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Challenge Business 45 – Refit Update

January 30, 2015

In last month blog we had an update from Brian Pogson at Exeter Maritime Service on what they are doing to bring CB 45 back to life, this month we have more updates on the repair work.

It’s all in the Keel…

Brian explains how inspection of the keel confirms damage is localised and Challenge Business 45 is repairable.

When she arrived in Exeter, Challenge Business 45 was lifted out of the water and brought into our workshop with a specially modified catamaran lifting platform to accommodate her huge keel.

Watch Brian describe how one of the first areas of particular interest to the MCA was the joint between the hull and the keel.

“It was clear that there was no movement in the joint, and this confirms that the damage was localised to the impact zone.  Being a steel vessel that makes her fully repairable; she’s not like a composite boat where fractures might splinter through her.  On a steel vessel you can very clearly see where the damage has been done.  We now knew what we had to do to repair her, and who we needed on board to help” stated the owner of EMS.

The Repair Team – Working with the Original Challenge Business Team

Exeter Maritime Services will be working with as many of the original Challenge build team as possible to ensure a good-as-new repair, this includes:

Challenge Business 45

Original Design Engineer
Jim Moore, of Jim Moore Designs, was the original design engineer for the Challenge Fleet.  He took the Rob Humphreys hull shape, the Bureau Veritas approved structures, the Builders (Devonport Yachts) production ideas and translated them into computer files (CNC data) which allow the laser cutting of steel and so produce the complex building kit.

Jim has supplied us with the nested information from the original cutting files for us to cut the new steel parts on our water jet table.

Original Challenge Fleet Rigger
Neil Gledhill was the original Challenge Fleet Rigger and is owner of Hemisphere Rigging Services based in Plymouth.  Neil was responsible for the standing and running rigging, deck gear and systems primarily on the challenge 72 class yacht. This included supporting the race in 2004 / 2005 – won by BG Spirit (Challenge Business 45).

Exeter Maritime Services are collaborating with Mecal, the MCA notifying authority, who are overseeing the repair work and who have been involved with the Challenge yachts from build.  Their role is to ensure that once repaired Challenge Business 45 is restored to MCA Category 0. This coding will give her the ability to sail commercially worldwide with charter guests aboard – the toughest category available and demands rigorous attention to structure and safety.

How badly Damaged is Challenge Business 45?

In the video below Pogson talks through the damage to Challenge Business 45 and explains that most of the damage occurred in a localised area on the port side.  All of the frames took the main impact with very little damage transferred into the lower part of the hull.

Other than the mast, everything else on the vessel is intact and in full working order.

She offers a great opportunity for adventure sailing at the highest level, and at Berthon we are delighted to act as the brokers for her sale. Here are her particulars –

To follow her progress back to good health, follow the CB 45 blog –


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