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Signe is probably the most beautiful sailing yacht ever built in the USA and a true inspiration to many others! Her building by Renaissance Yachts took 5 years and resulted in an unrepeatable "spirit of tradition" masterpiece designed by Bruce King, an auteur of the yachting world, who believes in curating sheer beauty out on the water – Signe was perhaps his "pièce de résistance". She is flawless and harmonious under any angle with an extraordinary transom and a proud and sophisticated bowsprit.
The 30ft saloon of Signe is where the magic realism of light truly sweeps you off your feet. Interior designer Joseph Artese is perhaps the only person who could meet King’s exceedingly high commitment. Artese noted that “extensive use of sky lighting as an artform is probably the most unique feature of this yacht” and indeed, there are no fewer than 60 ways to let the light in – ranging from skylights to hatches, ports, and prisms, an endless array of places for sunlight and ocean colours to stream. That blend of natural light on wood is never going to be anything, but visual poetry, and when it comes to wood, both designers seem to have an intimate understanding of carpentry, colour and craftsmanship. Hawaiian koa, olive wood, birdseye maple, varnished ash, solid teak – these are all names that invoke soft forest scents, wondrous warmth, and a commitment to beauty.
Beauty aside, Signe wasn’t created to be an ornament at sea. She offers her owners a stunning performance when out on the water with an extremely powerful hydraulic rig, draft of 2.5m with the centerboard up and the ability to reach 1800 nautical miles thanks to the 450hp Detroit diesel engine. She is truly a pleasure for those with a sailor’s heart; there is no joy like working the Bermudan ketch.
The proof is right there, the song of Signe is not one that will be forgotten – Eric Clapton named the song “Signe” after her in 1992.
All in all, Signe represents a truly unique opportunity to acquire a part of American heritage.
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Joinery and bulkhead facings generally of varnished Hawaiian koa, with occasional use of olive wood, plus bird’s eye maple to horizontal joinery surfaces, including head compartment vanitory units.
Laminated varnished ash deck beams.
Solid teak surfaced plywood sole panels, secured in place with twist locks.
Some off-white painted surfaces in cabins and galley, including inside topside planking and deck-head planking throughout the yacht.
Furthest aft is the full-width master stateroom which is superbly lit by a large bevelled glass skylight, two overhead hatches and by five port-lights in the coaming. The queen-sized berth is set slightly to starboard and is accessible from either side. Outboard to starboard are bookshelves, drawers and stowage areas. On the port side is a comfortable long settee (which may be fitted with a lee cloth and used as a sea berth). Outboard of the settee are further bookshelves and stowage areas. Storage throughout is plentiful and the hanging lockers are cedar-lined. Reading lamps over the bed. Between the bed and the settee there is a companionway giving direct access to the aft cockpit. A special feature are the bronze polished chain-plates.
The generous size head/shower compartment is to port, forward of the settee area. This area is beautifully finished with curved units, brass wash-basin, gold fittings etc. The separate shower stall has teak gratings and clear panelled door. Two port-lights give ventilation and light.
Forward from the master stateroom is a small hallway with useful lockers and a beautiful overhead hatch. On the same level to starboard is the twin bedded guest cabin.
This starboard cabin has twin side by side berths that face aft. At the aft end of the cabin is a locker plus drawer and shelf unit. There is an overhead hatch and two port-lights. Reading lamps. The hull side is panelled in off-white painted board, bed head bulkheads are finished in oatmeal colour fabric. There is a removable wood framed pilot berth that maybe set up over the inboard berth. Forward of the cabin area a mirrored door leads to the private en-suite head / shower compartment, – this is exquisitely finished in a classic style, with mainly off-white units and varnished wood sink cabinet with brass wash-basin; swing style doors to separate shower stall, teak shower grating. Overhead hatch.
