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Yachting: Article

The Replica of First America's Cup Winner "Schooner America" To Be Auctioned

A battle of the yachting nations will commence at 16.00 GMT on Wednesday 14 December 2005

YV&C International Yacht Vacations & Charters Magazine reports:

A battle of the yachting nations will commence at 16.00 GMT on Wednesday 14 December 2005 between the USA and the rest of the world as the replica of the first ‘America’s Cup’ winner, America, is auctioned at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London. The yacht's listing guide price is said to be between $2.5 and $3.5 million US dollars.

With the America’s Cup itself now held in Europe’s hands, and with teams pouring millions of dollars into campaigns to win it back, the Americans are keen to gain the psychological advantage of taking possession of the yacht America before the 2007 America’s Cup.

"Oracle's Larry Ellison should buy the yacht and bring it back home," said Fuat Kircaali, publisher of International Yacht Vacations & Charters Magazine. "But, you never know who will own America on the auction day."

“There is no second” was the famous reply made to Queen Victoria in 1851 when she asked ‘Who came second?’ after the original schooner America won the Royal Yacht Squadron’s race around the Isle of Wight, raced for a Cup of One Hundred Sovereigns.

“There is no second” is a phrase that Nicholas Bonham – former Chairman of Bonhams Auctioneers and an international yachtsman who has raced both the 12-Metre and the more modern America’s Cup yachts – is likely to remind bidders, for the replica of the yacht that the America’s Cup took its name from, when he conducts the auction. Only one will win the Lot of course… Auction registration forms are online at

The original yacht was destroyed in 1942 and this ‘original replica’ was built in 1967 by an American yachting enthusiast. Bonham said “She is a breathtaking boat that has been built in the spirit of tradition. Despite her being a replica she is recognized by the yachting world as authentic and her sale will cause an enormous ‘noise’ amongst yachting communities around the world.”

To possess such pedigree is a rare opportunity in itself, but her present owner has also devised plans for a refit and an itinerary including a guest appearance at the 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia (in 2001 at the 150th America’s Cup anniversary in Cowes America was the flagship for the event, loaned to the Royal Yacht Squadron). Nicholas Bonham added “America provides a wonderful hospitality opportunity as she is definitely the ‘best seat in the house’ at future America’s Cups and other international regattas.”

It is appropriate that America is to be auctioned in England, since it was in Cowes that the original crew won the ‘One Hundred Sovereign Cup’ in 1851. She was brought to England to participate in the Great Exhibition (an event intended to show off Great Britain’s superiority as a nation) by an American syndicate that commissioned her building to show the best of America – with instructions from the New York Tribune: “if you do go and are beaten, you had better not return to your country”. By beating fourteen British yachts that day, in front of Queen Victoria (who described her as “pretty”) America not only won the first ever international yachting challenge, she also reaffirmed the emergence of the United States of America as a world power.

The sale of America will enable the Hukka Trust (that owns her), based in New Zealand, to fund philanthropic projects in Africa. These projects include building schools and sponsoring a music project for children in troubled areas of Africa.

        The auction is scheduled for 16.00 GMT on Wednesday 14 December at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, Knightsbridge, London.
        Further America’s Cup information may be obtained from: Further links from
        The schooner America is lying in Barcelona for pre-auction viewings.

America’s current owners planned to refit the yacht as a unique and luxurious hospitality and viewing platform which will be at the centre of the next America’s Cup and other prestigious events during 2007.

The project has been presented to potential investors/partners in Europe and the USA and has attracted considerable interest. A majority of those interested, however, would prefer to own and manage the project themselves. It has therefore been decided to sell America with these plans. The proceeds from the sale will enable the trust that owns the yacht to further its philanthropic projects in Africa.

America is fully seaworthy and has sailed and raced regularly since 1967. Her current owners have owned her since 1997.

She is owned by the Hukka Trust of New Zealand, which supports philanthropic projects for young people, and managed by a Swiss company, Midsummer Shipping SA. America is registered in Bermuda and carries a British flag. She is currently moored in Barcelona.

Whilst still seaworthy, America is due for refitting. Her current owners have put together a plan to refit America as a unique and luxurious hospitality and viewing platform which will be at the centre of the next America’s Cup and other prestigious events during the year 2007.

A full, dry dock condition survey was undertaken on America in 2003 and specialist work has been carried out since under the supervision of a qualified marine engineer. A letter from the surveyor, a summary version of the survey and the full survey are available to registered interested parties.

Drawings have been prepared for the conversion of the boat. A detailed technical specification has been assembled for the refit and conversion. Six leading yacht boatyards have been invited to tender for the conversion and refitting work in accordance with these drawings and specification. All project plans and materials are included in the sale.

Further information can be requested on the designs, technical specification, survey and boatyards and itinerary when people register their interest in bidding.


Year Built: 1967
Designer: George Steers, William Brown and Sparkman & Stephens
Builder: Goudy and Stephen, East Boothbay, Maine, USA
Registered: Hamilton Bermuda
Engine: 325 hp N71 Detroit diesel
Generator: 2 x 20 KVA Northern Lights
Voltage: 24/220 & 110
Radio: VHF & Single Side Band
Navigation: GPS, Radar and B&G Multi read instruments
Construction: Wood: Douglas fir over solid oak frames
Length overall (LOA): 130 feet (39.6 metres)
Length on deck: 105 feet (31.9 metres)
Length waterline (LWL): 91 feet (27.6 metres)
Beam: 23 feet (7.0 metres)
Draught: 12 feet (3.5 metres)
Rig: Gaff Schooner
Sails: North sails
Sail area: 5,587 square feet
Water: 1,700 gallons (6,000 litres)
Fuel: 2,500 gallons (9,000 litres)
Tonnage: 99 gross tons (grt)
Bose Lifestyle stereo system
Air conditioning
Pressurised hot and cold water
Electric heads
Water maker + ice maker
Tender: 15 feet Boston Whaler with 70 hp Yamaha outboard
Long boat: Traditional with sail
Full sun awnings. Teak deck tables, chairs and sun lounges.

More Stories By YV&C News Desk

YV&C News Desk focuses on the finest yachts available for charter worldwide and on international yacht vacations, experiences, and destinations, bringing you first-hand, independent news that is broker-, charter-, and yacht builder- neutral.

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Most Recent Comments
steve pattee 04/12/06 12:29:56 PM EDT

Nice article but the boat you describe and the boat in the picture are not the same vessel. the one in the picture was based out of Key West, recently purchased and relocated to San Diego. I've worked on that boat for the last 2 years and just made the month long delivery to California arriving last Sunday. You should probably get the correct photo!

Roger Marshall 12/09/05 09:05:29 AM EST

Please check your facts before announcing a well known myth. The quote, "there was no second," is attributed to a newspaper reporter who is said to have invented it.
In the around the island race in 1851, America was third until the two yachts in front of her collided. When the 200 ton sailing yacht America finished the race, the much smaller 60 ton yacht Aurora was a mere 8 minutes astern and would have beaten America by a country mile had any handicapping system been used. There are several references available, most notably Ian Dear's book The America's Cup that presents the correct facts.

YV&C News Desk 11/29/05 06:04:42 PM EST

The Replica of First America's Cup Winner "Schooner America" To Be Auctioned 'There is no second' was the famous reply made to Queen Victoria in 1851 when she asked 'Who came second?' after the original schooner America won the Royal Yacht Squadron's race around the Isle of Wight, raced for a Cup of One Hundred Sovereigns.