A 72-year-old Chris-Craft classic boat found earlier this year gathering dust in Johannesburg may have belonged to legendary Beatles rock star George Harrison.

An agent for the boat’s owners has asked US-based Chris-Craft for the original hull card, to see if it aligns with anecdotal evidence received during a probe of the boat’s provenance.

Speculation about the boat began earlier this year when the boat was delivered to the agent, Jeremy Reingold, a well-known South African vintage car enthusiast, who enlisted the help of a local classic boat restorer. The pair set about trying to corroborate the reported link to the famous British musician, and have sent images of the Chris-Craft manufacturer’s seal to the US-yard which has built luxury boats since 1874.

In July Searle published a speculative opinion piece in the online classic boat publication Woodyboater, prompting a reply from a New Zealand man who claimed to have worked for the South African company which imported the boat.  “I was a 23 year old working for Ring Shipping in Cape Town, South Africa when the craft called the Paula was brought in by our company for a businessman in Johannesburg amid whispers and papers showing it coming from “Mr Harrison” of the Beatles,”said Gary Setchell in his response to Searle’s article. “We gawked over her till her collection by the new owner and I’ve never forgotten it, creating my love for the wooden boats,”Setchell said.

The boat’s curious story has since been picked up by the South African press.

Information gathered thus far shows the vessel was imported into South Africa from the UK in 1981, not long after Harrison’s second marriage, to Olivia Arias

Reingold. The age of the boat’s trailer was consistent with the reported import date. He said although the boat was found in poor condition, the engine proved surprisingly resilient and started first time.  “I’m still awaiting the documents from Chris-Craft,”Reingold told SABBEX.

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