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  • Gunfleet 58

The Gunfleet 58 Sailboat Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Gunfleet 58 is a luxurious bluewater cruising sailboat designed by Tony Castro and built by Windboats Marine since 2013. It is a light, fast and stable boat that offers comfort, performance and elegance. 

'Andiamo', a Solent-rigged Gunfleet 58 Sloop at anchor in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua

Published Specification for the Gunfleet 58

  • Underwater Configuration:  Bulb keel with centreboard & twin spade rudders
  • Hull Material:  GRP (Fibreglass)
  • Length Overall:  59'10" (18.3m)
  • Waterline Length:  53'8" (16.4m)
  • Beam:  17'1" (5.2m)
  • Draft:  11'10" (3.6m) centreboard down,  5'9" (1.7m) centreboard up
  • Rig Type:  Masthead Sloop with Solent Rig
  • Displacement:  68,343lb (31,000kg)
  • Designer:  Tony Castro
  • Builder:  Windboats Marine (UK)
  • Year First Built:  2013

A Few FAQs about the Gunfleet 58...

What are the published design ratios for the Gunfleet 58 and, based on those ratios, how is the boat likely to perform under sail?

According to Sailboat Lab , the Gunfleet 58 has the following design ratios:

  • Displacement/Length ratio (D/L): 140 -  This is a moderate value that indicates a good balance between speed and comfort.
  • Sail Area/Displacement ratio (SA/D): 23 - This is a high value that indicates a powerful sail plan that can drive the boat well in light winds.
  • Ballast/Displacement ratio (B/D): 31% - This is a high value that indicates a high stability and stiffness of the boat.
  • Capsize Screening Formula (CSF): 1.7 - This is a low value that indicates a low risk of capsize in heavy weather.

Based on these ratios, the Gunfleet 58 is likely to perform well under sail, especially in light to moderate conditions. It is also likely to be safe and seaworthy in rough seas.

Is the Gunfleet 58 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

Yes, the Gunfleet 58 is still in production as of September 2023. According to YachtWorld, there are currently three new Gunfleet 58 boats for sale, with prices ranging from £1,495,000 to £1,695,000. The exact number of Gunfleet 58 boats built is not publicly available, but it is estimated to be around 10 to 15.

What, if any, alternative versions of the Gunfleet 58 were built and what are the differences between them?

There are no alternative versions of the Gunfleet 58. The boat has a standard layout and specification that can be customized according to the owner's preferences. Some of the options include:

  • A shoal draft keel (1.75m) or a deep draft keel (3.6m);
  • A cutter rig or a sloop rig;
  • A self-tacking jib or an overlapping genoa;
  • A fixed or retractable bow thruster;
  • A fixed or folding propeller;
  • A teak or synthetic deck;
  • A hardtop or a bimini;
  • A variety of interior finishes and fabrics.

How many people can sleep on board a Gunfleet 58?

The Gunfleet 58 can sleep up to eight people in four cabins. The standard layout includes:

  • A master cabin forward with an island double bed, an en-suite bathroom and a dressing table;
  • A VIP cabin aft with an island double bed and an en-suite bathroom
  • Two guest cabins amidships with twin single beds and a shared bathroom;
  • The saloon can also be converted into an extra double berth if needed.

How did the sailing press review the Gunfleet 58?

The sailing press gave positive reviews to the Gunfleet 58, praising its design, performance, comfort and quality. Here are some excerpts from different sources:

  • "The Gunfleet 58 is one of those rare boats that combines head-turning looks with serious offshore credentials." Boats.com
  • "The new flagship from this British builder offers luxury cruising with performance potential." Cruising Compass
  • "The Gunfleet 58 is an impressive yacht that delivers on all fronts – speed, comfort, quality and style." Sailing Today

What do owners of the Gunfleet 58 have to say about their boats?

Owners of the Gunfleet 58 are generally very happy with their boats and enjoy sailing them around the world. Here are some quotes from different owners:

  • "She is a fantastic sailing vessel! I am extremely satisfied with her sailing abilities. She is very, very, very fast on all points of sail." Burkhard K., owner of GUNFLEET
  • "She sails like a dream – fast, responsive and comfortable. She handles well in all conditions and has plenty of space for our family and friends." John S

What is the history of the builders of the Gunfleet 58 and is the company still in business?

