Captain Interview with Ian Woollcott

SPIRIT OF ROMO yacht for sale

An interview with Captain Ian Woollcott of 25.65m explorer yacht SPIRIT OF ROMO

YPI spoke to Captain Ian Woollcott, the Captain and engineer on 25.65m explorer yacht SPIRIT OF ROMO, currently listed for sale with YPI to find out more about the history of the yacht, her impressive explorer capabilities, and standout features.

Captain Ian Woollcott, Spirit of Romo

It’s fascinating that the yacht started off as a coastal cutter for the Royal Danish Navy. Can you tell us a bit more about the history of the yacht?

Yes, that’s right, SPIRIT OF ROMO spent approximately 30 years in the Royal Danish Navy as a fisheries protection vessel. She was based in Arctic waters in Greenland, before being decommissioned by the navy and bought by an English gentleman who planned to convert her into a private yacht. Sadly, he passed away, so the conversion never happened and SPIRIT OF ROMO was left in Poland for many years. I’d seen the vessel a number of times and always really liked her, she had a lovely shape and I thought she would make a fantastic explorer yacht.

Fast forward a few years, I was working as the Captain of a charter vessel on the West Coast of Scotland. The current Owner of SPIRIT OF ROMO chartered the yacht with his wife and friends for ten days, I got to know him, and he told me he had always dreamt about owning a yacht. However, he didn’t want anything fibre glass, or 'plastic' as he described, he wanted a proper ship! By total chance I had the photos of SPIRIT OF ROMO in her naval condition on my laptop, so I showed them to him, interested to see if this was the type of yacht he was looking for. It was exactly what he was after, in his words SPIRIT OF ROMO was a 'real ship' and the fact she was an ex-warship really appealed to him.

By the end of the trip he had purchased SPIRIT OF ROMO. He had never seen the yacht, but I knew the seller and the vessel quite well, so he ended up buying her. We then travelled to Gdansk in Poland to see the boat. He fell in love with the yacht but soon realised it wasn’t going to be a small project! We then took SPIRIT OF ROMO from Gdansk to a shipyard in the Netherlands to start the refit.

Can you tell us a bit more about the refit and the technical upgrades that took place?

I soon got to know the Owner’s style and quickly learnt he liked everything to be 100% perfect, using only the highest quality materials and equipment. Making the vessel the best she could possibly be was the priority over the budget. The vessel was stripped down until all that was left was the hull. We then started to rebuild her; with a new superstructure, new engine – new everything basically! The total cost of the refit was around four million.

By the time we finished it was wintertime, and in search of some sun we sailed from the Netherlands down to Majorca. Once Spring arrived, we navigated up to Scotland to explore the islands, my stomping ground, and a favourite cruising destination of the Owner. Year on year, we continued to commute between the Mediterranean and Scotland. SPIRIT OF ROMO is a true oceangoing vessel, I typically describe her as a very big little ship!

Spirit of Romo, explorer yacht for sale

“The person who buys SPIRIT OF ROMO should be somebody who is up for an adventure, enjoys discovering new places or who wants to circumnavigate the world. She’s ice class so there are no limitations in terms of cruising areas.”

25.65m explorer yacht SPIRIT OF ROMO for sale with YPI

What’s the story behind the vessel’s name?

All Danish naval vessels are named after Danish islands and Romo is an island off Denmark. Her sistership’s name is SPIRIT OF SAMSO. They were all named “Spirit of” an island.

What type of buyer do you think would be best suited to a yacht like SPIRIT OF ROMO?

Somebody who is up for an adventure, enjoys discovering new places or who wants to circumnavigate the world. She’s ice class so the next Owner has no limitations in terms of cruising areas. She’s definitely not suited to sitting outside Monaco!

Do you have a favourite cruising destination with SPIRIT OF ROMO?

I would say my favourite cruising destination on board SPIRT OF ROMO is the West Coast of Scotland. The yacht is perfectly suited to this area, if it’s warm, we have air conditioning and if it’s cold we have heating. There is everything you need on board to be comfortable in any conditions.

“SPIRIT OF ROMO is a true oceangoing vessel, I like to describe her as a very big little ship!”

What are the yacht’s standout features?

The Veem Gyro Stabiliser is hands down one of my favourite features. It makes life on board so comfortable. It stops the boat rolling when at anchor and you can sit comfortably in much heavier weather. It makes sailing a real pleasure!

Believe it or not, the bridge is one of the most popular places to gather on the yacht. It is perfectly suited for guests, with nice seating and great panoramic views. The spec of the bridge is incredibly high. I was told to put whatever I wanted on the bridge, so I did! She is a little ship with a big ship system, which makes her perfect for anyone that wants to be adventurous and explore the world. She is a MCA rated 0 unrestricted yacht, so she can cruise anywhere.

The aft deck is also popular as it features a roof which can protect you from the elements and still allow you to appreciate the scenery and be outside.

The quality of all fitments on board are amazing. She is a really comfortable yacht for up to six people.

25.65m explorer yacht SPIRIT OF ROMO, the bridge

"We have crossed the Bay of Biscay many times in conditions that would normally be too much for a boat of her length, but she has no problem at all handling the challenging elements."

25.65m explorer yacht SPIRIT OF ROMO for sale with YPI

What sets her apart from other yachts?

Her seakeeping ability is definitely her prize feature. The yacht was designed by the Danish Navy for a reason. She has a very heavy displacement and performs extremely well in heavy weather. We have crossed the Bay of Biscay many times in conditions that would normally be too much for a boat of her length, but she has no problem at all handling the challenging elements. She is also very economical to run fuel wise.

Any fun facts about SPIRIT OF ROMO?

We have two chair lifts on the stairs to the upper and lower deck as the previous Owner was an older gentleman - which is quite quirky! We also used to have a smart car on the foredeck with a large crane, so the Owner always had access to a car if he needed it.

View full information and media gallery for Spirit of Romo

View Spirit of Romo