A unique piece of maritime history will come to Guernsey when Sir Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth IV takes-up residence in St. Peter Port in September.
The 53’ ketch was owned and run by the Gipsy Moth Trust, which organised sailing and educational events with the vessel to pay for its upkeep and to maintain its record-breaking legacy. But coronavirus restrictions led to the cancellation of its 2020 and 2021 seasons, decimating the Trust’s finances and putting the boat’s future in doubt.
Local businessmen, Peter Tom and Ian Walker, have now acquired the vessel and Trust to carry on its good work. Commenting on the acquisition, Peter Tom said: “This iconic boat and its record-setting commissioning skipper remind us what can be achieved through skill and determination.
“I was happy to help when Ian approached me with the wonderful idea of bringing Gipsy Moth IV to Guernsey as an educational and tourist attraction. We’re working hard to support the growth of St. Peter Port’s maritime economy and take our responsibility as her new custodians seriously.”
The boat will be sailed to Guernsey by Mark Terry, Boatworks’ yard manager. She will undergo a thorough programme of assessment together with maintenance and repairs as needed, demonstrating the yard’s technical expertise and experience with heritage vessels.
Gipsy Moth IV’s new owners will make her available to the Guernsey Sailing Trust for educational activities in addition to participating in the island’s sailing calendar.
Ian Walker said: “Peter and I are both keen on nautical history and sea stories don’t get much better or more compelling than Sir Francis Chichester’s record-setting 1966/7 voyage. We’re very pleased that the Sailing Trust’s young mariners will have the opportunity to sail in Gipsy Moth IV from her new home and benefit from their hands-on experience with history.”