The builders of the Gunfleet 58 are Windboats Marine, a British company based in Wroxham, Norfolk. Windboats Marine was founded in 1920 and has a long tradition of building high-quality yachts and motorboats. The company is still in business and has a range of models from 43 to 74 feet. The Gunfleet brand was launched in 2010 and is named after a sandbank off the coast of Essex, where the company's founder used to sail.

Is the mast on the Gunfleet 58 deck-stepped or keel-stepped?

The mast on the Gunfleet 58 is keel-stepped.

What sailplan and rig options, if any, are available for the Gunfleet 58?

The Gunfleet 58 has a standard sailplan and rig that consists of:

  • A mainsail with three reefs and lazy jacks;
  • A self-tacking jib with a furling system;
  • A cutter stay with a furling system for a staysail or a storm jib;
  • A bowsprit with a furling system for a gennaker or a code zero;

The boat can also be rigged as a sloop, with an overlapping genoa instead of a self-tacking jib.

What keel options, if any, are available for the Gunfleet 58?

The Gunfleet 58 has two keel options:

  • A shoal draft keel that has a depth of 1.75m and a weight of 10,500kg;
  • A deep draft keel that has a depth of 3.6m and a weight of 9,500kg;

The shoal draft keel allows the boat to access shallow waters and anchorages, while the deep draft keel improves upwind performance and stability. Both keels are made of cast iron with lead bulbs and have hydrodynamic profiles.

What is the average asking price of a secondhand Gunfleet 58?

According to YachtWorld , there are currently two used Gunfleet 58 boats for sale, with prices ranging from £1,250,000 to £1,350,000. The average asking price is £1,300,000. The price may vary depending on the condition, age, equipment and location of the boat.

How does the Gunfleet 58 compare to other similar sailboats in its class?

The Gunfleet 58 is comparable to other luxury bluewater cruising sailboats in its class, such as:

  • The Oyster 565, which has a similar length, displacement and sail area, but a slightly lower price (£1,200,000) and a different layout (three cabins instead of four);
  • The Discovery 55 Mk II, which has a similar length, displacement and price (£1,300,000), but a smaller sail area and a different layout (two cabins instead of four);
  • The Hallberg-Rassy 57, which has a similar length, displacement and price (£1,300,000), but a larger sail area and a different layout (three cabins instead of four);

The Gunfleet 58 stands out for its lightness, speed, comfort and elegance. It is also one of the few boats in its class that offers a self-tacking jib and a cutter rig as standard features.

What other sailboats have been created by the designer of the Gunfleet 58?

The designer of the Gunfleet 58 is Tony Castro, a renowned naval architect who has created many successful sailboats for various brands. Some of his other creations include:

  • The Southerly range of swing keel yachts;
  • The X-Yachts range of performance cruisers;
  • The Grand Soleil range of Italian cruisers;
  • The Moody range of deck saloon yachts;
  • The Elan range of Slovenian cruisers;

Tony Castro has also designed racing yachts for several America's Cup campaigns and round-the-world races. He is known for his innovative and versatile designs that combine performance, comfort and style.

The above answers were drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge,  we believe them to be accurate.

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  • Sailboat Guide

Gunfleet 58

Gunfleet 58 is a 59 ′ 10 ″ / 18.3 m monohull sailboat designed by Tony Castro and built by Windboats Marine and Gunfleet Marine starting in 2013.

Drawing of Gunfleet 58

Rig and Sails

Auxilary power, accomodations, calculations.

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio .311 Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64) 2/3

  • SA : Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D : Displacement in pounds.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Ballast / Displacement * 100

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam 1.33 )

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

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no-frills-sailing.com

The Gunfleet 58 from an owner´s perspective

  • April 17th, 2018

There are not too many brands out there which can be labelled as manufacturing “luxurious blue water sailing yachts”. Of course, there is one name that jumps into our minds at an instant: Oyster Yachts. After more than 30 years of focusing on making arguably most impressive oceangoing vessels, this brand is indisputable the epitome of this class of sailing yacht. Indisputable but not uncontested: With its founder Richard Matthews selling and leaving the company in 2008 there soon appeared another brand on the market under his leadership. Gunfleet Marine.

gunfleet 58 yacht

Gunfleet Yachts, as it is said in their own mission statement, wants to take the concept of luxurious true blue water cruising to a whole new level. The Gunfleet 43 and 58 are quite successful in a market hard-fought by brands like Oyster, Contest, Discovery and all the others. I´ve talked to a German owner of a Gunfleet 58, current flagship of their line, about his impression of the boat and here´s what he was telling me.

