• 72'
  • 2000
  • Exeter, United Kingdom
  • £325,000


The Challenge 72 is the ultimate in unbreakable sailing yachts. CB 45 is being offered for sale after a significant refit and there is still some finishing to do. Her owners are inviting her new owner to work with them on this project to ensure that a yacht tailored to their needs is delivered to them for 7 seas duties.

  • Basic Information
  • Dimensions
  • Speed / Weight
  • Accomodations
  • Hull & Deck
  • Engine Information
  • Category: Cruising Sailboat
  • Model: Devonport Challenge 72
  • Model Year: 2000
  • YearBuilt: 2000
  • Year Refit: N/A
  • Refit Type: N/A
  • Tax Paid: VAT Unpaid
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Registration #: N/A
  • Coast Guard #: N/A
  • Vessel Top: N/A
  • Fly Bridge: No
  • Cockpit: No
  • Helipad: No
  • Accomodations: Guest SR/S: 5/0 - Crew R/B/S: 0/0/0
  • LOA: 72' 0" (21.95m)
  • LWL: 61' 0" (18.59m)
  • LOD: --
  • Beam: 18' 0" (5.49m)
  • Min Draft: 10' 5" (3.17m)
  • Max Draft: --
  • Clearance: --
  • MFG Length: --
  • Cruise Speed: 15 Knots
  • Cruise Speed RPM: --
  • Cruise Speed Range: 6,482 Miles
  • Max Speed: 18 Knots
  • Max Speed RPM: --
  • Max Speed Range: --
  • Displacement: 43,000 Kilos
  • Gross Tonnage: --
  • Water Capacity: 1,775 Liters
  • Holding Tank: --
  • Fuel Capacity: 2,150 Liters
  • Fuel Consumption: --
  • Berths: 18
  • Heads: N/A
  • Sleeps: N/A
  • State Rooms: 5
  • Crew Berths: N/A
  • Crew Sleeps: N/A
  • Crew Heads: N/A
  • Captains Quarters: No
  • Hull ID: N/A
  • Hull Material: Steel
  • Deck Material: Steel
  • Hull Configuration: N/A
  • Project Manager: N/A
  • Hull Designer: Rob Humphreys
  • Hull Color: N/A
  • Hull Finish: N/A
  • Exterior Designer: N/A
  • Interior Designer: N/A
  • Manufacturer: Perkins
  • Model: Sabre 130
  • Engine Count: Single
  • Engine Type: Inboard
  • Fuel Type: Diesel


CHALLENGE BUSINESS 45 (Formerly BIG SPIRIT) is a 72ft steel sailing yacht built at the Devonport yards, in 2000, specifically to provide the safest platform for 18 people from all walks of life to come together as a team and complete what was billed as the toughest yacht race in the world; sailing around the world against prevailing winds and currents.

Challenge Business commissioned 12 identical yachts to be built based on all the experience they had gain from already running the 1992 and 1996 Global Challenge races with the original 67ft design. The new 72ft class was built to be stronger, safer, faster and more comfortable to sail and live aboard.

CHALLENGE BUSINESS 45 has a very good record, having completed two safe and successful round the world races (BT Global Challenge 2000/1 and the Global Challenge 2004/5), winning the last race in 2004/2005 and is still the holder of the class record for the round the island race on the south coast.



CHALLENGE BUSINESS 45 is part of an extraordinary fleet that was conceived and built to sail around the world against prevailing winds and currents – which they did with Chay Blyth’s Challenge Business. After the business stopped trading, she was sold together with her sisterships and has a very successful second life as an adventure sailing yacht and was well known as BIG SPIRIT.


Her career came to an abrupt end in 2011 when she was substantially damaged whilst ashore having a pit stop before a trip across the Atlantic. She fell, lost her rig and sustained substantial damage to her structure. In her current ownership she is being brought back to life as they are refitting the yacht in collaboration with Mecal the MCA notifying authority who are overseeing the work. Mecal have been involved with the Challenge 72’s from build and they will ensure that once repaired, CHALLENGE BUSINESS 45 will be in condition to code to MCA Category 0 giving her the ability to sail commercially worldwide with charter guests onboard.


