Shipwrights & surveyors give Gipsy Moth IV a full medical.

Gipsy Moth IV is undergoing a major survey at Camper & Nicholsons Gosport yard to determine whether she can be restored to a condition sea-worthy enough to make a circumnavigation. The experts looking her over will know ‘in their bones’ whether she can be saved within the next 10 days.

C&N’s project manger Olly Cameron (left), said: ‘My gut feeling is that she will be sailing again.’ Before that though the shipwrights, engineers and even painters will be consulted to work out the man hours required. After it is confirmed she will be able to sail again the yard then have to assess whether the work can be carried out in time to start her round-the-world passage in October 2005 to celebrate YM’s centenery and the 40th anniversary of Sir Francis Chichester’s circumnavigation.The project has been set in train by YM, the United Kingdom Sailing Academy and the Maritime Trust.

Olly Cameron, 30, from Greenock, is a naval architect whose experience racing and cruising Swans for their owners involved him in working closely with Camper & Nicholsons. After sailing a Swan 70, Dreamcatcher back from the US after completing the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) in 2003, he tok up a full time post with C&N as a project manager.

Naval architect Nigel Irens, who co-designed Ellen’s giant tri B&Q, has accepted an invitation from YM’s editor Paul Gelder to examine Gipsy Moth IV ‘s keel and rudder configuration. ‘Francis Chichester had many complaints about GMIV’s sailing performance. An addition made to her keel in Sydney has rotted away and we need to decide whether to replace it, or revert to her original underwater lines,’ said Paul. YM’s Technical Editor, Paul Jeffes, himself a naval architect and surveyor, is also examining the boat.