“It was love at first sight.”

Lars Reisberg | NO FRILLS SAILING.com: “Burkhard, thanks for sharing your time with me to talk about your boat. First of all, let me ask: Since when have you got your Gunfleet 58 and what´s the story behind the boat?”

Burkhard: “The boat is actually the third yacht in my life. We bought her in March 2016 when she was in St. Lucia for sale as being the second owners now. You see, in a couple of years we want to cast off for the big loop with the family and we were looking for a boat that would make such a venture possible …”

gunfleet 58 yacht

NFS.com: “… and that was the Gunfleet?”

Burkhard: “No, not at all! In the first place we were looking into a used Oyster 56 – I am a huge fan of Oysters at this time – and I found that the Discovery 55 was also a great boat to take a look at. As the story goes, we´ve had opportunities on two Oysters and one Discovery. Later, everything was set up to have two of the boats inspected, flights had been booked and we were ready to go when my wife – on our way to the airport to fly down to X-Yachts in Haderslev where we had our current boat at this time – read an e-mail by a sales agent who was proposing the Gunfleet 58. I looked at the boat in the pictures attached, looked at my wife and said: This. Is. The. Boat!”

NFS.com: “Really?”

gunfleet 58 yacht

Burkhard: “Yes, that´s true! We cancelled the appointments and instead flew to St. Lucia. When I walked down the jetty where the boat was mooring, I can tell you, it was really love at first sight! She is such a gorgeous boat, such a gripping design. I thought to myself that this yacht really is the boat that can make come true everything we were dreaming of at this time.”

NFS.com: “So although you are an Oyster fan you went for the Gunfleet?”

Burkhard: “Well, you see, from the standpoint of material and building quality both yards are the same. Both offer the highest level of craftmanship and are top notch when it comes to finishing quality. Gunfleet, from my point of view, is a more modern design and I still think that the Gunfleet offers the best layout both on and below deck. Besides: When we were sailing out of St. Lucia for a demonstration we left the harbour and came out to the open sea when a flock of humpback wales was dashing along and started to jump and bounce. I took this as a good harbinger and we opted for the Gunfleet. I can tell you, we haven´t been regretting this decision a single time.”

gunfleet 58 yacht

“I am puzzled by her speed.”

NFS.com: “What are the sailing characteristics of the Gunfleet 58 in general? What would you tell us about the yacht as a sailing vessel?”

Burkhard: “Well of course, with 31 tons of displacement she is heavy ordnance indeed. But I must say that her sailplan is very, very well thought through. We have a wide choice of sails to hoist to be effectively powered in virtually all wind set-ups – but of course, the boat needs wind in the first place. To sum it up: She is a fantastic sailing vessel! I am extremely satisfied with her sailing abilities. She is very, very, very fast on all points of sail and I can tell you, when I am sailing during the weekends off Mallorca where a lot of Oysters are moored as well, we beat them with ease regularly. As I said: It´s a modern layout.”

gunfleet 58 yacht

NFS.com: “In some test videos on YouTube I did get the impression that the boat was tending towards slight excessive heeling when going upwind …?”

Burkhard: “… I don´t know what the people aboard did or did not for these films but I can´t confirm this impression. On the contrary, I have the feeling that the Gunfleet isn´t tending towards heeling too much compared to other boats. I am sailing with my family so of course I will put in a reef when wind is blowing strong. Or I´ll change to the smaller jibs. But, for example, in a broad reach point of sail the boat will never go slower than 9 knots, mostly hover around 10 knots or more. This is fantastic! She is very agile on the helm and a fast boat for her size and displacement for sure.”

gunfleet 58 yacht

NFS.com: “One of the big points on Gunfleet is the centreboard and therefore variable draft. Are you utilizing this option in real life sailing often?”

