Half Moon

The 154-foot long, two-masted racing sailboat was built in 1908 in Germany. Originally called Germania, the 366-ton chrome-nickel steel yacht was a wedding gift from Bertha Krupp, daughter of the yard owner to her husband, the Count von Bohlen und Halbach. The racing yacht was among the fastest of her day, winning the German Kaiser’s Cup. Germania arrived in England for the 1914 Cowes races when World War I was declared, her captain put into Southampton for water and the yacht immediately was seized, with the crew among the first German prisoners of World War I.

She was auctioned in 1917 and sailed to New York by the new owner, who became bankrupt. Sold again and renamed Half Moon, she was refitted before being sold yet again. She was renamed Germania again and towed to Miami to be used as a floating restaurant in 1926. The hurricane of 1926 damaged and caused her to sink in the Miami River. She was raisedand renamed Half Moon again. The owner Captain Smiley and his family lived in board until sometime in 1930 when they abandoned ship at night during a severe storm. Half Moon broke free of her moorings and ran hard aground off Key Biscayne at the entrance of Bear Cut. Once grounded, the yacht became buried in sand above its waterline with the hull listing to port. The starboard side seems to have been struck by a larger vessel and is broken outward, at the midship point. Over the years the yacht slowly collapsed and settled into the shoal, becoming entombed and is now home to generations of coral and fish.