FPB64 "GREY WOLF" completes epic journey from Auckland to the owner's home berth in Guernsey

Remember Windhorse? The 83ft, aluminium blue water cruiser designed by serial ocean crossers Steve and Linda Dashew?

Well now the little sister to Windhorse has completed an epic journey from Auckland, NZ to her owner’s home berth in Guernsey.

GREY WOLF, or Fast Pilot Boat 64 (FPB64) to use her full name, is a 64ft version of the Windhorse original. With a vastly experienced crew on board, owner Peter Watson has taken her on her own bottom across two mighty oceans back to the Channel Islands.

Along the way, Berthon – European agent for the FPB project – has been sending out apprentices to give them a once in a lifetime taste of life at sea.

The journey took the crew from New Zealand to Tahiti then on to Panama, Antigua and Bermuda before the final stretch across the Atlantic to Horta and finally arrival in Guerney. The 11,000-mile trip was completed in just under three months against the prevailing winds and currents.

The boat is 64ft 9in (3.3m) long and 17ft 7in (5.4m) wide with a full load displacement of around 40 tonnes. She has a single John Deere, which pumps out 236hp at a lazy 2,400rpm.

This fuel-friendly engine, slippery, displacement hull and 11,960-litre fuel capacity mean an 11-knot top speed but, more importantly for this voyage, a staggering 6,400-nautical mile range at 9 knots.

You can read blog updates from the trip on The Long Voyage website.

We are lucky enough to be able to put GREY WOLF to the test in August. After a party in the boat’s honour at Berthon, our technical contributor Dave Marsh will be taking her back from Lymington to Guernsey to get his own slice of life on board. Look out for the feature.

For now, though, hats off to boat and crew for an amazing achievement.

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