Burkhard: “Oh yes we do! Very often, to be honest. The variable draft enables us to go very, very deep into anchoring bays or in harbours where boats of this size normally cannot go. This is an asset I am appreciating very much on the Gunfleet.”

“She is my dream yacht. Well, one of them…”

NFS.com: “Burkhard, tell me about her internal layout and what you like on her interior design . What do you love most about the Gunfleet?”

Burkhard: “Well, first of all, there is so much volume inside! She is so huge. As you know, I like Oysters and used to sail on these boats a lot. The Oyster 56 and her successor, the Oyster 575 used to be the boats of my dreams. But when Oyster was coming up with the 675, I thought that this must be the ultimate dream yacht of them all! And now, I tell you one little story: Mooring in Mallorca, one of my neighbours at the jetty owns a 675. When I one day was invited onto his yacht, I was puzzled how small the aft cabin was compared to my boat. 10 feet more and the cabins are smaller? So you see, Gunfleet somehow managed to get more out of the 58 feet.”

gunfleet 58 yacht

NFS.com: “Is there anything you dislike on your yacht as well?”

Burkhard: “Of course. A boat is always a compromise and we are individuals with very special ideas and intentions. There are some things I really disliked about my boat. First of all I thought that the saloon was too spacious – what is great in harbour can pose a threat out on the seas. But this was a unnecessary concern because there is grab handles everywhere and the big saloon is no problem. What was really not good was the roofing panel´s clothing. This was a kind of leather that was too soft, too thick. It tended to get dents and bulges very easily and I invested a lot of money to rip off the whole roofing panels, get them out and refurbished by a yard …”

NFS.com: “Oh, I know what you are talking about …“

gunfleet 58 yacht

Burkhard: “What I also didn´t like was the flooring panels. I love the Walnut timber. It´s a great and unique design and a special grain. But the floor was so soft that even sunglasses falling down out of my pocket would leave defects in the wood. That´s not tolerable. So again, the yard had to apply a covering lamination to harden the material.”

NFS.com: “That´s mere cosmetics then. Nothing structural or technological?”

Burkhard: “Yes. I found that the overall capacity of the batteries was far too little. We upgraded the battery bunks to 1.000 amp-hours. When on an ocean passage, I don´t want to start the generator or engine on a daily basis. Last not least, Gunfleet´s decision to manage all the electric infrastructure with CZone by Mastervolt is a total mess in my eyes. We´ve had a number of – sometimes serious – problems and blackouts because of this system. This is, in my eyes, the greatest fault of the Gunfleet and I would never ever again go for a boat equipped with this technology.”

gunfleet 58 yacht

NFS.com: “But now the boat is finished and equipped in a way you want her?”

Burkhard: “Yes. She is an absolutely great boat and I am completely happy each time I board her. All of us are. The best thing is that my wife can go sunbathing or lounging where ever she wants to do this and me and my friends can do all the sailing stuff back in the cockpit without even bothering her with a single line. That´s fantastic! And you know what I like so much more over all the other yachts, especially Oysters?”

NFS.com: “… tell me please!”

Burkhard: “She looks just awesome with her sprayhood attached. That´s something that will make so many other boats look … unbalanced, if not ugly. But with the Gunfleet it´s different. She looks very well and her lines aren´t disturbed by the sprayhood. That´s an important thing from an aesthetics point of view. At least for me.”

“Casting off for the big tour in some years.”

NFS.com: “Burkhard, the boat is now stationed on Mallorca. What are you doing with your boat? Are there any plans for bigger trips?”

Burkhard: “Oh yes of course. The long term objective is the circumnavigation in a few years time. She is the perfect boat for doing this. You see, I wanted to own and sail a boat for at least three years before casting off for such a big adventure. I want everything to be perfect and I want to know my boat. So right now we are shaking her down in every respect to be able to identify possible weaknesses – like the insufficient battery capacity for example – to iron out this stuff.”

gunfleet 58 yacht

NFS.com: “And then it´s off and away?”

Burkhard: “Yeah, I think so. Of course I´ll have to work for a couple of years from now to have the bank account well loaded to be able to finance such a tour. But we as a family are working towards this big aim. But underway there is still so much to explore in the Mediterranean: I want to sail to the Southern coast of France to stay there for a while, then it´s the Adriatic and this alone bears so many great places to be seen.”

