Marina welcomes famous Sceptre

UP SHE COMES: Sceptre, the British 1958 America's Cup challenger, currently at Fleetwood Marina for the winter, is lifted out of the water.
UP SHE COMES: Sceptre, the British 1958 America's Cup challenger, currently at Fleetwood Marina for the winter, is lifted out of the water.

ONE of Britain’s most famous yachts is undergoing renovation work in Fleetwood.

Back in 1958, the brand new racing yacht Sceptre made international news when she represented Britain in the America’s Cup.

In the annual two-boat race between Britain and the USA, Sceptre ended up losing out in the duel with American yacht Columbia.

However, when the sailing craft returned to Blighty she was revamped and went on to become one of the most successful racing yachts in the country during the 1960s.

In the 1970s she was converted from a racing craft into a cruiser at Preston docks and is now owned by a syndicate, the Sceptre Preservation Association.

The group sailed the vessel into Fleetwood marina back in November and over the last few months she has been out of the water.

Sceptre, 20ft long, is being re-painted and generally having a cosmetic overhaul.

Jenny Ball, who lives in the Midlands, is a member of Sceptre Preservation, along with her husband Chris.

The group has 18 members, most of whom live in the North West.

She told the Weekly News: “The group is made up of keen sailers who work together to maintain Sceptre and then enjoy going out in her during the sailing season.

“She is a beautiful vessel and there is often a great deal of interest in her.

“Sceptre is also the prize for the National School is Sailing Association, when a group of 17 and 18 year olds who have done well at their sailing clubs go out with her in the summer holidays.

“We always have a trained skipper and two volunteers along with them, and they have a great time.”

Sceptre, built in the yards of Alexander Roberts at Holylock on the Clyde, western Scotland, was brought to Fleetwood from her previous base in Cumbria because of the facilities at the marina.

In May she will ship shape, ready to take part in the prestigious annual Liverpool Boat Show.

For more information about the vessel and the syndicate, visit the website: www.sceptrepreservation.co.uk/.