From the aft hallway two steps lead forward and down to a passageway (on the centre-line access panels give way to the portside of the engine room) and forward to port is the doorway to the double port stateroom. This cabin has a double berth to port. There is a mirrored panel forward of the bed (the bed faces aft), white tongue and groove panelling to the hull sides. Storage locker, mirror, shelves and drawers. Drawers under the bed. There is excellent light and ventilation provided by two port-lights, deck prisms and overhead hatch. Reading lamps by the bed.
Aft of the cabin is the private en-suite wash-room with separate shower stall.
The three aft cabins have beige carpeting.
The hallway and passage have wooden varnished floors.
At the forward of the passageway three steps lead up to the saloon area.
The chart table is immediately on your port side (aft of the saloon) with desk, chair, instruments etc. At the aft section of the saloon, to starboard of the companionway, is a bar area with sink, icemaker and crystal cabinet.
The saloon is beautifully finished with many small details. Natural light and ventilation are provided by the magnificent 5 ft diameter decagonal bevelled glass skylight and other opening port-lights, hatches and deck prisms.
An L-shaped settee (with curved short aft end) to starboard comfortably seats twelve persons around a koa wood table (the table has large folding out leaves and may be adjusted to different heights to suit ones needs). Forward of the dining area is a wood cabinet and above that a full height bookshelf.
Opposite to port is a lounging area with two armchairs, outboard of which is a long cabinet and situated forward of the chairs is a built-in fireplace (not actually used in many years). Further bookcases, cabinets and lockers provide ample storage and house an entertainment centre.
Forward from the saloon a central doorway (with sliding door) leads to the galley and crew area.
The large galley is forward of the saloon to port. This area is well planned and set out for use at sea. Built in a U-shape the gimballed cooker is outboard, the sink units are at the centre line. There are ample refrigeration and freezer units and all of the usual appliances and systems. The forward galley unit houses a top loading freezer unit and has lockers above, but between them you have an open view forward to the crew mess (fore and aft facing bench seats with table). Further fridge units and the laundry appliances are set on the centreline forward of the mast. The huge polished chain-plates may be seen at the galley and in the captain’s cabin.
From the crew mess area a central companionway gives crew direct access to the deck.
Opposite the galley is the 4th guest cabin with a double berth, storage and en-suite head/shower compartment.
Opposite the crew mess on starboard is first crew cabin with upper and lower berths.
The crew head and shower have separate compartments.
There is second crew cabin in the bow that comprises of a double berth and two Pullmans.
TV/DVD player with Sony Surround Sound at saloon port side
iPod plug in docking station units for owner and guest cabins
Crew mess equipped with a Sharp TV, Pioneer DVD/CD player, clock on bulkhead
Corian galley worktops
Smeg 5 burner stainless steel gimballed ceramic hob
Gaggenau fan assisted electric oven
Extractor fan and hood over hob
Candy combo microwave
Nespresso coffee machine
Bosch Exxcell 7 clothes washer
Siemans clothes dryer
Grunert deep freeze, approx 0.56m3, top opening and located beneath work surface between galley and crew mess
Grunert deep freeze, approx. 0.21m3, top opening and located beneath work surface at the aft side of the galley
Grunert refrigerator, approx. 0.78m3, split level with two doors facing athwart-ships and one full height door facing aft, located adjacent to the main mast (inboard part of galley area)
Grunert chiller cabinet, approx. 0.18m3, top opening and located beneath the forward seat in the main cockpit on the starboard side
Grunert fridge systems driven by 220V
Danfoss chiller cabinet, approx. 0.11m3, in master stateroom, 24V
Cutlery, glassware, crockery, cooking utensils and pots and pans included
Electrical appliances such as toaster and kettle included
Navigation, communication & instruments
Lecomble & Schmitt hydraulic steering system (2015)
Raymarine E120 navigation system, interfaced with aft cockpit screen, the E120 chart-plotter, radar, Raytheon navigation computer and a Mac Mini general computer.
Brookes & Gatehouse Hydra 2000 system at chart table with repeaters in cockpit (at central cockpit, also 3 x MFD at helm, 1 MFD at chart table, 1 x wind display at chart table, at captain’s cabin and the crew mess.
