17 April 2014

Swuzzlebubble - the transformation

Ian Gibbs' original Swuzzlebubble, a Farr designed Half Tonner, was designed and built to contest the 1977 Half Ton Cup, where she represented New Zealand and then went on to form part of New Zealand's winning three-boat team in the 1977 Southern Cross Cup. Later she competed in the 1979 Half Ton Cup, and the history of that period can be seen here.

Swuzzlebubble during the New Zealand Half Ton Cup trials in 1977
As found in Greece, 2012
Swuzzlebubble was found in 2012 by Peter Morton (of Anchor Challenge and Bullit fame) in a very sorry state in Rhodes, Greece. Her hull was largely intact, although the bow was damaged and her keel was in very bad shape and she had been stripped of all gear. Morton has gone about rescuing Swuzzlebubble from what might have otherwise been her final resting place, and is currently refurbishing her so that she can join the strong European Half Ton fleet. As a 'long' Half Tonner and with an impeccable racing pedigree and experienced new owner she is bound to be a serious campaigner on the Half Ton circuit.
Arrival in England - April 2013
Hull fairing and repair of the broken bow section - October 2013
Nearing completion in early April 2014, with new cockpit and deck gear being fitted
Swuzzlebubble outside her shed in the Isle of Wight - 7 April 2014
The new hull graphics are added (9 April 2014), retaining her Kiwi heritage with a black and white theme and use of the same koru design on sistership Gunboat Rangiriri
The keel is fitted mid-April, the latest in IRC thinking and showing a distinctive concavity in the trailing edge
Looking sharp and ready for her new rig
Launched! 18 April 2014
First sail - 22 April 2014, and sporting her original 'KZ-3494' sail number!

These photos documenting the transformation of Swuzzlebubble are courtesy of Peter Morton, and there are more on the Alpha Plus UK site too, and some of the design work can be seen on the BR Yachting Developments blog. For more about the appendage and rig design for Swuzzlebubble, and about the optimisation of former Quarter and Half Tonners, see the comments by Mark Mills here.


  1. Hi Richard, as always cool and valuable information about IOR boats, just love it. It is nice to see that people like to restore, good job Peter Morton Swuzzlebubble looks great.

  2. People who restores always look like magician !
    What a good job :)


  3. What a dashing model it has been turned out after remodeling! Outcome of Swuzzlebubble could be witnessed by anyone from the photos above. It is easy to find second hand sails in the market.