NFS.com: “When you will be casting off for the circumnavigation, which route do you have in mind?”

Burkhard: “The classic Coconut-Milk Run I guess. Through the Panama Canal …”

NFS.com: “… not down South around the Horn?”

gunfleet 58 yacht

Burkhard: “No, I think there you will need other boats. The Gunfleet is a perfect yacht in a sense as we need her but I would choose a different boat when it comes to the more extreme Latitudes . My dream, if money wouldn´t be a question, would be a Hutting yacht. This is really a “go anywhere”-boat. But don´t get me wrong, I love the Gunfleet: For what we plan to be doing with her she is just perfect. For the Coconut-Milk Run she offers from my point of view the best mix between volume, comfort and sailing performance. Maybe the Discovery is slightly better in terms of seaworthiness but this should be marginal.”  

Burkhard, I wish you, your family and your boat thousands of unforgettable miles under sails and the best of luck for your plans. Let´s stay in touch and keep me updated on your sailing adventures aboard your fine Gunfleet 58. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the boat here on NO FRILLS SAILING.com.

Pictures with kind permission of Gunfleet Marine and Private

You may also like to check out these interesting articles on blue water cruisers:

A walkthrough with Magnus Rassy: The Hallberg-Rassy 64 in Cannes

Not an Epitaph: The Oyster 745 at Duesseldorf Boat Show

What is the perfect blue water yacht like? Talking to Jimmy Cornell

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Filipino activists decide not to sail closer to disputed shoal, avoiding clash with Chinese ships

In this photo provided by Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party, a Chinese Coast Guard ship, background, passes the boats of activists and volunteers from a nongovernment coalition called Atin Ito, Tagalog for This is Ours, at the South China Sea on Thursday May 16, 2024. About 100 Filipino activists on wooden boats have decided not to sail closer to a fiercely disputed shoal in the South China Sea on Thursday to avoid a confrontation with dozens of Chinese coast guard and suspected militia ships guarding the area. (Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party via AP)

In this photo provided by Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party, a Chinese Coast Guard ship, background, passes the boats of activists and volunteers from a nongovernment coalition called Atin Ito, Tagalog for This is Ours, at the South China Sea on Thursday May 16, 2024. About 100 Filipino activists on wooden boats have decided not to sail closer to a fiercely disputed shoal in the South China Sea on Thursday to avoid a confrontation with dozens of Chinese coast guard and suspected militia ships guarding the area. (Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party via AP)

In this photo provided by Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party, a fisherman raises a Philippine flag on his boat as activists and volunteers from a nongovernment coalition called Atin Ito, Tagalog for This is Ours, sailed at the South China Sea on Thursday May 16, 2024. About 100 Filipino activists on wooden boats have decided not to sail closer to a fiercely disputed shoal in the South China Sea on Thursday to avoid a confrontation with dozens of Chinese coast guard and suspected militia ships guarding the area. (Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party via AP)

In this photo provided by Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party, fishermen raise a Philippine flag on their boat as activists and volunteers from a nongovernment coalition called Atin Ito, Tagalog for This is Ours, sailed at the South China Sea on Thursday May 16, 2024. About 100 Filipino activists on wooden boats have decided not to sail closer to a fiercely disputed shoal in the South China Sea on Thursday to avoid a confrontation with dozens of Chinese coast guard and suspected militia ships guarding the area. (Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party via AP)

In this photo provided by Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party, activists and crew members fish on a boat as groups from a nongovernment coalition called Atin Ito, Tagalog for This is Ours, sailed at the South China Sea on Thursday May 16, 2024. About 100 Filipino activists on wooden boats have decided not to sail closer to a fiercely disputed shoal in the South China Sea on Thursday to avoid a confrontation with dozens of Chinese coast guard and suspected militia ships guarding the area. (Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party via AP)

In this photo provided by Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party, activists and crew members distribute fuel to fishermen as groups from a nongovernment coalition called Atin Ito, Tagalog for This is Ours, sailed at the South China Sea on Wednesday May 15, 2024. About 100 Filipino activists on wooden boats have decided not to sail closer to a fiercely disputed shoal in the South China Sea on Thursday to avoid a confrontation with dozens of Chinese coast guard and suspected militia ships guarding the area. (Atin-Ito/Akbayan Party via AP)

  • Copy Link copied

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — About 100 Filipino activists on wooden boats have decided not to sail closer to a fiercely disputed shoal in the South China Sea on Thursday to avoid a confrontation with dozens of Chinese coast guard and suspected militia ships guarding the area.

