Great American IV will compete in the 2016-17 Vendée Globe

Great American IV will compete in the 2016-17 Vendée Globe

US yacht specialist Maine Yacht Center (MYC) has completed a refit of the IMOCA Open 60 Great American IV (ex-Mirabaud), in which Rich Wilson will compete in the 2016-17 Vendée Globe.

Wilson brought the canting-keel race boat to MYC in Portland, Maine, in August 2013 after sailing it across the Atlantic Ocean from France, where he purchased it on behalf of his non-profit educational foundation, Sites Alive.

Designed by Owen Clarke Design of Great Britain, the boat was originally built and launched in 2006 in New Zealand for prominent French solo sailor Dominique Wavre, who sailed the boat in a number of competitions, including the Vendée Globe and the Barcelona World Race.

Refit work

MYC performed the following work to prepare Great American IV for her next challenge:

  • Rig modifications and inspection
  • Removal of canting keel, inspection of keel pivot bearings
  • Keel hydraulics and service; removal of twin asymmetric dagger boards and replacement of bearings
  • Removal of rudders and bearing service
  • Deck hardware modification
  • Construction of an ergonomic chart table, bench seat and custom chair;
  • New electronics and wiring including sailing instrumentation, satellite communication and computers
  • New Lithium Ion battery bank; new charging system to include custom direct drive engine alternator/regulator, hydro-generators and solar
  • New stantions, bow pulpit and pushpits for higher life line configuration; and new race bottom job.


“It’s always a pleasure and privilege to work with Rich Wilson on any project,” commented MYC general manager Brian Harris after the current refit was completed. “He truly is like the Energizer Bunny, has great stamina, and brings intense focus and clarity to anything he puts his mind to.

“MYC has done a marvellous job on a complex and sophisticated refit, and all with diligence and good humour. For a race boat it’s a great place to go,” commented Rich Wilson.

According to Wilson, Brian Harris is the only one in the US who has dealt with Open 60s that race solo around the world. “He’s worked on boats for four such races, including ours in 2008-9, where we finished 9th of 11 finishers of 30 starters. There was a tremendous amount of attrition in that fleet, but the boat prepared by Maine Yacht Center came home safely. That’s why we’ve come back to Brian and Maine Yacht Center for our 2016 Vendée Globe attempt,” he concluded.