“It was always my dream to own a boat like this,” says Carlos Samblas, about Falcao Uno. The skipper with over twenty years’ experience in the boat business discovered the 26 metre classic yacht in a highly deteriorated state in Gualquivir two years ago. He teamed up with Mikael Landström, owner of the Portixol Group, to purchase it and turn it into a vessel fit for bespoke events.
Built in 1965 on the request of the Belgian Royal Family, it was designed by the legendary Dutch naval architect, Henri de Voogt. The highest quality steel melted down from second world war tanks was used to build it. No expense was spared.
Gazing across at the smooth teak deck, the sunshine glinting off the polished steel mooring bollards, it’s hard to imagine it had once been in such a terrible state. Johanna Landström was chief designer of the project. “As all our other projects in our Portixol group, Falcao Uno is from the 50s and 60s, and my aim is always to keep the cool vintage feeling and soul that the property or in this case, a Gentleman’s yacht, had from the beginning.”
Falcao Uno has a glamorous past. Over a dozen brass metopa shields hang along the wooden panelled walls in the lounge; each one from an illustrious guest. One can imagine a man in a tuxedo shaking up cocktails behind the small wooden bar, the likes of Grace Kelly luxuriating on the long navy sofa curving around the room, soft lighting from the art deco lamps twinkling off her diamonds.
Falcao Uno isn’t just refined, it’s also comfortable. On the spacious rear deck an acacia wood table and matching slatted wood chairs invite passengers to enjoy the ocean view while al fresco dining. A polished copper tub makes for a stylish champagne cooler. The colour scheme is decidedly nautical, with soft furnishings in cream and navy. Heavy-duty bulkhead ceiling lights in steel and antique brass add an authentic marine touch.
Stepping into the cockpit the sense of history pervades like an expensive perfume. Above the great big wooden helm are a series of wooden pigeon holes holding different flags which were once used to communicate with other boats. A restored antique compass is the prized centre piece. “Everyone wants to buy it,” says Samplás, with a smile that tells me he has no intention of selling it.
Appearing several times at the Monaco Classics and present at this year’s Copa del Rey, Falcao Uno has already made an impressive comeback. Samplás confides that it will be even more luxurious in the future.
Photos by Johanna Gunnberg