Wavedancer’s story: Back when Sir Robin Knox-Johnson wanted a boat to take part in The Golden Globe, he initially turned to Lymington-based British designer Colin Mudie; so when a new, part completed 60ft cutter rigged sloop, also designed by Colin, came onto the market – it was a proposition hard to resist.
Wavedancer was specified by Colin as a tough, fast, go anywhere yacht and as such, she seemed the ideal choice, having great potential, a serious sailing charter yacht. In Colin’s words, the design was to be as unbreakable as practically possible.
We have endeavoured to discover as much history as possible on Wavedancer by speaking to those who had a part in her construction. She was built by Bodmin fabrications in 1996 to meet Lloyds Insurance standards under the watch of surveyor Richard Ayers. We spoke with Richard and understand that the keel was made at Irons Brothers in Cornwall; he recalled counting in the lead! She was then taken to the Moody’s Yard in Swanwick for painting, and the paint system has worked well to date.
In her lifetime Wavedancer has had a few owners, but had never been completed, spending much of her lifetime in sheds. She was briefly owned by Pete Goss, but sold to Paul Jeffes (another British Steel Challenge Skipper) when Pete was offered his Trimaran instead.
Paul motored her from Cornwall up to his home on the West Coast of Scotland. It would have been an interesting, if not particularly enjoyable passage as she was simply an empty hull with a huge temporary tiller. Unfortunately, personal reasons meant that Paul was also unable to continue with his plans.
Fast forward to the present day and Wavedancer is now into year four of a planned six year fit out; the aim is to create the spacious and luxurious passage maker she was designed to be.
She has spent the last four years in southwest Scotland with a focus on installation of the main systems, but we were keen to get her to a more convenient and more sheltered location on the south coast, given that winds of 100mph are not unusual in the Scottish winter. Over the next 10 months, Wavedancer is planned to be on the hard at Kingston Marine Boatyard while the interior joinery is completed by Blue Marlin Consulting and rig options are explored and selected.
The internal design is being completed to Colin’s original layout which will allow three double / twin guest cabins plus a captain’s cabin and additional pilot berths. The layout is practical with all machinery being housed in the engine room. This is full width and located aft of the companionway behind one of three watertight bulkheads. Forward of this, the interior is devoted entirely to accommodation and storage.
The inaugural passage from the Clyde to the Isle of Wight under new engines, new steering gear and systems, was (thankfully) completed in the best weather we could have hoped for in the UK in late August 2017 and she was lifted out quickly and efficiently by the team at Kingston on arrival at East Cowes to continue the next phase of fit out.
Article courtesy of Adam Potter, Blue Marlin Consulting.