A 44-Metre Fast Cruising Sloop
Salperton III (the predecessor to Salperton IV) is a megayacht built for Barry Houghton of the United Kingdom. In his youth, Houghton grew into sailing in a typical fashion, working on all types of boats in the Mediterranean area.
Houghton purchased his first yacht, a 37 m (122 ft) sailboat. He named it Salperton after an English estate near Oxford that was owned by the Houghton family.
This estate is registered in the Domesday Book of 1086, a land survey commissioned by William the Conqueror that recorded English property ownership. Today, Houghton devotes his time to building boats, luxury ski lodges in Switzerland and developing commercial properties throughout Europe.
Houghton's second Salperton was a 53 m (174 ft) ketch built by Alloy Yachts. He owned this boat for 2 and a half years. Houghton designed much of the interior himself, having very clear ideas on the classic look he wanted and the elegant style that best suited a ketch. However, he found the boat was too large for the flexibility and manageability that comes with a smaller boat.
For Salperton III, Houghton returned to Dubois Naval Architects Ltd. The design process began in June of 2004, with construction starting on the 44 m (144 ft) sloop at Fitzroy Yachts Ltd. a year later. The New Zealand-based company has an international reputation as a builder of quality megayachts in aluminum and steel. Adam Lay Studio Limited was selected as the interior designer for this family cruiser.
Houghton clearly learned a thing or two from his earlier boats and unapologetically explained why he wanted a sloop, "To sail better. Ketches are nice, but they don't sail that well." Another necessity was a comfortable pilot house that transitioned between the lower saloon and cockpit. This was achieved in part by four glass panels that serve either as sliding doors, or lock together and hinge outward to provide more open space. Houghton's desire to use the boat for cruising with friends and family also dictated four generous guest cabins, all with en suites.
Sacrificing speed, pointing ability and comfort were not options with this third rendition of Salperton. The sleek lines, long waterline and carbon fibre daggerboard all contribute to its outstanding performance. Salperton also boasts the largest sail area-to-waterline ratio of any superyacht built at the time. During sea trials, the crew of six encountered 60-knot headwinds and 12 m (39 ft) seas. How did the boat take it? "Just as she was designed to do," said Houghton.
Whether wintering in the Caribbean or sailing in the Mediterranean, Hougton wants his friends and family to have the luxury of a contemporary home along with the performance of an elegant race boat. Salperton exceeds these goals in style.