The story of Halloween, Fife’s gem that you can rent too!


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halloweenHappy Halloween sailors! We celebrate it by giving you an idea that, who knows, might make next year’s October 31 unforgettable. That is, renting a splendid 1926 cutter called, indeed, Halloween.

Fife’s jewel that won the Fastnet

Halloween, 24.7 meters long and only 4.42 meters wide (what a line!), was designed by the great master of yacht design William Fife III for Lt. Col. JFN Baxendale, was built to the 15-meter S.I. rule and launched in 1926 just in time to compete in the ORC FastNet. William Fife III once said, “Halloween is the perfect yacht for a gentleman. It is a jewel.” Racing in the second Fastnet Race, Halloween won handily, finishing 10 hours ahead of the second hull. A record that would stand until 1939, when the race course was shortened, exiting through the Needles Channel instead of heading around the east coast of the Isle of Wight.


It was helmed by the king of Norway

Over the years it was transformed into a yawl. As a yawl-rigged Cotton Blossom IV, the boat dominated ocean racing for many years and held important records. After racing in the Mediterranean for a number of years, she returned to the Atlantic under new owner Alfred Larsen, a Norwegian industrialist. She became the official yacht of the Royal Norwegian Racing Club and was helmed numerous times by the future King of Norway, Prince Olaf.

It was then donated to the Classic Boat Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, where it waited a long time before a full refit. After 5 years in Newport, funding ran out and Halloween needed new ownership-it eventually returned to the Mediterranean when Elizabeth Meyer (owner of J-Class Endeavour) helped find a buyer.


Halloween returns to its former glory

Halloween has since had a number of renovations (and owners): the last was completed in 2009 by Fairlie Restorations on the Hamble River, UK, and is now available for charter in the Mediterranean where it competes competitively in the classic regatta circuit that stretches from France to Corsica, Spain and Italy.


Halloween was carefully restored to her original lines at Classic Boat Works in Newport, Rhode Island, from 1988 to 1991. All English oak frames were carefully repaired or replaced, the planking using new bronze fasteners made in the museum. Following some major work in ’94 in France, he underwent a new transformation in ’98/9, appearing now perhaps better than at any time in his long and eventful life.

Renting it is a dream!

This Fife-built cruiser/racer is surely one of the finest yachts on the vintage racing scene and beyond. Halloween is highly recommended for anyone who wants to charter a truly excellent and fast wooden vintage sailboat. It is one of the most elegant Fife ever built and is still winning classic regattas while at the same time being able to cross oceans quickly. With its clever new deck layout, it is capable of being sailed by only two people, and can race with 10 crew, while retaining all its traditional beauty and charm.




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