Gipsy Moth IV, the legendary ketch which took Sir Francis Chichester around the world in 1966-67, has been sold to new owners and will be moving to Guernsey

Gipsy Moth IV has been bought by two businessmen and will be relocating from Hampshire to the Channel Islands.

The 53 foot ketch, which took Sir Francis Chichester around the world in 1966-67, was previously owned and run by the Gipsy Moth Trust.

The charity closed earlier this year due to a lack of funds because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gipsy Moth IV is now owned by Peter Tom, the chairman of the Rugby Union club, Leicester Tigers, and the owner of the Little Big Hotel group, Ian Walker.

The yacht will be leaving Buckler’s Hard in September for her new home port of St Peter Port, Guernsey, where she will be a working tourist attraction.

The ketch Gipsy Moth IV

The yacht was built in 1966 by Camper & Nicholsons. Credit: Theo Stocker

Gipsy Moth IV will also be made available to the Guernsey Sailing Trust for educational activities in addition to participating in the island’s sailing calendar.

Commenting on the acquisition, Peter Tom said: ‘This iconic boat and its record-setting commissioning skipper remind us what can be achieved through skill and determination.

‘I was happy to help when Ian approached me with the wonderful idea of bringing Gipsy Moth IV to Guernsey as an educational and tourist attraction. We’re working hard to support the growth of St. Peter Port’s maritime economy and take our responsibility as her new custodians seriously,’ he stressed.

Once the boat arrives in Guernsey, she will undergo maintenance and repairs at Boatworks+.

Ian Walker added: ‘Peter and I are both keen on nautical history and sea stories don’t get much better or more compelling than Sir Francis Chichester’s record-setting 1966/7 voyage.

‘We’re very pleased that the sailing trust’s young mariners will have the opportunity to sail in Gipsy Moth IV from her new home and benefit from their hands-on experience with history,’ he added.

A sailing ketch being lifted out at Greenwich

Gipsy Moth IV is lifted out of the water at Greenwich ahead of a £500,000 restoration spearheaded by Yachting Monthly and UKSA. Credit: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images

Designed by John Illingworth and Angus Primrose and built in 1965 by Camper & Nicholsons, Gipsy Moth IV made history in 1967, becoming the fastest small vessel to circumnavigate the world.

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Gipsy Moth IV during the 2019 Fastnet 2019

Gipsy Moth IV is up for sale

New owners are being sought for Gipsy Moth IV, the legendary yacht which took Sir Francis Chichester around the world

Sir Francis’ voyage inspired thousands, and more than 250,000 people witnessed his return to Plymouth on 28 May 1967.

Following the circumnavigation, Gipsy Moth IV was lifted out and berthed alongside Cutty Sark in Greenwich, where she was left to slowly rot away.

In 2003, a campaign, initiated by the then Yachting Monthly editor, Paul Gelder, was launched to restore her.

The boat was bought for ‘£1 and a gin and tonic’ by the UKSA which then oversaw the £500,000 restoration carried out by her original builders, Camper & Nicholsons.

Gipsy Moth IV will become a tourist attraction and will be available to sailors at the Guernsey Sailing Trust

Gipsy Moth IV will become a tourist attraction and will be available to sailors at the Guernsey Sailing Trust. Credit: Theo Stocker

Gipsy Moth IV went on to complete a second circumnavigation in 2005.

The yacht was bought in 2010 by Elaine Skinner and Rob Thompson, who wanted to keep the boat in the UK ‘as a fundamental part of our sailing history, to make her available for people of all ages to see and sail and to inspire a new generation of young people.’

The Gipsy Moth Trust was launched in July 2011, and since then, over 1,700 people have sailed the yacht.

The boat has also been featured at numerous races, boat shows and events including the Golden Globe Race 2018 and the OSTAR.

Gipsy Moth IV was put on the market in February 2021 for £165,000.