I was at a local networking event recently when this chap asked me where does “Zine” (his pronunciation) come from then. It transpired that he had an interest in where companies got their names from so firstly I explained that it was in fact pronounced “Zen” the “i” is silent and then proceeded to tell him the story of the Motor Yacht Zein.
The Zein has had many names and many owners since she was built in 1928 and first commissioned in Southampton. She weighed in at 298 tons, 147 feet long, with a 23-foot beam and a draft of 12 feet. Mr. Soulas the owner, named her the “Monica” after his daughter. He kept her for four years before selling her to a Greek gentleman named Zarch Couyoumbian who changed her name to “Rion.” He kept her for only two years. In 1938, she was acquired by Sir George Tilley, chairman of the Prudential Insurance Co., who enjoyed her until 1939, when the British Government conscripted her for the war effort. After the war HMS “Noir” (as she was now called) was acquired by a Panama-registered charter firm owned by Aristotle Onassis and renamed “Arion.” When his daughter Christina was born, Onassis built a larger vessel, which he named after his daughter. Then came what is perhaps the M Y Zein’s most famous chapter in it’s history when Aristotle Onassis gave the “Arion” to Prince Ranier and Princess Grace of Monaco as a wedding present. The royal couple named her the “Deo Juvente II” and honeymooned aboard her, cruising the coasts of Corsica and Sardina. They kept the ship until 1958 and since then she again has had several names and owners.
In 1989 John Issa, Chairman of the SuperClubs hotel chain acquired her at a government auction. She was given a complete refit in Tampa, Florida and began promotional cruises for SuperClubs up and down the East Coast, now named “Zein” after one of John Issa’s twin daughters.
The M Y “Zein” arrived in Negril, Jamaica for the opening of the Grand Lido Negril hotel on 8 Mile beach in 1989 and it was here that my wife and I were fortunate to sail on her twice, on the 19th & 25th November 2004 when attending the wedding of a friend where I was his best man.
Why so specific, well on the 25th November 2004 I proposed to my now wife aboard the M Y Zein and we were married exactly one year later in the same resort with my friend reciprocating as my best man. So she holds a very special place in our hearts and we couldn’t think of a better name for our company.