Devon

Virgin Challenger II for sale after Plymouth restoration

Challenger 2
Image caption Sir Richard Branson returned to the helm of Challenger II in 2013

Record-breaking Challenger II is up for sale - three years after it was rescued from a Majorcan shipyard.

Dan Stevens restored the 72ft (22m) boat at his Plymouth boatyard after he spotted it languishing on the Mediterranean island.

The revamped vessel, used by Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson to set his 1986 Atlantic crossing record, carries an asking price of £725,000.

Mr Stevens said his main concern was finding a "good home".

"I have done my bit and saved it," he said, adding he would make only a "small amount of money" from the sale.

Image copyright Dan Stevens
Image caption The boat was brought back from Majorca for refurbishment
Image copyright Dan Stevens
Image caption It is powered by two 2,000HP diesel engines
Image caption Sir Richard Branson tweeted news of the sale to his followers
Image copyright Virgin
Image caption Sir Richard returned to the restored Challenger II in 2013

Sir Richard, who revisited the restored boat in 2013, tweeted: "My old record-breaking boat, Virgin Atlantic Challenger II is up for sale. Fancy an adventure?"

Challenger II

  • Length: 72ft (22m)
  • Top speed: 45 knots
  • Power: Two 2,000HP MTU diesel engines
  • Cost new: £1.5m
  • Atlantic record: Three days, eight hours and 31 minutes

In a statement on his website, he said: "I love Challenger II not only because it is a beautiful boat, but as it gave us a platform to challenge ourselves, push boundaries and embrace the spirit of adventure.

"I hope whoever buys it is keen for more explorations on the high seas."

Challenger II was sold in the late 1980s, reportedly to a sultan and later to an English owner, and spent about seven years moored in Majorca until Mr Stevens bought her.

Mr Stevens said he had spent about £400,000 restoring the boat after buying it for a "couple of hundred thousand pounds".

He said: "I have put a lot of blood and sweat into doing the refit.

"But it is now time for me to move it on.

"It is not about the money, it's about finding someone who is sensitive about the boat.

"I would like to see it remain in the UK."

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