January / February 2022


Sister of the moon

IO OF DARTMOUTH is a Spirit 50CR. There the CR stands for “cruiser/racer,” which is exactly what she
does best. Right—On Day 3 of British Classic Week off the Isle of Wight, IO showed her ability to move in the lightest
of zephyrs.

It’s taken nearly two years, but I’m finally here: on board the Spirit 50CR, IO OF DARTMOUTH. As soon as I saw the yacht at the Southampton Boat Show in September 2019, I wanted to sail on her, but before that could happen, the pandemic struck and wiped out a year of sailing. So, when an opportunity came for me to sail with her at British Classic Week in July 2021, I jumped at it. Stepping aboard the boat at Cowes Yacht Haven on the Isle of Wight, I’m not disappointed: the Lignia decks (more on those later), which glowed brown-yellow at Southampton, have mellowed, and everything feels bedded in and more like a fully functioning boat.

Owner Stuart is clearly delighted with the boat and speaks about it with all the passion of a new convert; IO is his first boat. Living in north London, just two hours’ drive away from Spirit Yachts’ yard in Ipswich, he was able to visit regularly throughout her construction. As a result, he was closely involved in the specifications and the internal layout. He even hung five planks of the strip-planked hull. If the modern wooden boat movement needed a spokesperson, it would be hard to find a more impassioned advocate.

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