SPIRIT OF CONRAD was Challenge Business 20 and after her time with the Challenge Business, she spent time sailing the world promoting sustainable energy and the preservation of Antarctica. She was the proto-type challenge 67, overbuilt and heavier than her sisters, she never raced round the world and was only used as a training vessel when with the challenge business.
When I bought that yacht she was in need of TLC and so I brought her to the South Coast and worked with Berthon on the installation of a new engine and generator and many upgrades to her systems. I have since repainted her and she is now looking as she should. I have sailed her many miles and have found her to be a fast and responsive sailing yacht that has coped well with all weather conditions. My sabbatical now completed, I am afraid that I must head back to my office and SPIRIT OF CONRAD must find a new yachtsman for more oceans.
The Challenge 67’ Class yachts were designed for The Challenge Business by David Thomas, 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 (then unique) experience of sailing around the world single handed against the prevailing winds and currents.
Devonport Yachts (DML) were chosen to build the fleet to Bureau Veritas highest notation. The construction method allows relatively simple and cost effective alterations to the interior layout.
Yacht Design and Design Team
Designer: David Thomas
Working Drawings: Thanos Condylis of C & S Yacht Designs
Structural Engineering: Roger Scammell
All the Challenge yachts have been built under Bureau Veritas supervision to their highest yacht notation.
Design Approval: Bureau Veritas
Classification Authority: Bureau Veritas
MCA compliance Surveys & Inspections by: MECAL (Certifying Authority of the Institute of Marine Engineers)
Royal Ocean Racing Club: ORC Cat 0
Hull, Deck & Superstructure Construction:
· The yachts were designed to be exceptionally strong, so that they could face all that the Southern Ocean might throw at them, with absolute confidence.
· The hulls are constructed of high tensile steel shell plating over "T" bar longitudinals and angle ring frames.
· The entire deck and superstructures are of stainless steel in order to reduce maintenance to a minimum.
· The stainless steel fuel, water and sullage tanks are provided with good access for cleaning.
· The International Paint coating systems are the best that current paint technology can provide with the result that on return from the world's toughest yacht race, the yachts looked as if they had returned from a summer cruise.
· Above the waterline the hull and deck are lined with approximately 60 mm of sprayed Polyurethane foam to provide thermal and sound insulation.
· Sandblasting, and new bottom paint (2016).
· New paint on the hull (2016) in Awl grip white.
· New paint on deck (2016).
· Hull Shell Plating & Stringers: British Steel – 50A Steel.
· Hull & Deck Framing: British Steel – 43A Steel.
· Deck, Coamings & Plinths: British Steel – 316 Stainless Steel.
· Change of two small areas of rusted steel on hull (2016).
· Sprayhood (2016).
· Ballast Keel: Cast Iron by Iron Brothers Ltd.
· Keel Bolts: 16 x 30mm Bolts.
· Interior: Marine plywood with Warerite laminate surfaces.
· Interior Trim: Afrormosia and maple bright work in accommodation, Iroko bright work in sailroom.
· Non Slip,nautix deck paint (2016).
· 3 x Water-tight bulkheads to meet new Cat 0 coding. Installed by Berthon in 1999.
· Change of some throughhull fittings (2016).
Keel & Rudder:
- A full depth skeg and ertalite bearings provide support for the steel rudder and good engineering ensures absolute reliability.
- New rudder bearings (2015).
- Removal and replacement of skeg/rudder fixings (2016).
All the mechanical systems are robust with good access to permit easy and efficient maintenance both at sea and in harbour. The equipment was chosen for reliability and long service life.
Engine & Gearboxes:
· 1 x Perkins Sabre Mt135C 200hp 6-cylinder turbo diesel engine (2015), driving the propeller through a PRM 302 gearbox.
· New exhaust system (2015).
· 1 x Bosch fuel pressure pump.
· 1 x Racor fuel filter 900FH.
· 2 x Racor 2nd fuel filters.
· 1 x Jabsco fuel pump.
Propulsion & Steering:
· Steering Gear & Wheels: Whitlock 52’ (refit 2015) and compass.
· 3-Bladed folding max prop; refurbished in 2015.
All the electrical wiring, together with the switch panels and fittings, are of high quality for reliability and safety. The major cable runs are easily accessible with no wiring below the cabin soles. The major systems are all 24 volts.
· Newmar electrical panels with circuit breakers, ammeters and voltmeters.
· Bureau Veritas approved cabling and components.
· Electrical system refitted (2015).
· Service – 12 x 225 amp hours 6v Gel cell golf cart batteries.
· 2x 115Amp 12v starting batteries.(2015)
· Victron battery charger (2015).
· Heart Interface Link 200 battery monitoring system.
· New Onan genset (2015).
· 2 x Mastervolt battery monitors.
· 2 x Mastervolt 24v electric metres.
Fresh Water & Water Heating System:
· 1 x Force 10 electric water heater.
· Idromar 200L/hour watermaker (2016).
· 2 x Manual bilge pumps “whale gusher 30”.
· 2 x Electric pump 24V—6,9amps “Rule general purpose” 3700GPH.
· Total capacity of 1,900 litres (385 gallons).
· Total capacity of 1,100 litres (242 gallons).
Grey/Black Water Holding Tanks:
· Total capacity of 200 litres (more of less).
· 1 x FleetBroadBand inmarsat 250 KVH (2015)
· 1 x Furuno SSB transceiver.
· 1 x Furuno radar.
· 1 x Furuno VHF telephone.
· 1 x EPIRB (McMurdo Smartfind 406 GPS).
· 1 x Furuno GPS/WAAS navigator (GP-32).
· 1 x B&G autopilot; refitted in 2015.
· 1 x B&G Hydra 2000.
· 1 x mariner’s binoculars.
