William Fife ALTAIR

William Fife “Altair” Specifications:

LOA: 133′ 10″ / 40.79m
LOD: 108′ 4″ / 33.02m
LWL: 77′ 9″ / 23.71m
Beam: 20′ 4″ / 6.20m
Draft: 13′ 11″ / 4.25m
Original Rig: Gaff-Schooner
Hull Number: 789
Construction: Wood
Designer: William Fife
Original Owner: Captain Guy H. MacCaw
Built: 1931
Year Refit: 1985-87 Southhampton Yacht Services
Built By: William Fife & Son
Current Name: Altair
Current Owner:
Sail Number:


Captain Guy H. MacCaw had Altair designed for prolonged ocean cruising to the South Seas Islands and beyond, but his ambitious plans lasted only two years and the yacht was sold.

From 1933 Altair spent the following five years cruising and racing in British waters with her new owner Sir William Verdon Smith.

During the war years Altair was used by the British Admiralty.

Altair’s post war years were enjoyed by Miguel Sans Mora, who owned her for 34 years. Mora lavished Altair with the up-most care, keeping her in original form and preserving her.


1985-87 Southhampton Yacht Services – The restoration kept faithful to the original design. Her rig had been restored to her original height by scarfing new lengths on to the original spars. The sails were even dyed to resemble Egyptian cotton.

The refit and launch of sailing yacht Altair, Pendennis 1995.



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