Powerboat lovers have been given a chance to own a piece of transatlantic history, as Virgin Atlantic Challenger II has been put up for sale
Engine bay tweaks
The original F1-style bladder tanks, which nearly failed during the transatlantic voyage, have been removed and replaced with four new aluminium and epoxy resin-lined fuel tanks, giving Virgin Atlantic Challenger II a fuel capacity of 13-tonnes.
The original twin 2,000hp MTU V12 turbo-diesel engines have also been rebuilt. All the mechanical parts and primary systems are still in place, but have been stripped down and rebuilt, piece-by-piece.
And even though she is nearing her 28th birthday, Virgin Atlantic Challenger II still has fewer than 1,000 engine hours on the clock.
What’s more, she can still hit 45 knots, as Dan proved last summer with a day-trip to Fowey with Sir Richard and the original crew on board (see video below).
“It’s a phenomenal boat, and a phenomenal ride,” Dan told MBY. “There’s 132Db of noise in the engine room and you still have to wear ear defenders in the saloon.”
As you might expect from a transatlantic record breaker, the interior of Virgin Atlantic Challenger II is a little Spartan by today’s luxury cruiser standards.
The bucket seats have been refurbished in red leather, new carpet has been laid on the main deck, and there’s potential for a lot more.
“We’re willing to do any modifications required, there’s a vast amount of space, but I personally didn’t want to change too much,” Dan adds.
Despite only recent going on sale, Virgin Atlantic Challenger II has already attracted plenty of interest from Chinese businessmen and Arab Sheikhs alike, so where will she end up next?
“It would be a good boat for the Thames or the Med. She could do the London-Monte Carlo race quite comfortably,” Dan continues. “It’s a one-off craft that can still achieve what it did in 1986.”
Private viewings are available, but fender kickers need not apply. “We’re asking for a 10% deposit before we’ll even open the hatch,” Brian adds.
And if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to £725,000, then you might want to consider chartering Virgin Atlantic Challenger II, which is a relative snip at £2,500 per hour.
Failing that, to hear those twin 2,000hp MTUs roar into life once again, click on the video below:
Now that’s what we call a blast from the past!