280,000 nautical miles, one Autoprop

When Sir Chay Blyth and Andrew Roberts conceived the idea of a round the world race against the winds and currents for amateurs in the late 80's both of them would never have believed that their brain child's of boats would go on for a quarter of a century. In actual fact they first thought that these boats would only do one race.

25 years on the Challenge 67’s have not only survived in many different corners of the world, but have continued to do amazing things out in the oceans.

Xplore was the 11th boat built for the first race in 1991 called the British Steel Race, sponsored by the same said company they provided the best available materials to build strong and safe boats for what would be called the “World’s toughest yacht race”.

Andrew Roberts, project director also insisted that the boats had the best equipment on board in every other way to ensure that this was going to be a safe and reliable vessel to take its crew of 14 around the globe.

Xplore, boat number 11 has now travelled just over 280,000 logged nautical miles, 2 race circumnavigations, adventure sail training, Atlantic rowing race support boat for many years, and then customised for Polar expeditions in 2007.

Xplore with its current owner has visited Antarctica 14 times, sail around Cape Horn countless times and has done so many interesting expeditions that a magazine is not large enough to quote all the stories.

The success of these boats can be put down to many things, but Andrew Roberts choice of the “Best” equipment means that the majority of the parts first installed on board are still going strong. Parts like the Bruntons Autoprop propeller have faultlessly sailed and motored around the globe effectively through 9 circumnavigations, with a total of 13,332 engine hours in its life so far, the question is how long can it continue?

By request from Bruntons, we have given the original H9 Autoprop propeller back to them as a historical presentation piece to show clients just how good the engineering and design has performed. We have of course installed a new Bruntons Autoprop propeller and know that we will continue taking this new brother to many more amazing places.

Well done Andrew and the Challenge Business, and a fantastic performance from Bruntons.

Stephen Wilkins

Xplore Expeditions