Displays for radar at chart table and screen in aft cockpit (hidden behind a removable teak varnished panel).
Furuno autopilot (2015)
Robertson AP45 autopilot system
Constellation binnacle compass at helm
Icom M603 VHF at chart table with water-proof handsets at each cockpit
Skanti radio in galley
3 x Icom hand held VHF units
Icom ICM802 SSB at chart table
Furuno NX-300 Navtex receiver at chart table
Furuno GP32 GPS receiver at chart table
Barograph (not generally used)
Inmarsat satellite communication system (not connected)
Philips fax and telephone system
Panasonic GSM/satellite phone (+ 1 unit in captain’s cabin)
The main engine is a GM 6V92 TA Detroit diesel, turbo-charged, of 450 hp, with
Twin Disc gearbox driving a Hundested 37 inch diameter 4-blade variable pitch propeller
The propeller pitch is adjusted by a 24V electric motor with manual back-up
SIGNE’s engine room is below the amidships cockpit and accessed through a door to starboard of the saloon companionway. Additional servicing access is provided by removable panels on the inboard side of the port walk-through.
Cruising speed: 8 knots
Maximum speed: 11 knots
Fuel consumption: 50 litres per hour approx.
Range under power: approx. 1800nm according to load and conditions
Engine hours recorded on the meter read approx 8500, but we believe the total hours are in excess of 9000, although in effect the engine has ‘zero hours’, from 2013 the engine was taken out of the yacht and given a complete rebuild. The engine was re-installed 2014. There is a ‘soft patch’ in the cockpit sole to facilitate such works.
SIGNE has two Northern Lights generators, each of 26kVA.
One unit is located to starboard forward in the engine room – with a total of approx 15,500 hours.
The second unit is located aft in the engine room and has a total of approx 16,450 hours.
Both units had a major overhaul in 2012 including new injectors, timing etc.
Tank 1 = 500 imp. gallons / 600 US gallons / 2270 litres
Tank 2 = 275 imp. gallons / 330 US gallons / 1250 litres
Tank 3 = 375 imp. gallons / 450 US gallons / 1705 litres
Tank 4 = 350 imp. gallons / 420 US gallons / 1590 litres
Fuel total = 1500 gallons / 1800 USG / 6815 litres
Tank 1 = 400 imp. gallons / 480 US gallons / 1818 litres
Tank 2 = 433 imp. gallons / 520 US gallons / 1968 litres
Water total = 833 gallons / 1000 USG / 3785 Litres
Tank = 417 imp. gallons / 500 US gallons / 1895 litres
Bow thruster: 50hp hydraulic – through-hull tube type – major rebuild 2003
Stern thruster: 30hp (approx) hydraulic, through-hull tube type – major rebuild 2003
Hydraulic systems have power via a PTO on the aft generator
Watermaker: HEM, approx 28-30 litres per minute
Marine sewerage treatment: Hamann system
Air compressor: Compair (in lazarette)
Air conditioning system: Marine Air reverse cycle hot and cold throughout the yacht
24V/12V DC system
24V to 12V converter
240V/110V AC system
Victron Energy Phoenix system battery charger and inverter
Service batteries (located beneath inboard berth of starboard aft guest cabin) comprise 42 x 12V 100Ah gel batteries.
Starter batteries (located beneath sole of aft walk-thru) comprise 4 x 12V sealed lead/acid batteries in 2 banks wired to supply 24V to start main engine and generators(2014).
Emergency / Instrument batteries are 2 x 12V sealed lead / acid batteries located adjacent to chart table.
High volume emergency bilge pump/fire pump, driven hydraulically from aft generator and with manifold (located beneath aft saloon sole) giving options including 4 x separate bilge areas.
Yamaha portable diesel powered emergency bilge pump, stowed in lazarette, overhauled 2014.
Hot and cold water connection from the lazarette serves a fresh-water shower by the side swim ladder.
Hot water is provided from 2 boilers – (2012-2013) – both operate via 220V or from the main engine.