All structural steel repairs to the hull and deck have now been completed and signed off by MECAL and supported by radiography and MPI test reports.  All of these reports (listed below) are available upon request. The owners worked with design engineer Jim Moore who did the design engineering for the Challenge Fleet initially, and provided the owners with the nested plates from the original design drawing of CB 45. 


·         Mecal Big Spirit Rebuild report 14/04/2014.

·         Mecal Big Spirit Rebuild report 25/04/2014.

·         Mecal Big Spirit Rebuild report Photogrammetry report 29/04/2014.

·         Mecal Big Spirit Rebuild report Deck Plan Shape 03/2014.

·         Mecal Big Spirit Rebuild report 16/11/2015.

·         Mecal Big Spirit Rebuild report 02/12/2015.

·         Mecal Big Spirit Rebuild report 04/05/2016.

·         Big Spirit radiography report 03/05/2016.

·         Big Spirit Rebuild MPI report 07/05/16.


In addition to the work to the structure, the yacht will have a new rig and sails and other items damaged or removed will be replaced i.e. soft furnishings, internal furniture and linings, water maker, cabin heater and basic electronics package. She will also be filled and faired in the repair area and repainted in white with grey deck.  The opportunity exists for her new owner to work with the owners during this period of refit to make any changes or updates that are needed for their specific use of the yacht. Challenge 72’s do not come onto the market very often and they are simply the last work in safe, powerful and capable adventure sailing be it the Southern Ocean or high latitude.


The opportunity exists to buy the yacht as is and to customize her to your wish.  The owners will do as much or as little as suit your requirements and plans.   Below is a schedule which shows the options that are open to you (all figures are ex-VAT)


1.       Purchase the yacht as is, with the filling, fairing and painting of the hull.

2.       Add complete fit out of the yacht internally £45,000.

3.       Add an electronics package which a new owner can specify to a value of £15,000.

4.       Basic Mast and Rigging package from Hemisphere rigging £55,000.

5.       LSA to Cat 0 £8,500.


The Challenge 72' Class yachts were designed for The Challenge Business by an appointed design team, specifically to race around the world “the wrong way”. The design brief called for exceptionally strong, seaworthy, fast, attractive, modern, steel yachts that were able to sail to windward across the Southern Ocean in relative comfort.

Safety was paramount both in terms of structural strength and crew safety. Because of the One Design nature of the race, the design was not influenced or distorted by any rating rule and a sensible displacement was specified. Other important design considerations include, ease of access to the structure, equipment, systems, wiring and fittings for maintenance and inspections both at sea and in harbour. Every piece of equipment had to be robust enough to survive a race around the world with minimum maintenance.

Many of the design principles were based on Sir Chay Blyth’s experience of sailing around the world single handed against the prevailing winds and currents and the Challenge 67 Class.
Devonport Yachts (DML) was chosen to build the fleet to Bureau Veritas highest notation. The construction method allows relatively simple and cost effective alterations to the interior layout.

Designer and Design Team 1. Designer – Rob Humphreys:

Rob Humphreys of Rob Humphreys Yacht Design, is an innovative yacht designer with a very good track record for producing fast, attractive sailing boats of most sizes. Before selecting a designer we produced an outline design brief and asked fifteen of the UK’s best yacht designers to submit proposals. Rob’s proposal most closely grasped our vision of a yacht for the millennium and suitable for the “World’s Toughest Yacht Race”. He illustrated his keenness to incorporate the ideas of, and the lessons learned by The Challenge Business into his design.
Nick Pike is a young designer who works closely with Rob Humphreys and has interpreted many of our requirements. Nick was also involved in the design of the Challenge 67’ yachts used in the previous British Steel Challenge and the BT Global Challenge.

2. Structural Engineer - Roger Scammell:

Roger Scammell of Key Designs, crunches the numbers and calculates how to provide the strength necessary for the most highly loaded areas of the yacht such as, the chain plates, rudder, skeg, keel and many other areas. As an example the lower rudder bearing is structured to accept an athwartships load of 20 tonnes.

Roger works closely with The Challenge Business team and had considerable input into the Challenge 67’ yachts and their fittings. He also designs many of the custom-made deck and rigging components. Roger has an ability to predict the breaking strain of components with unnerving accuracy.

