The Boat

What sort of boat is she?

Princess Arguella is an Oyster 55, a classic Holman and Pye design built in Ipswich (Hull 40). A cutter rig with in- mast furling, all sails can be controlled from the centre cockpit. She sleeps eight in four cabins and is equipped with air conditioning, a water maker and an 85 horse power Perkins M90 engine and a 6 KW generator. 

Why did you buy her?

Because I wanted a bed that I could get into from the side. The Oyster 55 has a master aft cabin with a spacious double bed so that we can get in and out either side without doing boat yoga.

What is her sail plan?

She has two genoas (one new, one old), a furling mainsail and a stay sail. For light down wind sailing we have a cruising chute. For the Atlantic crossing we plan to rig two genoas on the forestay and sail with two down wind head sails.

What upgrades have you made?

New sails from Kemp (genoa, stay sail and main), new bimini and spray hood with side screens, engine top end rebuild, generator fully serviced, new charger inverter installed, new running rigging, chain plates replaced, hull taken back to the gel coat and epoxy coated 5 times, new 55 kilo Rocna anchor, new stainless steel reinforcement of helm pod, AIS transponder and receiver fitted, saloon and cabin lights replaced by LED lights, LED navigation lights installed, auto-pilot serviced, new bespoke holding tank installed, new AGM battery bank and starter battery and more to come!

What are her strengths and weaknesses?

This boat has served as a med boat in the most sheltered part of the Ionian sea for years and although she is perfectly pleasant to motor around the bays on, she is built for ocean sailing. She doesn’t go astern easily and reversing into marina berths with a breeze on her bow is tricky due to her skeg hung rudder and keel. However, she tracks beautifully in any kind of swell and is a true blue water cruising boat, comfortable and secure in all weathers. She is a great live aboard boat, spacious with generous storage lockers, especially the lazarette, the large locker on the stern.

Where do you plan to sail her?

From Corfu to Gibraltar in the summer of 2018, then to head down to the Canaries for the Atlantic Rally Crossing Plus, stopping at Cape Verde before making the long trip across the Atlantic to St Lucia in the Caribbean. After that we have no definite plans but will probably cruise up the Caribbean island chain to head back across the Atlantic to Europe in the summer of 2019.