Two fresh-water pumps
Fresh / seawater pump and system for deck-wash installed at the bow (2014)
Toilets: Sealand Vacuflush x 5
2 x Survitec 6 person canister packed liferaft (2012)
1 x RFD Suviva 6 person canister packed liferaft (2011)
ACR EPIRB in aft cockpit
SART system in midships cockpit
2 x Jonbuoys at aft cockpit
Dry powder 6kg (4 in engine room, 1 in each cabin)
Dry powder 1kg (1 in each cabin)
CO2 9kg (1 in engine room)
Foam 9 litres (1 in engine room, 2 in crew mess)
Kidde FM200 gas fire extinguishing system in engine room
Zodiac YL470 tender with 90hp Yamaha (2008)
Hull constructed of wood / West System Epoxy, in five layers for a continuous keel to deck thickness of 2 3/4 inches. The outer layer is of planked mahogany with outer sheathing of Dynel cloth / West System Epoxy. The inner layer is tongue and groove mahogany planking laid fore and aft. Three layers of alternating diagonal epoxied cedar are laid as a core. Centreline structure of Honduras mahogany.
Teak finished varnished transom with decorative carvings of traditional style picked out in gold.
Carved trail boards to bows. Varnished teak bulwark cappings.
Hull topsides are painted in dark blue - fully painted in 2006, with a Gold cove line and additional top coat in 2015.
Lead ballast keel of approximately 93,000 lbs / 42,185 kg.
Elliptical high aspect ratio air-foil sectioned centreboard with hydraulic controls.
The centreboard has periodic cleaning by divers and during haul outs. The centreboard case is glass-fibre lined to resist abrasion. Serviced and overhauled in December 2015.
Rudder with stainless steel stock and full-length skeg. Dropped and serviced 2008.
Steering by chain and wire to quadrant. Wheel operated in the aft cockpit and hydraulically powered steering in mid cockpit.
Emergency tiller system (stows in lazarette).
Deck constructed of wood / West System Epoxy to a total original thickness of approximately two inches (51mm) in 4 skins. These comprise a lower skin of 18mm red cedar, edge bevelled and tongue and grooved to simulate traditional planking, and forming the interior deck-head. Next are 2 skins each of 8mm white cedar, laid in double diagonal configuration and finally the deck teak planking of 16mm original thickness.
The teak planking to the coachroof deck areas was added by Camper and Nicholsons yard in the UK for the second owner. Decks sanded and re-caulked 2002 and maintained continually.
Deck fittings and details
Varnished teak deck hatches with bronze framed window panels and bronze hinges.
Varnished teak Bruce King skylight over saloon with bevelled laminated window panels secured with bronze edgings.
Varnished teak superstructure coamings with accommodation surfaces bleached during original construction.
Bronze framed rectangular opening ports in coamings.
Teak coach-roof hatches with bronze hinges.
Decagonal saloon skylight, varnished ash with bevelled glass panes.
Nonagonal skylight over owner’s stateroom with welded metal glazing bars to central collar through which the mizzen mast passes.
Glazing of bevelled glass panels.
Many traditional light prisms set into decks.
Brass boarding plate with yacht name ‘Signe’ at aft cockpit.
At the centre cockpit helm position is a control panel to operate the hydraulic systems (bow thruster, stern thruster & engine PTO), engine start, centreboard controls.
At the aft cockpit a control panel is located aft of the helm for operating, centre-board, engine, bow and stern thrusters.
Underwater lighting(2009) - Overhauled and parts replaced 2015.
Cast bronze enclosed fairleads, coaming window frames, bowsprit fittings, shroud plates, deck prism frames, and ventilation air scoops.
Stainless steel stanchions and sockets, stern-guard and bow pulpit.
Stainless steel Bimini frame over guest cockpit.
Lewmar alloy mainsheet track and car.
Two Maxwell Marine hydraulic anchor windlasses at bow – each with vertical capstans with warping drum and chain gypsy with plug in hand held remote control.
