Chichester's famous yacht is ready for the water

Sir Francis Chichester’s famous yacht, Gipsy Moth IV, was hauled out of Camper & Nicholson’s boatyard shed in Gosport at the weekend after a five-month £300,000 re-fit, following Yachting Monthly’s two-year campaign to save the yacht.

The official re-launch party will be held on Monday, 20 June, at the yard where the boat was originally built in 1966 for her solo epic round-the-world voyage.

The UK Sailing Academy, the new owners of the yacht, have worked tirelessly with Camper & Nicholsons, on what must be one of the speediest restoration projects in recent maritime history.

On hand to see this iconic vessel emerge from the shed, sunlight glinting on her new winches and restored deck gear, were the UKSA’s Gipsy Moth Project Director, John Walsh, together with Camper & Nicholsons Project Director, Martyn Langford and Paul Gelder, Editor of Yachting Monthly, the founder of the project.

‘You have to see her to realise the dedication, craftsmanship and teamwork which have gone into this project,’ said Paul. ‘On deck and down below she looks jaw-droppingly beautiful … better than the day she was originally launched. It’s hard to imagine that all this has been achieved in so little time.’

The yacht was craned out of her concrete dry-dock at Greenwich on November 17 last year, after 37 years enduring London’s acid rain. But restoration work did not begin in earnest until January this year.

In the coming days and weeks, Gipsy Moth IV will have engine and sail trials before parading before the Queen at the Fleet Review on June 28, and starring at the Portsmouth’s Festival of the Sea, as well as Cowes Week and Southampton Boat Show.

On September 25, Gipsy Moth IV will set sail from Plymouth on the first leg her second round the world voyage with the Blue Water Rally, heading to Gibraltar, the Canaries, and Antigua, in the West Indies, before transiting the Panama Canal and crossing the Pacific to Sydney, Australia.

The voyage celebrates the 100th birthday of Yachting Monthly magazine and the 40th anniversary of Sir Francis’ celebrated singlehanded voyage.

Click on the gallery and go to page 7 to see photos and for full details and more photos see the August issue of YM, on sale on July 14.