Restoration 2015 – 2019
Need for Maintenance
Navigating the vast marine expanse, engaging in oceanic races and explorative cruising, exerts tremendous pressure on a yacht’s structure and leads to substantial wear and tear. Stormvogel, having traversed several hundred thousand nautical miles, has encountered many trials over the course of time. The vessel’s groundbreaking lightweight wooden hull structure and contemporary maritime equipment have undergone thorough scrutiny. During the early years, the rudder was repositioned towards the stern, while in 1967, a bowsprit was added to augment the sail area. In the 1970s, a collision with a whale resulted in damage to the starboard bow planking. Despite these incidents, Stormvogel has undergone regular maintenance regimes to ensure her seaworthiness and continued active sailing throughout her lifetime.
History of Refits
The first major refit took place in 1965 in Auckland after sailing 160,000 nautical miles. The work included installing a new Perkins diesel engine, rustproofing the internal fresh water keel tanks, adding new navigation instruments, and making rudder modifications. In 1982, new plywood decks were installed in Antibes, and a refit was undertaken to prepare the yacht for Atlantic crossings and Caribbean charters. In 1986, after crossing the Pacific, the mizzen mast step was replaced in Sydney. In 1991, during a refit in Singapore, a significant rebuild was undertaken in the area of the main mast structure. This involved installing a new main mast step, treating the freshwater keel tanks with ceramic paint, installing all new systems including a new Yanmar diesel engine and genset. The bowsprit, added in 1967, was removed to restore Stormvogel to its original lines. Over nineteen years in Southeast Asia, several refits and upgrades took place, with another major refit in Phuket in 2005 in preparation for an Indian Ocean crossing and an active sailing schedule in the Western Mediterranean. Throughout all these years, the interior layout and joinery of Stormvogel remained mostly original.
By October 2014, Stormvogel was in Turkey and required further structural work. The boat was hauled out in Finike and the rebuilding process began from the bow sections back to the main mast bulkhead. As the work progressed, it became necessary to rebuild a significant portion of the bow structure, including the stem head, frames, and forward planking. By 2016, the decision was made to remove all the interior joinery and systems to ensure the hull structure was in sound condition. The focus was on maintaining the originality of the structure as Stormvogel was now a classic yacht. After completing the structural rebuild, the diesel engine was temporarily reinstalled, and the original Sparlight alloy rig was lashed to the deck. This allowed Stormvogel to be motored along the coast the 200 nautical miles to Bodrum for the fit-out.
On 18th May 2017, Stormvogel arrived at Metur Yachts in Bodrum for the next phase of what had now become a full rebuild. GL Watson was engaged to design the interior plans while preserving the original layout and joinery style. A single log of swietenia mahogany was selected for the interior. Van de Stadt designed a new rudder, and work began on the interior fit-out, installing all new systems, new deck equipment, and a new alloy ketch rig by Hall Spars maintaining the original ketch rig plan. Despite some delays due to COVID-19, Stormvogel was ready to be relaunched on 5th June 2020.
In May 2021, Stormvogel sailed from Bodrum, Turkey to Valencia, Spain, for final commissioning. To celebrate Stormvogel’s 60th anniversary, the decision was made to participate in the 2021 RORC Rolex Fastnet race showcasing its remarkable sailing prowess and timeless charm. During the delivery passage to the U.K. entering the Atlantic, west of the Straits of Gibraltar, Stormvogel demonstrated its impressive potential, reaching a hull speed of 22 knots.
As Stormvogel continues to make its mark on the sailing world, its remarkable legacy thrives.