Now celebrating her 40th year, this classic CRN has one of the most compelling histories of any yacht on the water.

Steve Chalmers

Commissioned by actress Virna Lisi and a regular hangout for Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, she is now available exclusively through Burgess.

These days, when a yacht comes up for sale with a ‘full history’, it’s normally referring to how may hours the engines have done, or when the aft deck teak was last re-varnished. However, Nordic Star, a classic CRN built in 1978 has a history and a story straight out of Hollywood.

Bought six years ago after a lengthy search by a British businessman, Nordic Star was located in San Remo, Italy, bought on the spot after the first viewing and brought back to Dubai, where she quickly became part of the family. At the time, nobody had any idea about the CRN’s history, but thankfully her restoration was more of a mechanical overhaul, which left the wooden interior completely untouched.

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Nordic Star and her Owner have been fortunate to have Captain Suleyman since the beginning. The captain spent 13 years restoring a sailing yacht for a Turkish museum, making his old school ways perfect for keeping the CRN in fine fettle.

It’s fair to say that Captain Suleyman knows every single nut, bolt and washer on board, so he was a little confused when one morning, the Owner noticed three bulbs had gone on the aft stairwell leading to the guest cabins.  For one to blow is not unusual, but for three? That required some investigation.

Carefully the captain took apart the stairwell only to discover two major bolts which when removed allowed the staircase to be pulled out to reveal a hidden room. Like something out of Tomb Raider, it was filled with statues, clocks antiques and artifacts, which had been gathering dust in there for countless years. It was all very exciting, but the best was yet to come.

The plaques in the games room belong to Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Anthony Quinn.

While relocating the artifacts around the yacht, Captain Suleyman came across an oiled paper containing four brass plaques. He noticed that they were the same size as the indents on the back of the wooden games room chairs.

During the restoration, he decided against filling in the small holes in the seat backs, which is just as well, as each brass plaque was slightly different in size and each fitted the respective slot perfectly. The names? Well, here we had a seat for Frank, Tony, Anthony and Jack.


It was at this time that renowned superyacht writer Ellie Brade got in touch with the Owner about featuring Nordic Star as part of an article she was writing on CRN. She had the entire CRN archives, as well as the staff at her disposal and it was here that the mystery unravelled. Brade found Nordic Star’s original documents in the office of the chief engineer, who was at his last year at the shipyard.

One of the dusty papers revealed that the CRN was originally commissioned by Italian actress Virna Lisi, who was once described by Marilyn Monroe as the “most beautiful woman in the world’. Lisi grew up in CRN’s home town of Ancona, and as both families knew each other, she naturally ordered her superyacht from the shipyard.

The whole yacht was designed around her, with specific instructions that every piece of furniture below hip height had to be perfectly rounded off, to protect her stockings.

The name plaques in the games room belonged to her great friends Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Anthony Quinn, all of which she starred alongside in some Hollywood classics, such as How to Murder Your Wife and Assault on a Queen.