“The story behind Recruit” The dream sailboat of the Frers family


In the South Atlantic summer of 1942, a boat called Recluta (Recruit) competed in the Buenos Aires – Mar del Plata regatta.

During the night, in the middle of a terrible storm, she ran aground in the shallow waters of Cape San Antonio. Quickly, the crew turned the yacht, but in that maneuver a man fell overboard. To save him, they headed for the coast, but the ship fell silent again, this time forever. The scene the next day was sad.

The ship, built by Camper & Nicholsons, was half buried in the sand. At that time, there was no machine capable of removing it, so the owner, Charlie Badaracco, tried to save as much as he could from the rigging of the boat; the rest were later dynamited after becoming a tourist attraction for a short period of time.

Charlie Badaracco did not give up his dream of owning a boat. He soon asked his friend and yacht designer Germán Frers Sr., to start designing a new one. She would be called Recruit like the previous one and it was the largest ship he ever designed in Argentina. Construction began in the middle of World War II and the shortage of raw metals, lead for the keel, bronze and copper for fasteners and hardware, soon became a crucial inconvenience. Without keel they could not advance and construction was delayed several times until she was finally abandoned.

Seventy-six years later, after the story had been long forgotten, my father was looking through some files for inspiration for a new ship and found Recruit’s original plan. Maybe he found the plan, maybe the plan found him.

“This is the story of how my father finally built the ship” Zelmira Frers

Zelmira Frers has navigated from a young age through a universe of multidisciplinary creativity as an architect, creative director and photographer.

Three years ago he began working on his first book: a document of enormous beauty and historical value that portrays the construction of Recluta (Recruit), a legendary design of his grandfather that his father Germán Frers took over and eventually built, honoring the ship’s epic history. . . Zelmira aimed her lens at the process, details, work environment, and the hands of the nautical craftsmen who made it possible. www.zelmirafrers.com


The Story Behind Recruit is the first book by Zelmira Frers, it began as a filmed documentary and later became a book of great historical and aesthetic value.

The book is made up of 258 pages of photographs and dialogues of profound beauty that capture, for the first time, the intimacy of the creative process of designer Germán Frers and his team of nautical artisans.


Through a story spanning three generations, The Story Behind Recruit is more than just a book. It is an aesthetic and emotional account of the destiny of a yacht, as well as a history of the golden age of yacht building in Argentina.

The story behind Recruit will be available to the public in October 2021, and can be pre-ordered online now.

For more information on the design, sale and distribution of the book, please contact thestorybehindrecluta@gmail.com