3. Design Engineer - Jim Moore:

Jim Moore of Jim Moore Designs, takes the Rob Humphreys hull shape, the Bureau Veritas approved structures, the Builders (Devonport Yachts) production ideas and translate them into computer files (CNC data) which allow the laser cutting of steel and so produce the complex building kit.

Jim also creates the computer files to allow waterjet and laser cutting of the accommodation kits. The result is steel yachts built within tolerances and levels of accuracy that were previously considered unobtainable. Jim Moore pioneered the development of laser cut self-jigging kits to speed the construction and accuracy of yacht construction and internal fit out.

4. The Challenge Business International Ltd – Andrew Roberts, Project Director and Matthew Ratsey, BT Challenge 2000 Class Project Manager:

The design input from The Challenge Business stems from Sir Chay Blyth’s unique experience and very positive approach to good seamanship and seaman like design.
Andrew has overall responsibility for the design, construction and maintenance of the Challenge fleet. He produces the design concepts and briefs, and oversees all aspects of the design process.

The Challenge fleet has sailed approximately 1.5 million miles including fifty circumnavigations. The results of careful collecting and collation of data during two Challenge Business round the world races has reinforced many ideas as well as generated new design ideas and features to improve safety, comfort and performance.

Matthew Ratsey, a young yacht designer, coordinates the output from the other members of the design team, develops ideas, and creates detailed drawings of the yacht and systems and constantly checks the accuracy of the drawings.

Safety Standards, Surveys & Regulatory Bodies:

All the Challenge yachts have been built under Bureau Veritas supervision to their highest yacht notation. Subsequently, a rigid regime of regular inspections and surveys developed by The Challenge Business has been conducted by independent Surveyors.

The yachts are designed and fitted out to comply the MCA requirements for unlimited operations (worldwide in high latitudes) Design approval Bureau Veritas Certifying Authority – MECAL for MCA
Safety Standards compliance - MCA Cat 0 & Royal Ocean Racing Club, ORC Cat 0 Challenge Business policy for safety at sea Challenge Business Quality Assurance Programme The Challenge Business maintains a full and detailed service history of this yacht.

Hull, Deck & Superstructure Construction

The yachts were designed to be exceptionally strongly built of steel in order that they could face all that the Southern Ocean might throw at them, with absolute confidence.


·         Hull – 50A mild steel

·         Keel - Steel fin & lead bulb

·         Deck & Coamings - 316 stainless steel

·         Coachroof - GRP Balsa


Throughout the build process of the yachts a high level of technology has been incorporated, for example: the steel hull shell and frames were laser cut by BSD (the laser cutting division of British Steel in the UK). The welding incorporated use of single sided ceramic backed butt welding techniques. The interior wooden paneling was laser and water-jet cut to ensure absolute identical panels on each yacht.


·         International Paints Ltd filler and primer & Awlgrip - topcoat (Berthon 2004)


Keel & Rudder

·         Steel rudder, skeg & keel fin fabrications- Hercules CSMD of Dartmouth

·         Lead bulb - Iron Brothers Ltd


Engine & Gearboxes:

·         130 hp (96kW) Sabre Perkins M130C 6 cylinder naturally aspirated diesel.


Maintenance & Performance:

·         Cruising Speed – 15kph

·         Maximum Speed – 18kph

·         Range – 6482 kilometres


Propulsion & Steering:

·         3 bladed autoprop (Bruntons Propellers Ltd)

Electrical Systems

Voltage Systems:

·         Switch Panels - Energy Solutions electrical panels with Carling circuit breakers, ammeters and voltmeters.


Battery Banks:

·         6x225amp hours

·         2x80amp windless batteries

·         2x55amp main engine start

·         1x55amp generator start


Battery Chargers:

·         Power Management Systems - Energy Solutions Ltd (Mastervolt battery chargers)



·         Northern Lights M673L 5.5Kw


Shore Power:

·         Shore power with isolation transformers (step up and down) for 110 or 240 volts


Other Electrical:

·         Engine & Generator Exhaust System - Halyard Marine Ltd

·         Inverters - Mastervolt 24v 110v 500w constant and Victron 1800w 240V

·         Gas alarm

·         Heat alarm

·         3x Smoke alarm

·         Forward and aft bilge level detectors

Plumbing Systems

Bilge Pumps:

·         Manual and Electric bilge pump



·         Total capacity 2150ltr.


