12 Metre ENTERPRISE on the Market, Optimized and in Preparation for 2019 Worlds

Designed by Sparkman & Stephens ENTERPRISE was built at Minneford Boat Yard to vie as a defender for the America’s Cup in 1977.   Developed and optimized under the leadership of Lowell North, she sailed as the ‘trial horse’ for FREEDOM in her quest and ultimate success in winning the America’s Cup in 1980.

Following a number of years in Europe, initially as a ‘trial horse’ within Italian and French challenges for the America’s Cup and several years as a ‘cruiser/racer’, ENTERPRISE returned to the US in 2007.

In 2016 a client approached the Sparkman & Stephens office searching for an S&S designed 12 Metre built in the US, with the potential to win.  ENTERPRISE was the perfect ‘fit,’ particularly as according history or folklore: she missed out on being defender of the Americas Cup in 1980 by the ‘flip of a coin.’

The owner handed Sparkman & Stephens a revised brief: “The goal is to win the 2019 12 Metre World Championship to be held off Newport, RI.”

The project commenced in July of 2017.  Following the removal of her ‘cruising interior’, including engine, machinery and plumbing, she was measured in the water as per the 12 Metre Rule.  From there every item of hardware was removed and the hull re-faired and finished.  A thorough examination of her construction was undertaken followed by a laser scan of the hull, interior and appendages. From those scans 3D models were created to facilitate extensive design studies, which included:

  • Weight tracking throughout project
  • Cockpit layout optimization, design and construction
  • Performance analysis of multiple rudder and bustle options
  • Performance analysis of multiple keel and trim tab options
  • Performance analysis of rig and sails by North Sails
  • Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) calculations performed throughout studies to find optimum solutions
  • RANS-based Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of individual components
  • CFD analysis of complete hydrodynamic and aerodynamic package (including new weights, appendages, sail plan and sails   

Following months of reviewing data the decision was made to cast a new keel, build a new rudder and trim tab.  Orders were placed for a new mast, deck hardware package including coffee grinders and hydraulic system.

ENTERPRISE has been a “passion project” for this owner.  An avid yachtsman who has restored three significant yachts in the past decade he was impressed by the history and potential of ENTERPRISE.   Her optimization and refit has been conducted with the same high standards of quality and attention to detail.   After the multi-year restoration of a 1929 ‘classic’ he is enjoying the fruits of that cost and labor racing in Maine with the European Classic Series slated for next year.  Similarly the ongoing refinement and optimization of his Super-Yacht for the 2019 Caribbean Series is seeking attention.  Meanwhile, cruising on his 72’ modern day (1993) classic provides quality time away from the racecourse.   With limited room for another major racing campaign ENTERPRISE is being offered for sale.

Documentation is available reflecting total expenditure of approximately $1.5m.  The asking price of $800K reflects the owners earnest wish to see ENTERPRISE under new stewardship and attain the originally stated goal.  “Win the 2019 World Championship.”


DIMENSIONS   LOA   66’0”     LWL  45’6”     Beam  12’1”


YEAR   1977 / Refit 2018


DESIGNER   S&S 1977 / S&S 2018


BUILDER   Minneford Boat Yard 1977 / NEB 2018



  • Brooks & Gatehouse H5000 racing electronics suite with Grand Prix processor.
  • Depth sounder.  Log Speedometer. Wind Speed and Direction readouts.
  • Repeaters.  Compass.  Plotter.  GPS.  VHF.
  • Plumbing; 1 x Electric bilge pump.  1x Manual bilge pump.
  • Electrical.  1 x  Battery charger



A major component of the optimization was removal of the entire cockpit.  Under a guideline of the updated 12 Metre Class rule Sparkman & Stephens studied and designed a maximum-efficiency cockpit.  

An entirely new winch and hardware package includes:   



  • Primaries x 2: Harken 111 pedestal driven carbon-fiber drums
  • Mainsheet:  Harken 1 x 1111 pedestal driven carbon-fiber drum
  • Running backstays; 2 x Harken 990 pedestal driven-carbon fiber drums
  • Pit winch: 1 x Harken 990 pedestal drive-carbon fiber drums



  • Harken Pro-Trim traveler system 
  • Harken V-block or rope-eye turning blocks and fairleads
  • Harken Big-Boat 32mm genoa car lead system
  • Harken carbon-fiber high-speed wheel for ‘string drops’



  • New Harken hydraulic rams for; head-stay, jib tacks, genoa leads, check-stay, boom-vang, outhaul, cunningham, floating tack and deck ram
  • Pumps for the system include one ‘America’s Cup’ style pedestal powered rotary pump and one each hand operated pump for jib leads, and mainsail trim
  • The head-stay ram is linked to a 10-L pressurized composite fluid reservoir and pressure transducer



Sails Spars Designs was commissioned to build a new International 12 Meter Spar package including; triple spreader mast with jumpers, custom heel plug arrangement for mast step, mast mounted boom-vang and mast mounted mainsheet turning block.



Following results of performance analysis performed by Sparkman & Stephens a new keel was built by I. Broomfield & Son in RI.  Similarly, a newly designed rudder and quadrant has been built by Moore Brothers Composite Solutions in Bristol, RI.


For Details Contact Paul Buttrose  at +1 (954) 294-6962  or  pbuttrose@sparkmanstephens.com


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