the difficult decision to sell this little gem. Moody would now like to find a new home for her, someone that will love and cherish her and her legacy.
Thanks to our team and to Art Curial, Cujo will be part of the Racing, Flying & Yachting Retromobile Auction 2020 which will take place 7 of February.