Chichester's boat is yours for £250,000

Sir Francis Chichester‘s legendary yacht Gipsy Moth IV is up for sale for £250,000 amid fears it will be sold abroad.

Chichester sailed the boat, a 54ft Honduras Mahogany ketch, around the world in 1967, becoming the first person to singlehandedly circumnavigate via all three capes.

After Chichester’s death in 1972, the yacht lay in dry dock in Greenwich alongside the Cutty Sark, where she slowly deteriorated, until Yachting Monthly, together with the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA) and the Maritime Trust, lead a restoration project.

The boat was returned to immaculate condition after a £300,000 rebuild at Camper & Nicholson, her original builders, and completed a second circumnavigation in 2007.

But current owners UKSA are selling the boat as she is not suitable for training and it cannot afford her maintenance costs.

Sue Grant, from yacht brokers Berthon, who is handling the sale on behalf of UKSA, said: ‘She is half boat and half historic object. She is the grandmother of all single-handed yachts that followed. She is such an important thing.

‘She has been restored to how she was at the time of the record. There are modern electronics but they are hidden behind the original control panel.’

Ms Grant admitted it was ‘likely she will end up going overseas’, as most of the inquiries had been from outside the UK.

But Sir Robin Knox-Johnston declared it a ‘tragedy’ that the boat could be sold to a foreign buyer.

He said: ‘This boat is part of this country’s maritime history and should be retained here for the nation.

‘The tragedy is that we have no mechanism established to save such treasures.’

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