The St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta Foundation acquired recently the 47 ft wooden classic Camper & Nicholson Yacht Norvantes. The thoroughbred yacht competed and won awards in many classic and other regattas, represented England in the Admirals cup (as NORYEMA V), won the Newport-Bermuda race and has, for example, beaten Solway Maid, the last Fife ever built.
The previous owner, Johnny "Togoboge" Mc Gowan sailed Norvantes in the first St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta in 2005 and has since been hospitalized several times with Diabetes. Johnny had planned to sail the yacht in many classic regattas but is unable to continue sailing at the moment due to his illness. Through talks with broker No Limits Yachts and the opportunity to receive a purchase loan, a sale was closed on March 9, and the yacht’s ownership has been transferred to the St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Foundation.
The yacht has not been maintained very well over the past years and recently termites have begun to eat away wood panels and even parts of the structure. Other than that, there is quite some damage on the yacht, there are leaks in the hull, instruments and other items have been stolen, the yacht has no engine anymore, the teak deck needs to be replaced, and huge repairs are needed. The aim is to do an extensive restoration and give the yacht a complete refit after a survey. The foundation is actually looking for an owner with a piece of land at the airport boulevard in Simpson Bay close to Juliana International Airport and closely to the main road where the yacht and a container/workshop can be stored.
The St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta Foundation will soon launch a program (together with the Maritime School of the West Indies Foundation) in order to set up shipwright workshops for students under the supervision of qualified instructors, to learn ship restoring, maintaining and building classic boats. Talks and negotiations are already under way with yacht restoration schools from abroad from where some instructors will be attracted to teach in St. Maarten. A German shipwright woodwork specialist arrived on the island in March to oversee the works during the first months. The total restoration project will take at least a year or two.
Among the skills which will be taught to students are:
*Use and maintenance of hand and power tools.
*Essential woodworking skills, structural rebuilds lines taking, fastening, lofting, all aspects of wooden yacht construction.
*Use of all materials in yacht repair and construction.
*Sanding, Varnishing and Painting techniques.
*Cabinet building, joinery and finishing techniques.
*Electrical, Electronics, Water and Pump Systems.
*Engine installation and maintenance.
The foundation will rename the yacht again as NORYEMA V, which was her original name.
The final aim after the complete restoration is to sail the yacht in most of the classic yacht regattas in the Caribbean, the USA, the South of France and all over Europe, with a professional captain and one or two crew members together with some St.Maarten-St.Martin students as regatta crew. The yacht will promote sailing and especially classic yacht sailing while the crew will act as ambassadors to promote the yachting and tourism industry of St.Maarten-St.Martin, as well as St. Eustatius, Saba, St. Barth, and other northern Caribbean Island destinations.
Additional information is available in the web site www.ClassicRegatta.com or by phone at +5995237671 or +590690629955. The St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta is organized by West Indies Events for the St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta Foundation. The next regatta is scheduled for January 17, 18, 19 and 20, 2008.