A WORLD famous yacht, bought for £1 and a gin and tonic and refurbished thanks to a £1 million campaign, has been saved for the nation.
Gipsy Moth IV has been sold for a reported £250,000 to new British owners and will remain in Cowes.
Sir Francis Chichester set the record for the fastest single-handed circumnavigation of the globe in 1966 aboard the 53ft ketch but last month it was destined to be sold overseas after the charity that owns it, UKSA, put it up for sale.
The agreement will ensure she remains available to the public.
Jon Ely, UKSA chief executive, said: "This philanthropic purchase will ensure that the historic craft remains in UK waters and is available to the public and will ensure that she remains in a good seaworthy condition.
"We are delighted that the yacht will remain based in Cowes under our care, and look forward to working with her new owners to ensure she is preserved as a piece of the nation’s marine heritage."
The buyers, who wish to remain anonymous, are keen sailors and live in East Anglia.
UKSA bought the yacht in 2004 and, together with Yachting Monthly
, raised funds through generous donations to save the yacht, restore her and enable crews of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to make a second round the world voyage.