· 4 x Yellow handheld flashlights (Super Peli).
· 1 x Hydraulic cutter.
· 1 x Furuno Inmarsat-C mobile earth station.
· 1 x Furuno ship security alarm system.
· 1 x Brookes and Gatehouse wind indicator.
Note: All B&G instrument boards replaced and working (2014).
Summary of Accommodation:
· The Challenge Fleet vessels were 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.
· 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 fourteen berths are situated in 6 cabins.
· All berths have high leecloths for security at sea and comfort at any angle of heel.
· A box stowage system enables dry and orderly stowage of clothing and personal belongings in each cabin.
· Each cabin has a cowl vent and hatch/skylight.
· The extensive use of Warerite laminates in the interior fit out, ensure light, bright accommodation, which is easy to maintain and keep clean.
· Maple hull liners and Afrormosa trim are highlighted by the white bulkheads and provide a warm comfortable feel to the accommodation.
· Port amidships cabin modified from 3 x berth with pipe cot to double berth cabin.
· Original pipe cot fittings have been retained and could be reinstalled.
Description of Layout:
· The sailroom is situated aft of the collision bulkhead and the full inventory of sails can be stowed here together with all the warps, fenders, sheets and guys.
· A central passageway runs aft from the sailroom to the deckhouse.
Head & Shower Compartments:
· Head/shower compartment is fitted with Jabsco toilet, washbasin and shower.
Note: Heads compartment recently overhauled (required removal of walls and complete heads unit) (2014).
· Mirror image cabins are situated aft of the heads compartments.
· Each has two berths and box stowage racks.
· Each amidships cabin has three berths with box stowage outboard at the forward end.
· The navigation & communication equipment is situated around the full size chart table, as are the Perspex covered switch panels.
· Off watch seating allows good visibility through the deckhouse windows.
· With hanging/drying space for a full complement of foul weather gear.
· 14 berths in 6 cabins.
· All berths have very high leecloths for security at sea.
· A box stowage system enables dry and orderly stowage of clothing and personal belongings.
· Each aft cabin has 2 x berths and stowage.
· The whole crew can be seated around the saloon table.
· Stowage areas and cupboards are arranged outboard and below the comfortable seating.
· Saloon seats recovered (2014).
· Force 10 cooker (2015).
· Top loading box fridge and freezer, Waeco Alder Barbour compressor and condenser.
· Galley revarnished (2014).
· 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; 2 hatches changed in 2015.
· 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 their circumnavigation's both Mike Golding and Sam Brewster illustrated that the yachts can be sailed singlehanded 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.
· Bermudan cutter.
· Mast & Spars (1990): Atlantic Spars Ltd, Brixham, Devon.
· Top of the mast from waterline: 85’3” / 25.98m.
· Rigging Screws & Terminals (2007): Sta-lok Terminals Ltd.
· Standing Rigging (2007): Norseman Gibb Dyform - Stainless steel wire 1*19.
· Running Rigging (2000 & Later): 7*10 Wire halyards with Liros polyester sheets, guys and halyard tails. Liros Dyneema spinnaker halyards, spinnaker guys and reef lines.
· Blocks: Lewmar Marine Ltd & Atlantic Spars Ltd.
· Jammers, Genoa Tracks & Cars: Atlantic Spars Ltd.
· Mainsheet System & Foot-blocks: Lewmar Marine Ltd.
· 2 spinnaker poles and jockey pole.
· Lazy-jacks fitted to boom to assist sail handling.
· Reckman furling gear fitted to staysail and yankee.
· New reefing lines, and new runner lines (2016).
· Genoa furling refitted in 2015.
· New mainsail track (2015).
· Meissner self-tailing winches with stainless steel drums; 2 x 32ST-60, 2 x 34ST-76, 2 x 28ST-47, 2 x 34ST-67, 2 x 36ST-81 & 1 x harken ST-56.
· There are 2 x New Lewmar electric winches onboard – to be fitted (2016).
· Yankee (2015).
· Mainsail (2010) – Fully battened with harken 5000 Batten System, No. 1 Yankee Reckmann furling gear (2004).
· Storm Sail.
· Storm Trysail.
· 2 x A-Spinnaker 1,5oz.
Note: New headsail and foil repaired (2014).
· Including 100% foretriangle: 1,932 sq ft / 179.49 sq m.
· Main: 926 sq ft / 86.01 sq m.
· Genoa: 1,480 sq ft / 137.49 sq m.
· Spinnaker: 3,780 sq ft / 351.17 sq m.
· Companionway Hatch: Goiot.
· Deck Hatches & Port-lights: Lewmar Marine Ltd.
· Pulpit Stanchions & Fabrications: Hercules CSMD.
· Bimini and sprayhood (2015).
· Outboard (8cv) and new dinghy (2016).
Anchoring & Mooring Equipment:
· Maxwell 3500 24v windlass; with chain stop.
· Anchor roller fitted.
· 1 x EPIRB.
· 1 x8 man RDF surviva (new 2010).
· 15 x Life jackets.
Note: All safety equipment serviced and up to date (2014).
· 3 x Badger B5M ABC dry chemical extinguishers.
· 3 x Amerex 2.5 gal foam AB fire extinguishers.
· 2 x Kidde ABC dry chemical extinguishers.
The Challenge Fleet has sailed a combined distance of over two million miles since the proto-type was launched in 1990.
The fourteen strong, BT Global Challenge fleet proved to be extremely reliable with identical performance.
The Challenge 67' 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 accommodation layout could be economically and quickly changed by virtue of the fact that the bulkheads do not penetrate the cabin soles.
The Challenge 67' 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 world’s toughest yacht race and still remain in Bureau Veritas highest notation. The surveys also show that the yachts are in extremely good condition and ready for further Challenges.