Skip to content

Painful to Watch, the Loss of ‘Eleonora E’

Couldn’t somebody have done something? Apparently not. The beautiful 162-ft schooner Eleonora E was launched in 2000 as a replica of the 1910 Herreshoff-designed schooner Westward. She was securely moored against a seawall in Port Tárraco, Tarragona, Spain, when a larger working-vessel’s engines appeared to get stuck in reverse. Eleonora E sank at the dock within 30 minutes.

According to a report in the Superyacht Times, the Maritime Rescue boat Punta Mayor was exiting the port when her main engines jammed in reverse. The crew stopped the engines and dropped two anchors to try to stop the boat.

These images on the Port Tarragona’s Twitter feed show the Eleonora E lying in approximately four to five meters of water.

Eleanora E submerged
Eleonora E has a steel hull and a wood superstructure. She is just over 162-ft long with a 26.5-ft beam. Salvage operations are underway.
© 2022 Port Tarragona
Eleanora E masts protruding from the water
Eleonora E‘s masts were all that remained visible above the surface. Although it appears from the YouTube video above that a person was on board when the ship was struck, no injuries were reported.  
© 2022 Port Tarragona

There are always thousands of things that can go wrong, though usually the worst is averted. Not this time. Seeing a classic beauty like Eleonora E fall prey to a disaster like this is heart-wrenching.

Addendum: Thomas Sarlandie saw our story and sent a note saying, ” I don’t think the pictures of Eleonora E that are circulating now do a good job of showing how special she was. Please feel free to use this picture I took during the Caribbean 600 in 2017. I was on Isbjorn, a Swan 48 skippered by  Andy Schell and Paul Exner. She passed us a few hours after the start. We will never forget…”

Thomas, thank you for sending the photo. We couldn’t agree more. It’s a stunning photo and beyond tragic to see such a beautiful yacht take such a devastating blow. Can she possibly be restored? 

Eleonora E Tomas Sarlandie
Eleonora was a magnificent site under sail.. 
© 2022 Thomas Sarlanie


  1. John Pepper 2 years ago

    Hurtful to hear and we can only hope that Ocean will care for one of its own. Meanwhile we all must realize the twisted tale that, in this case, what goes down must come up.

  2. Jere Visalli 2 years ago

    Looks like the impact got the engines into forward gear.

  3. Joseph DiMatteo 2 years ago

    The video seems to clearly debunk the claim that the engines were “stopped” and that two anchors were out. The Punta Mayor appears to be in reverse at speed when she T-bones the Eleonora. Then she immediately moves away in forward. It will be interesting to see what the outcome of the investigation shows.

  4. milly Biller 2 years ago

    I am just grateful that salvage is underway. I can’t imagine that a beautiful vessel like that wouldn’t be restored, and I trust she will be. How very painful to watch indeed !

  5. Vince Casalaina 2 years ago

    The video is very clear. At 3 sec. into the video there is a shot the bow. There is no anchor line angling down to the water i.e. no anchors deployed.

  6. Chris Barry 2 years ago

    Did the vessel that sank have watertight subdivision beyond the collision bulkhead?

  7. James Scott 10 months ago

    I just read with great sadness that Eleanora will be scrapped as a result of this accident. Such a tragic loss of one of the most beautiful classics ever. It’s a bit of an irony that Westward, the yacht Eleanora replicated, also met a tragic end, albeit intentionally by the will of her owner.

Leave a Comment