Zest is a 36 foot custom design by Rob Humphreys. Built in strip cedar epoxy by Farrow & Chambers in Grimsby UK, she was launched in 1992.
During a refit in spring 2011 the original owner died and Zest was eventually put up for sale.
I bought her in January 2013 with the intention of campaigning her in the 2013 OSTAR (Original Single-handed Trans Atlantic Race). Rupert and I undertook a refit to optimise the boat for short-handed racing. This included modifying the reefing system to allow the mainsail to be reefed from the cockpit, a furling non-overlapping headsail, a short bowsprit for a furling code zero, and a removable inner forestay for a heavy weather jib and storm jib. The instruments and plotter were replaced with a new system from B&G, who also specified the autopilot package.
Unfortunately the refit took longer than planned and Zest was not ready to race in the 2013 OSTAR. We subsequently raced and cruised her extensively, including in the 2014 RWYC Two-handed Round Britain & Ireland, the Azores and Back Race (2015 and 2019), the 2018 Solo Round, the Rock, several Fastnets (2015, 2017, 2019), and yes, eventually the OSTAR in 2017. I did not manage to finish that edition, which is why I’m planning to try again in 2022.
While on passage from Cowes, UK to Lanzarote in October 2015, Zest encountered a freak wave about 150 miles off the northwest corner of Spain. She was dismasted when the port chainplate was carried away. A two metre long length of the side-deck was torn out, along with a portion of the main bulkhead. It took us a year to get her put back together again, but we’re confident that she even stronger after that.
LOA 11.12m (36ft 6in)
LWL 9.53m (31ft 3in)
Beam 3.58m (11ft 9in)
Draught 2.14m (7ft)
Displ 5,020kg ( 11,067lb)
Ballast 2,267kg ( 4998lb)