The History of a Thoroughbred Sailing Yacht

Tilda was built in 1983 at the Southern Ocean Shipyard in excess of Lloyds specification and launched with the name Ocean Leda VI. Southern Ocean Shipyard, at the time located in Poole U.K., where presently Sunseeker Superyacht Shipyards are based, built the world's largest series-built yachts, Ocean 80, 75, 71 ('Ocean Spirit' with Sir Robin Knox-Johnson & Leslie Williams won both the Around Britain in 1970 and the Cape to Rio in 1971; 'Issobel' with John Kretschmer in 1991 survived dreadful Force 13 or so called Force Unlucky in Mid-Atlantic; 'Elmo’s Fire' owned by Giovanni Soldini), 62, 60, and the famous Gallant 53 ('Express Crusader' with Dame Naomi James in 1978 set the Round the World record, the first woman to sail single-handed around the world via Cape Horn; 'Huck Finn III' owned by Vittorio Malingri).

Ocean 62 is a luxurious private variant of a hugely successful charter boat, Ocean 60, many seen in the Caribbean. Total built something around thirty Ocean 60 and presumably around twenty Ocean 62. Tilda is a 62-foot well equipped, well sailing, extremely comfortable cruiser in great condition. Completely restored in 2002 at OMI AB in Orust, Sweden to better than new condition and named Tilda, all systems tuned, tested and updated. In 2017, she was extensively refitted in Southampton and received new sails, standing and running rigging. In 2018 and 2019 in Burriananova, Spain she was upgraded with several new items including a bow thruster and solar panels to reach the highest standards.

Ocean Leda was first commissioned in 1983 by a Swiss lawyer. Built as the variant "tall mizzen rig", with electro-hydraulic centreboard, retractable bow thruster, full mahogany saloon and extendable shower room in the aft head; the boat was equipped for Mediterranean use with five air conditioning units and keel cooled refrigerators, among other things. The owner was obsessed with safety, did not want propane but ordered an electric stove instead. Had special emergency ladder from the aft cabin, in case a blocking fire should break out. The boat was moored in Menton and was used essentially as a floating summer cottage. They were careful with protective covers everywhere when the owner was not on board, and the crew often lived ashore so as not to tear the boat unnecessarily.

After the lawyer's death around 1990, the boat was bought by Mr. John Cooke, an Englishman, owner of the Rolls Royce boutique in Ascot, UK. Equipped for charter but this was for tax reasons, no special charter business was ever established. Located in Ireland during a shipyard stay, but otherwise in the Mediterranean.

She was then bought in Mallorca in 1999 by Mr. Lars Brune from Göteborg, Sweden. She was internally in brilliant condition, almost new, but technically and also exterior maintenance was neglected. His plan was to totally renovate the boat in Orust where he lived since 1986, and after some years of fine-tuning sail to the Pacific. The renovation was enormously comprehensive, cost far more than the boat and took two years. The third owner loved comfort so much that he installed a diesel boiler with underfloor heating, thanks to which he achieved a temperature of 20 degrees on board with minus 15 outside. The result was a boat that became new and functionally far, far better than the standard. Family situation changed and the planned long sailing was postponed. Instead, in the summer they sailed in Bohuslän and implemented a number of so-called father-child races, three fathers and seven children, very successful, ideal boat for this. With a new family and the company sold, they finally took off in spring 2006. Captain Karl Beckman was then employed, and the first father-child was sailing in Greece in summer 2006. After six weeks in Greece, they spent a week in Corsica, one week on the Canary Islands and the spring of 2007 they sailed six weeks in the Caribbean. He left the boat in Trinidad in March for hurricane storage on land and equipped the boat to sail in Polynesia in 2008. Captain Beckman was in charge of the refit at Peake Marina for a few months in autumn 2007, where the family joined just in time for Christmas in Aruba. Sailed seven months in the Pacific with his wife and periodically with other family, sometimes supplemented with various friends. In summary, a hugely successful project, the boat worked perfectly and the Pacific was just as amazing. Unfortunately, in October 2008, the owner had a heart attack in Vanuatu, known for speaking hundred and twenty different languages and that the men wear only penis sheath, not quite ideal. Closest help to get there was in Australia.

The boat was cargo-shipped eventually home from Auckland. Because of continuing heart problems, she has only been sailed maximum five days per summer until 2014, when she was acquired by a Swedish lady, Mrs. Kristina Rönn Bergström. Following some sailing in the German channels, the boat was fully equipped for an Atlantic crossing in 2014, where she was supposed to also carry some spare parts for the owner second yacht that was moored in Trinidad and Tobago. Unfortunately, while sailing the English Channel, Mr. Rolf Bergström fell ill and had to be hospitalized in Southampton, the boat left at the Ocean Village and never sailed for the following two years.

In September 2016, I found Tilda, almost abandoned following two years of immobilization, all systems remained winterized and kept in good condition but above deck she was in poor conditions, sails, canvases, covers and rigging were left abandoned. In December, after a full out of water survey, I bought her. Thanks to my experience as sailing instructor and in refitting boats – after the successful refitting in 2005 at Cantieri San Rocco in Italy, of Sarif - the Dufour 12000CT that my father bought in 1979 sailing her from La Rochelle to Sanremo and on which we spent the most beautiful summers of my childhood - and the refitting of Sanma - the Jeannau Fun that I bought in 2015 on Lake Lugano, Switzerland and with which my two sons and I won a few social regattas – I directed the refitting of Tilda at Saxon Wharf, Southampton bringing her to new life, and in 2017 sailed to Mallorca with stopovers in Guernsey, Brest, Lisbon and Cadiz.

Tilda remained in Spain for the following three years and received constant care and attention to tune and update every single system and upgrade several items, such as new solar panels, new battery chargers and a new bow thruster among other things. The highest standard in safety was always taken into account, because the boat was specifically used for Sailing Summer Camps for kids and in 2020, she enrolled in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. The departure was postponed due to the difficulties in traveling caused by the pandemic, and eventually in 2021 she received an out-of-water survey and was made compliant with the World Cruising Club Safety Equipment Requirements. She was ready to participate in the ARC 2021, sailed from Portugal to start line in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and from there to finish line at Rodney Bay on the island of Saint Lucia, West Indies. Along the 3’050 miles trip, which took eighteen days and a half, she only had minor faults, such as two spinnaker poles blocks damaged, freshwater leak from one water tank and sail stitches that went off, in an Atlantic Crossing that will be remembered for heavy seas and difficult conditions that caused major faults on several boats, two yachts abandoned at sea and the loss of one life in a tragic incident. Tilda behaved very well, confirming her sturdy construction and true bluewater capabilities, successfully completing her second Atlantic crossing and the first crossing for me, a dream that came true after sixteen years of planning, preparation and training.
Following eighteen months of unforgettable and exhilarating sailing across the Windward Islands - from Saint Lucia to Tobago Cays, passing by Sain Vincent and concluding in Martinique - in May 2023 Tilda successfully crossed the Atlantic eastbound, from Le Marin to Ponta Delgada, Azores and from Portugal to Spain, eventually landing in Genova where she is currently waiting for her next adventures.

Captain Fabrizio Mancini