About the Boat, the Liberty II

Above: Nabil Amra, the US-born Palestinian with his Biscay 36 ketch-rigged production yacht LIBERTY II at the Falmouth Boat Co. in Flushing where the yacht was refitted in readiness for the start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race from Falmouth on 14th June 2018.

The Suheili

SUHAILI, a painting of Robin Knox-Johnston’s boat by Melbourne Smith.

Suhaili is the name of the 32-foot (9.8 m) Bermudan ketch sailed by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in the first nonstop solo circumnavigation of the world in the 1968-69 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. She was built in Bombay, India in 1963. She follows plans designed by William Atkins for “Eric” in 1923. Her design is based on the Norwegian sailing lifeboat designs of Colin Archer.

2018 competitors must similarly sail in production boats between 32-36ft overall (9.75–10.97m), designed prior to 1988, and which have a full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge. These yachts are heavily built, strong and sturdy, similar in concept to Sir Robin’s Suhaili.

About the Liberty II

In the water on June 14, 2018. (Photo: Sandra Shipp)

Name Liberty II (formerly Elle May)
Type Biscay 36 Masthead ketch
Designer Alan Hill
Builder Robert Ives/Falmouth Boat Construction (UK)
LOA 35.92ft/10.95m
LWL 27.00ft/8.23m
Beam 10.75ft/3.28m
Draft 5.75ft/1.75m
Displacement 15680 lbs/7112 kgs
Sail area 570 sq ft/52.95 sq m

Nabil Amra’s LIBERTY II was the last of the Biscay 36 class yachts to be built by the Falmouth Boat Company in 1990. Initially, he and fellow skipper Antoine Cousot, who bought the first of the line, built in 1975, VISCAYA (now re-named GOLDSTAR), joined forces to prepare their Alan Hill-designed yachts together but work on the LIBERTY II was delayed.

Fundraising Needs

Skippers Nabil Amra and Antoine Cousot introduce their Biscay 36 yachts


Racing under the Palestinian flag is way of supporting the 6 million people, who have had the hardest 70 years imaginable, and perhaps give them something to cheer for. For me this race is for the children of Gaza, born on the shores of the sea, but forbidden to enjoy it or even meaningfully use it. I used my savings to purchase and refit a sail boat in England where the race is to begin. I respectfully and humbly ask for your support. Please watch my video and help make this a reality by donating to this effort. Anything will help.