FLY was the original Aerorig fast cruising yacht designed by America’s Cup designer Ian Howlett and built by Tom Richardson at the Elephant Boatyard on the River Hamble. She is clearly very practical as an ocean going yacht, both in terms of the seamanlike systems above/below decks and their suitability for long passages and/or sailing in remote areas. The high specification this 'mini superyacht' was built to is self evident from the quality of the stainless steel fabrications, the custom Hyduron (military spec. aluminium bronze) propeller shaft and sea cocks. The walnut joinery and cabinet work was completed by the late Paul Litton, who individually selected the trees from which the interior was built. The design, engineering detail and finish in its day were second to none which was reflected in her build cost some twenty years ago, of over two million pounds.
There are three very obvious ‘stand out’ features of this superb yacht. The first two are the quality and attention to detail in her construction and interior fit out which is evident in the stills and video taken onboard. The third is the Aerorig which replaces the conventional sloop or ketch rigs seen on yachts of this size. While the Aerorig might put some potential purchasers off, it shouldn’t, because it’s operation is simplicity itself and it is very impressive how easy it makes it to sail a 70 foot, nigh on 50 tonnes yacht alone. It's an asset on this seventy foot yacht for those who cruise short-handed, particularly if they intend to make long passages. Having said that, in the last twelve years Fly has day sailed a good deal as well as completing several Atlantic trips, two of them solo with her current owner.
In twenty three years she’s only had two owners and it’s not hard to see why it would be hard to part with FLY once you’ve owned her. Viewing is a must, don’t just rely on the pictures or these words if you're looking for a cruising yacht in this size range. FLY is going to be attractive to a certain owner not just because of what she's capable of doing and for sure whoever buys her is going to own a lot of boat and a good deal of pleasure for the money spent. The yacht will be in the water on the Clyde until around the end of September 2014 before being brought ashore for the winter.