Suhaili back into the shed

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to recommission his legendary round the world steed

Monday April 28th 2008, Author: Heather Ewing, Location: United Kingdom
Almost 39 years to the day since she completed her record-breaking voyage in the Sunday Times Golden Goble, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's famous 32ft Bermudian ketch Suhaili will make another, this time by road, from Totnes in Devon to the Elephant Boatyard at Bursledon where she will be laid up ashore to complete a major re-fit.

It was on 22 April 1969 that the unsponsored Knox-Johnston, a Merchant Navy Officer, sailed Suhaili into Falmouth, and into the record books, after 312 days at sea to win the Sunday Times Golden Globe for the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world, the only finisher of nine starters.

Since then he has sailed her extensively, using her for trips to Greenland with Sir Chris Bonington and across the Atlantic to test out renaissance navigation methods, for which he was awarded the Royal Institute of Navigation’s Gold Medal. While Sir Robin was building Mercury Marina, Suhaili was a familiar sight on the Hamble and around the Solent, but more recently she was put on display at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich. However health and safety issues about keeping her planking wetted led Sir Robin to remove her from Greenwich and put her back into commission. Now 45 years old, Suhaili’s original Indian fastenings are rusting away and Sir Robin intends to replace them over the coming months and get the boat sailing again.

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