Accompanied by journalists on four boats, the activists will distribute food packs and fuel to Filipino fishermen about 58 nautical miles (107 kilometers) southeast of Scarborough Shoal and then sail back home, Emman Hizon and other organizers said.

Chinese and Philippine coast guard and accompanying ships have had a series of increasingly hostile territorial faceoffs at Scarborough, which is surrounded by the Chinese coast guard, and at Philippine-occupied Second Thomas Shoal since last year. The Chinese ships have used powerful water cannons and employed blocking and other dangerous maneuvers that led to minor collisions, injured several Filipino navy personnel and strained diplomatic ties.

The United States has repeatedly warned that it’s obligated to defend the Philippines , its longtime treaty ally, if Filipino forces, ships or aircraft come under an armed attack in the region, including in the busy South China Sea. That has sparked fears a conflict could involve Washington if the territorial disputes escalate out of control.

A Chinese Coast Guard ship with bow number 5201 blocks Philippine Coast Guard ship BRP Malapascua as it maneuvers to enter the mouth of the Second Thomas Shoal locally known as Ayungin Shoal at the South China Sea on Sunday, April 23, 2023. The near-collision was among the tense confrontations encountered by two Philippine government vessels against China, which undertook a weeklong voyage in one of the world's most hotly contested sea passages to assert Philippine sovereignty. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

The activists and fishing community leaders, who belong to a nongovernment coalition called Atin Ito, Tagalog for This is Ours, provided aid to Filipino fishermen and floated symbolic territorial buoys on Wednesday on their way to Scarborough’s outlying waters to assert Philippine sovereign rights over the atoll. But two Chinese coast guard ships started shadowing them Wednesday night, according to Hizon and the Philippine coast guard.

A group of 10 activists managed to evade the Chinese blockade by at least 46 ships in the outlying waters on Wednesday and distributed food and fuel to Filipinos fishing closer to the atoll. That was cited by the activists in declaring that their mission was a success.

“We managed to breach their illegal blockade, reaching the vicinity of Bajo de Masinloc to support our fishers with essential supplies,” said Rafaela David, an activist leader who led the voyage to the disputed waters. “Mission accomplished.”

The Philippine coast guard deployed three patrol ships and a light plane on Wednesday to keep watch on the activists, who set off from western Zambales province. Dozens of journalists joined the three-day voyage.

In December, the group mounted an expedition to another disputed shoal but cut the trip short after being tailed by a Chinese ship.

China effectively seized Scarborough Shoal, a triangle-shaped atoll with a vast fishing lagoon ringed by mostly submerged coral outcrops, by surrounding it with its coast guard ships after a tense 2012 standoff with Philippine government ships.

Angered by China’s action, the Philippine government brought the territorial disputes to international arbitration in 2013 and largely won, with a tribunal in The Hague ruling three years later that China’s expansive claims based on historical grounds in the busy seaway were invalid under the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The ruling declared Scarborough Shoal a traditional fishing area for Chinese, Filipino and Vietnamese fishermen, but China refused to join the arbitration, rejected the ruling and continues to defy it.

Two weeks ago, Chinese coast guard and suspected militia ships used water cannons on Philippine coast guard and fisheries ships patrolling Scarborough Shoal, damaging both ships.

The Philippines condemned the Chinese coast guard’s action at the shoal, which lies in Manila’s internationally recognized exclusive economic zone. The Chinese coast guard said it took a “necessary measure” after the Philippine ships “violated China’s sovereignty.”

Aside from the Philippines and China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have also been involved in the long-seething territorial disputes .

Indonesia has also had skirmishes with Chinese vessels in resource-rich waters stretching from its Natuna islands to the margins of the South China Sea, which Beijing has claimed virtually in its entirety.

The Indonesian navy has fired warning shots in the past and seized Chinese fishing boats it accused of encroaching into Indonesian waters.

gunfleet 58 yacht

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  1. Gunfleet 58: A comfortable performance sailing yacht for demanding

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  3. The Gunfleet 58 from an owner´s perspective

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