media release

History Repeats Itself

One of the most famous boats in British maritime history is back in the water following an extensive

One of the most famous boats in British maritime history is back in the water following an extensive restoration, which included a significant contribution from Akzo Nobel.

The company’s International Paint business has been heavily involved in rejuvenating Gipsy Moth IV, the craft in which Sir Francis Chichester made history back in the 1960s when he completed the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in a small vessel.

The project—timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Chichester’s record-breaking voyage—has extra significance for International, because the company’s products were also used on the boat in 1966 when it embarked on that historic journey.

“We believe that we have done more than merely help preserve the Gipsy Moth IV,” said International’s UK sales support manager, Boris Webber. “We have also honored the memory of Sir Francis Chichester who is such an inspiration to so many round-the-world sailors of our time.”

For many years, the vessel was kept in a concrete dry dock in Greenwich, London, but having finally been returned to the water following its extensive restoration, Gipsy Moth IV is now being prepared for her second round the world voyage which begins in September—a leisurely 22-month trade winds circumnavigation and her first major voyage since 1967.

“The wish to see such an historical icon of ocean sailing back in the water, the wind filling her sails and circumnavigating the globe—as I'm sure Sir Francis Chichester would have wished—was more than enough cause to commit International Paint to helping with the restoration project,” added Webber.

“On behalf of everyone who was involved, I’d like to congratulate them for their vision and commitment to getting the Gipsy Moth IV back in the water on schedule. We all know what a mammoth task it was.”

Once returned from its epic journey, the boat will be used to encourage a whole new generation of sailors. “We are truly honored to have been a technical partner for the project,” continued Webber, “and I’m sure she will provide future generations with joy and excitement in the years to come.”

(Released: July 12, 2005)