July 29, 2013
MARIFLEX CHALLENGE started out life as COURTAULDS INTERNATIONAL skippered by Borris Webber in the 1996/97 Global Challenge. She is the very last built of a fleet of 67ft identical steel yachts, built to sail against the prevailing winds and currents and compete in what was known as “The World’s Toughest Yacht Race”. Unlike many of her sisters she has circumnavigated the globe only once and being the baby of the sisterhood, she is a very special yacht.
There is no doubting her pedigree, but she was not quite suited internally for the current owner’s requirements as private yacht, corporate charter and sail training vessel. These requirements are somewhat contradictory and posed a problem for project manager Keith Harris, in terms of an internal finish and layout, that would give a degree of luxury for the owner’s use, and yet still be able to take the wear and tear and accommodate the numbers of crew whilst sail training.
The outside of the yacht now benefits from a full re-spray of topsides, superstructure, mast and spars. Oyster white was chosen throughout rather than a stark white, as it compliments the new Teek deck (yes it is spelt this way, see following) and has more of a traditional look about it.
She launches soon and is being made ready for owner trials in mid August.
The original non-slip deck on the Challenge yachts was TBS. It proved to be very durable for her work with the Challenge business, but was not ideally suited to her new role. The brown stains show where the TBS covering has detached and the water has been lying beneath it. Challenge yacht decks are stainless steel, taken from the stocks of the original British Steel sponsor, with filler above, so no rust problems here!
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