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MARIFLEX CHALLENGE – The Next Installment

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.


“Teek” deck.

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!


This shows the TBS removed leaving the adhesive to clean off.



We take very detailed templates for new decks whether they are traditionally laid, pre-fabricated decks such as Moody Deck, or in this case FlexiTeek which is a synthetic deck (but you would not know it to look at it!) as specified by the owner. Picture shows the templates and the new deck laid out on the workshop floor.



This shows the adhesive applied to the deck following preparation of the new paint. You can see the new deck ready to roll out and be bonded down.



This picture shows the deck laid and waiting for beading around its edges. As you can see all the features that you would expect on a conventional high quality teak deck – king planks, margin boards and nice rounded snapes – are all found with this FlexiTeek deck. Most people cannot tell the difference between the FlexiTeek and natural teak. More pictures will follow after launch.


Topsides paint.


At the start and looking drab!



Following much filling, preparation and application of gloss coats, she is lifted from our glossing booth to the main shed. Looking sharp!



Unusual shot. She looks a little unhappy, but she told me she likes her new clothes.


Science fiction shot.





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