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Author Topic: Gypsy Moth could be sold overseas  (Read 979 times)


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Gypsy Moth could be sold overseas
« on: September 15, 2010, 08:25:26 AM »

 FEARS have been raised that the legendary yacht used by record-breaking sailor Sir Francis Chichester could be lost to a foreign buyer.

Gypsy Moth IV has been put up for sale for £250,000 by its owners, the UK Sailing Academy – and the Hampshire agents brokering the deal believe it is likely to head abroad.

The potential loss of the historic yacht, which has been used to train and inspire young people from the Isle of Wight since undergoing a £300,000 restoration in 2005, has been described as “a tragedy”.

 Built in Gosport  in 1966, the 54ft Honduras Mahogany ketch entered the history books a year later when the then 65-year-old Sir Francis took 226 days to sail her around the globe single-handedly, making just one stop, in Australia.

Sue Grant from Lymington-based yacht brokers Berthon which is handling the sale, said Gypsy Moth IV was a significant part of British maritime history, but admitted the craft will now go to the highest bidder after attempts to find a permanent home in the UK failed.

Miss Grant said: “She is half boat and half historic object.

She is the grandmother of all single-handed yachts that followed.

“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.

“Most of the inquiries have been from abroad and many are from wealthy Americans, so it is quite likely she will end up going overseas.”

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first man to sail solo around the globe non-stop just two years after Sir Francis’ epic voyage, said he was appalled the boat could leave the UK.

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.”

Gypsy Moth IV has not always been so well loved.

Sir Francis himself seemed less than impressed with his record-breaking vessel, writing after his circumnavigation: “Gypsy Moth IV has no sentimental value for me at all. She is cantankerous and difficult.”

After his death in 1972, the boat became a tourist attraction alongside the Cutty Sark in London for three decades, but fell into a state of disrepair until a campaign was launched to restore her.
Richard Solent Radio Controlled Model Boat Club

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Re: Gypsy Moth could be sold overseas
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 01:22:23 PM »

Sounds about right , money raised I assume from people in the UK to partially restore her.. so Lets Now sell it..

Bryan Young

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Re: Gypsy Moth could be sold overseas
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010, 07:15:06 PM »

OK. Last time I saw her she looked pretty shabby. Better to let somebody who cares buy her and look after her than just letting the poor old thing fall apart.
It really does make me wonder sometimes. A heck of a lot of people, many on this forum, bemoan the lack of general public interest in keeping, maintaining our "historic" ships/boats and always say "something must be done". Well, the answer is in the statement. Some people are prepared to do do so, be they from other countries or not. If (if) a rich American or Saudi wishes to buy it and maintain it, then where's the problem? We in this country have already shown that we are not prepared to do it. BY.
Notes from a simple seaman

Colin Bishop

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Re: Gypsy Moth could be sold overseas
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2010, 07:56:56 PM »

As Dicky says, Sir Francis Chichester actually hated the boat and felt he got round in spite of it rather than otherwise.  It's actually not a very exciting looking boat so good luck to anyone willing to find it a decent home.

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