Alba Explorer

Alba Explorer

Designed to race around the world, our Challenge 72 is fast, strong and easily handled by inexperienced crews.

Alba Explorer was originally built to take part in the BT GLOBAL CHALLENGE – a round the world race yacht designed for the Challenge Business. Billed as the world’s toughest yacht race, this saw crews of 18 ordinary men and women – people from all walks of life, come together as a team to race 29,000 miles around the world against the prevailing winds and currents, including through the notorious Southern Ocean – where winds can reach a ferocious 70 knots.

The 12 strong race fleet of identical Challenge 72-footers were specifically designed to be strong, safe and seaworthy in even the very worst conditions and to be self-sufficient for long periods at sea, with enough fuel and water to take their crews safely to a distant port. Designed by Rob Humphreys, the identical 72-foot steel ocean racing yachts were built by Devonport Yachts in the UK by a new method using a unique flat-pack yacht assembly kit of precision cut laser steel panels.


Fast, strong and relatively easily handled by sail training crews the Challenge 72 was optimised for heavy upwind sailing and is an extremely efficient passage maker. It works as equally well sailing around the sheltered waters of the Clyde, or sailing on expedition voyages further afield to Norway or Iceland.

Yacht specifications;

  • Length overall: 72ft (22m)
  • Length of waterline: 61ft (19m)
  • Air draught: 95ft (29m)
  • Draught full load: 10ft (3.05m)
  • Displacement (half load): 40 tonnes
  • Ballast: 12.5 tonnes
  • Sail area (windward): 2,825ft m² (262.5m²)
  • Sail area (downwind): 4,020ft m² (373m²)
  • Water capacity: 390gal (1,775lt)
  • Fuel capacity: 475gal (2,150lt)
  • Hull: 50A mild steel
  • Deck: Stainless steel
  • 6 Sea Staff
  • 12 crew
  • Home port: Greenock

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Ocean Youth Trust Scotland
Victoria House, 5 East Blackhall Street, Greenock, PA15 1HD
Tel: +44 (0) 1475 722 722

Registered Charity, No. SC029531