SS Delphine (1921)


SS Delphine launched April 1921. Caption from Popular Mechanics magazine.
SS Delphine off the French Riviera, July 2008.
OwnerHorace Dodge
BuilderGreat Lakes Engineering Works
Cost$2 million
Launched2 April 1921
FateRequisitioned by the US Navy 1942
United States
NameUSS Dauntless (PG-61)
Acquired21 January 1942
Commissioned11 May 1942
Decommissioned11 May 1946
Stricken5 June 1946
United States
NameSS Delphine
United States
NameSS Dauntless
Flag of France.svg Flag of Singapore.svgFrance, Singapore
NameSS Dauntless
Flag of Monaco.svgMonaco
NameSS Delphine
General characteristics
Tonnage1961 (gross)
Length257.8 ft (78.6 m)
Beam35.5 ft (10.8 m)
Draft14.6 ft (4.5 m)
Installed powerSteam
Speed12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph) max
Capacity26 passengers

SS Delphine is a yacht commissioned by Horace Dodge, co-founder of Dodge Brothers. The yacht was launched on 2 April 1921 Captained by Arthur A. Archer.[1] Power was originally supplied from three Babcock & Wilcox boilers[2] powering two 1,500-horsepower (1,100 kW) quadruple-expansion engines.[3] In her 2003 refit Delphine was re-equipped with two modern water-tube boilers operating at 20 bars (290 psi), the larger of which has an evaporation capacity of 14 metric tons (31,000 lb) of steam per hour while the smaller can evaporate 4 metric tons (8,800 lb) per hour;[4] these new boilers supply the original quadruple-expansion engines. "Of all the large American-built steam yachts built between 1893 and 1930, the Delphine is the only one left in her original condition with her original steam engines still in service."[3]

The Delphine caught fire and sank in New York in 1926, to be recovered and restored. She suffered further damage in 1940 when she ran aground in the Great Lakes, and was repaired. She was acquired by the United States Navy in January 1942 and rechristened USS Dauntless (PG-61), to serve as the flagship for Admiral Ernest King, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations. She was sold back to Anna Dodge (Horace Dodge's wife) after the conclusion of World War II and restored to civilian standards and service, including her original name.[2]

Delphine changed hands in 1967 and again in 1968, changing names again to Dauntless, only to be sold again in 1986, 1989, and in 1997 – at scrap metal prices to her next owners – who proceeded to restore her for $60 million to the original 1921 condition including interior decor and the original steam engines.[3] She was rechristened Delphine by Princess Stéphanie of Monaco on 10 September 2003. She was recently acquired by its current owners in 2015 and has returned to its home port of Monaco for the 2017 charter season.


  1. ^ Pamphlet "Launching of the Delphine" Published - April 2nd 1921
  2. ^ a b "Horace Dodge's Steam Yacht DELPHINE". SS Delphine. Archived from the original on 2006-12-13. Retrieved 23 November 2006.
  3. ^ a b c Levine, Joshua (21 April 2008). "Vaporous Lady". Forbes. Vol. 181 no. 8. pp. 236–238.
  4. ^ "SS Delphine Charter Brochure" (PDF). SS Delphine Official Website. p. 31. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-12. Retrieved 18 June 2014.

External links

  • Official site
  • 360 degree Panoramas of The SS Delphine
  • Steamy superyacht has impressive pedigree, Melbourne Age 23 Jun 2010