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Broker’s Comments

A useful bluewater yacht – boasting lots of kit. SCORPIO has been run by a husband wife team for the last twelve years, sailing and chartering throughout the Caribbean. Being their home and a business the yacht has enjoyed a very high level of continuous maintenance and upgrade as a read through of the particulars will amply demonstrate. The yacht would be ideal for a couple to take on and continue to run SCORPIO as a charter yacht but she would equally make a well-equipped bluewater cruiser for a couple or family. Making her way back the UK late spring/early summer 2020, her itinerary details are available on request.

Owner’s Comments

SCORPIO is a comfortable fast cruising yacht with a modern design yet sturdy construction. Built in 1996 at Fred Schutz Yard in Cape Town, SA & designed by Phil Southwell, SCORPIO is a bespoke yacht with unique features and (I believe) one of only 5 Sovereign 51 yachts (all having slightly differing designs). There is no doubt that SCORPIO is a beautiful yacht, we often get comments from fellow boaters to this effect. My wife & I have lived (full time), cruised & worked aboard SCORPIO for 13 years and have sailed many thousands of miles in her – I may be biased but SCORPIO is the nearest thing to my ideal yacht I can imagine.

It is understood that her original owner, having commissioned the build for a circumnavigation, only sailed her in South Africa waters. She was then purchased by a British sailor specifically to compete in a major ocean race; SCORPIO completed the Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro Trans-Atlantic Race and was then sailed to Britain via the Caribbean. We purchased SCORPIO in 2006 and, after a major refit, sailed her across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. After completing a circumnavigation of the Caribbean the next year she has since been employed as a fully crewed (by my wife & I ), term charter yacht operating throughout the Lesser Antilles for the last 12 years, as far north as the BVI and south as Grenada. As a highly successful bespoke charter yacht she has been maintained regardless of cost.

She is fibreglass built with conventional solid layup hull and closed cell foam sandwiched decks with an fully encapsulated lead long{ish) fin keel with a slight bulb at its base. This design allows the yacht to carry a large rig but with a relatively shallow draft for easy of cruising, she is a stiff sailor and very dry (I have never had the toe-rails awash in all my years of sailing her). SCORPIO is RCD Category A (Ocean) certificated by CEproof Ltd. Though showing no shows of osmosis, all the underwater hull was stripped & epoxy coated in 2015.

Although cutter rigged she is not sailed as such but now carries a relatively small 110% genoa furled on the forestay and a staysail furled on the inner forestay, she also carries a large fully battened mainsail. This rig allows easy, fast sailing (I often sail singlehanded) which can be quickly and easily adapted to suit conditions. The mainsail is stowed in a stack pack for easy of handling and is slab reefed using a single line system (except the third reef, which has conventional 2 line slab reefing). All control lines are lead aft to the main cockpit (with the exception of the staysail & spinnakers halyards & the luff downhaul for the 3rd mainsail reef. The winches are all oversized and make line handling easy (even for an old man like me!).

Mechanical propulsion is provided by a 60hp Volvo Penta MD22A 4 cylinder, normally aspirated, diesel engine (actually a Perkins Prima 60 marketed by Volvo Penta) driving a Volvo Penta 130S saildrive gearbox fitted a 3 blade, stainless steel, Seastream feathering prop. Being saildrive driven the yacht is relatively quiet when under engine. The engine, though original has been maintained to the highest standard and is in excellent condition – a full top end overhaul was completed in 2015 by an authorised Volvo Penta agent. The Volvo 130S saildrive gearbox was newly fitted in 2016 (an upgraded from the original 120SE unit). The Seastream feathering prop (also fitted new 2017) was chosen for its outstanding specifications & performs very well in forward and reverse drive. The engine is normally aspirated and therefore very economical, however a cruising speed of 5.5-6kn can easily be maintained at c2,500rpm and a maximum speed in excess of 7.5kn is readily achievable.

SCORPIO has a centre cockpit deck layout with raised coachroof over the deck saloon, this cockpit is fitted with a Sunbrella spray-hood (dodger) & is shaded by a large Sunbrella bimini (both replaced 2017). Not being encumbered by a binnacle & steering wheel (the major drawback of most centre cockpit boats) makes SCORPIO’s main cockpit spacious & comfortable, there is a solid wood drop leaf table in the cockpit. Aft of the main centre cockpit is a separate helmsman’s cockpit housing the binnacle & steering wheel and aft of this is a spacious aft deck area leading to a very low transom giving very easy access to the water or for boarding from a dinghy. With wide side decks and spacious foredeck coated with KiwiGrip deck paint moving about the deck is safe & easy. The guard-rails are fitted with 3 life-lines (instead of the normal two) for addition comfort & security, with access gates amidships. At the bow, aft of the anchor chain locker (which also houses the propane tank in a separate, drained, locker) is a separate & spacious sail store accessed only via a deck hatch – this is used to store mooring lines, fenders, misc items and (currently) scuba diving gear. Being separate from the main accommodation, the sail locker has its own manual bilge pump. At the stern, the lazarette is also completely separate from main accommodation and can only be accessed via hatches on the aft deck, besides housing the rudder quadrant and autopilot ram as well as the electrically driven dive compressor, it is used for miscellaneous storage. The lazarette has its own manual bilge pump. The deck areas in both cockpits and over the aft decks is teak covered (renewed 2015). A bathing shower (hot & cold) is fitted on the aft deck and there is a swim ladder mounted on the transom. The pushpit (aft pulpit) is designed with integral teak covered seating.

Two aluminium instrument masts are mounted over the transom carrying radar dome, wind generator& various aerials. These also provide support for the bespoke dinghy davit system on SCORPIO.

All tankage, diesel, fresh water & black water is stainless steel & located under the saloon sole directly above the keel.


Yacht Details

  1. Builder: Scholtz Marine (Cape Town SA)
  2. Model: Sovereign 51
  3. Name: SCORPIO
  4. Hull Designer: Phil Southwell
  5. Year Built: 1996
  6. LOA: 51’ / 15.54m
  7. LWL: 43’6” / 13.26m
  8. Beam: 14’8” / 4.47m
  9. Min / Max Draft: 6’2” / 1.88m
  10. Displacement: 14,424kg / 31,800lb
  11. Ballast Weight: 5,588kg / 12,320lb
  12. Accommodation: 5 berths in 3 cabin(s) / 2 head/WC(s)
  13. Engine: 1 Volvo Penta MD22A (60hp) Diesel
  14. Location: Trinidad
  15. Price: £150,000, + VAT

Contact Details

alan-mcilroy-2019, Berthon Brokerage

Alan McIlroy
Berthon Yacht Sales
Tel: +44(0)1590 679222


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