Fresh water:

·         Total capacity 1775ltr.


The Challenge Fleet was designed to be self-sufficient and have adequate stowage to enable them to stay at sea for up to 55 days in any part of any Ocean with 18 crew aboard. The Challenge races have illustrated the yacht's ability to do this with a surprising degree of comfort, in absolute safety. A multitude of handrails & pillars allows safe movement below decks. The saloon is light, airy and dry with good ventilation, which enables food to be prepared in tropical or Southern Ocean conditions in the galley. The comfortable seating area has fabric upholstery.

The navigation & communication equipment is situated around the full size chart table, facing aft behind the main saloon.

Drying/Oilskin Room With hanging/drying space for a full complement of foul weather gear, watermaker and fuel day tank.

Cabins 18 berths in 5 cabins. (13 sea berths and 18 including saloon)

Berths have very high leecloths for security at sea. A box stowage system enables dry and orderly stowage of clothing and personal belongings.

Saloon - The whole crew can be seated around the saloon table. Stowage areas and cupboards are arranged outboard and below the comfortable seating.

Galley - A gimbaled 5-burner domestic size Calor gas hob is mounted in a custom-made stainless steel housing. Substantial fiddles allow safe preparation of food at sea in virtually any conditions. A separate Calor gas oven is mounted at the forward end of the proper sea going galley along with a microwave.

Deck Equipment

The deck layout was designed to be safe, seaman like, efficient and provide as much protection for the crew as practically possible, even in extreme Southern Ocean conditions. The deck hatches are defended from wave action by plinths. Dorade vents keep the accommodation well ventilated even in extreme conditions. The aft cockpit is particularly comfortable and the bridge deck area ideal for corporate entertaining.

During her circumnavigation, Dee Caffari illustrated that the yachts can be sailed single handed fast, safely and efficiently.

The deck equipment was selected for its efficiency, robustness and ease of maintenance. All the equipment used fully justified its selection and remains in good condition.



·         2 x Harken 24 volt electric winches, 2 x control buttons, 2 x control boxes, 2 x trip switches



·         Hatches & portholes - Lewmar Ltd & Nemo

·         Steering Gear- Edson USA

·         Pulpit, pushpits, stanchions, handrails etc - Hercules CSMD of Dartmouth

·         Blocks, jammers etc - Designed by Roger Scammell, Manufactured by Hercules CSMD

History of Challenge 72 Yachts

12 yachts were built for the 2000/01 BT Global Challenge and all of them successfully completed the 10 month westabout circumnavigation.

During the autumn of 2003 they underwent a series of detailed surveys and inspections. Whist the yachts and all their systems/equipment were found to be in exceptionally good condition, they underwent a major refit. The 12 yachts set off on their second circumnavigation in October 2004 and again all of them successfully completed the 10 month westabout circumnavigation. CHALLENGE BUSINESS 45 achieved first place in the race.

The refit amounted to a virtual rebuild with all the systems and equipment being replaced. This included new plumbing, wiring, generator, batteries, pumps, deck equipment, steering gear, mast, spars, rigging and sails. 


The Challenge 72' Class yachts have proven themselves to be outstanding yachts; they are probably the strongest and most seaworthy fleet ever to have raced around the world.

The yachts have an almost legendary reputation for their performance in difficult conditions, comfort at sea and confidence inspiring ability. Their strength and ability also makes them ideal for high latitudes and gives almost unique access to many places that are inaccessible by other means.

The design lends itself to a wide variety of uses as well as Ocean Racing. The deck layout and accommodation makes the yachts suitable for corporate entertaining, adventure sailing, chartering and private use

The Challenge 72' class yachts quality equipment and sound engineering ensures reliability and low maintenance costs. The frequent and stringent regime of surveys and inspections has illustrated that well built and maintained steel yachts can race around the world at least twice in the worlds toughest yacht race and still remain in Bureau Veritas highest notation.