Winches all by Barient
On deck - from aft winches are:
1 x 37 ST manual portside – serves as a spare and for warping
1 x 37 ST hydraulic starboard – for mizzen sheet
2 x 37 ST manual, one each side, for runners of mizzen mast
2 x 37 ST manual, one each side, for the runners of the main mast
2 x custom hydraulic primaries (forward of the steering cockpit)
2 x custom hydraulic staysail sheet winches (on deck aft of mainmast) – the starboard one may also be used for the mainsail clew
1 x custom hydraulic mainsheet winch (to starboard on aft coachroof, close to mainsheet track)
1 x 32 ST mainsheet traveller car winch (to starboard of mizzen mast on coachroof)
(3 x 37 3-speed and 3 x custom 3-speed)
1 x 37 for mainsail halyard (top starboard)
1 x 37 for staysail halyard (middle starboard)
1 x 37 for staysail halyard (bottom starboard)
1 x 37 for mainsail clew outhaul (on aft of mast – the line is now passed through a block to the starboard hydraulic winch on deck for easier use)
1 x 37 for spinnaker halyard (port fore side)
On the mizzen mast:
1 x 28 ST hydraulic winch on mizzen mast forward side – for the mizzen clew outhaul – (line runs back through the mast to this winch)
1 x 37 ST manual winch portside
1 x 30 manual winch starboard side
Anchoring & mooring
2 x stainless steel CQR anchors each with approx 10m stainless steel chain which is then attached to approx 150m of 16mm open link galvanised chain
Inflatable fenders of various sizes
Beautifully crafted classic style side boarding ladder with swim ladder attachment
Canvas & deck upholstery
Canvas covers for protection of exterior varnish (capping rails, hatches and pretty much everything!)
Sprayhood with Bimini over central cockpit
Sun awning (fits over main boom)
Sun owning over crew area
Cockpit upholstery for both cockpits
Spare pieces of the original hull wood
Many spare parts for all elements etc.
Spars & Rigging
Bermudian ketch with ‘buff’ painted alloy Hood Stoway masts - each with hydraulic furling
The mainmast has three sets of spreaders
The mizzen mast has 2 sets of spreaders
Standing rigging is of stainless steel rod, from 2003 (tested 2010)
Navtec hydraulic backstay adjusters for mainmast
Yankee and staysail are fitted with Reckmann hydraulic furlers
Mainsail and mizzen booms are of varnished spruce
Masts were out of the yacht in December 2010 – standing rigging was dye tested and X-rayed and any works required completed. The furlers were rebuilt as required at the same time.
The mizzen mast was out again in 2013 for servicing.
Sail area 5230 ft2 / 486.4m2
Sails by Quantum (2013) - all in very good order
Furling mizzen sail
Build commenced 1986, launched 1990
Builder: Renaissance Yachts USA (State of Maine)
Naval Architect / Interior Designer: Bruce King Yacht Design USA / Joe Artese
Draft: 22 ft / 6.7m board down and 8.3 ft / 2.59m board up
SIGNE is Bruce King's 4th in a series of L. Francis Herreshoff inspired yachts. She has a clipper bow, 15ft bowsprit and a broad, heart shaped varnished transom that is reminiscent of ‘Ticonderoga’.
The yacht was commissioned for the Wellman family who were enamoured by ‘Whitehawk’ and ‘Whitefin’ (two other Bruce King's creations). As such they also decided to use the same builder, Phil Long of Renaissance Yachts in Thomaston, Maine, USA. Long & King decided that the West System of construction would best suit SIGNE.
Her masts are aluminium as the Wellman’s wished to be able to handle the sails easily, but to provide a more classic touch the booms are wooden.
Joe Artese was hired to design the interior and he was largely instrumental in the development of the polyhedral skylights that are such a feature of SIGNE. The interior is exquisite and flooded in light from the deck hatches, opening ports and prisms. A rich Hawaiian wood, koa is everywhere, other wood accents are ‘birds eye maple’ and ‘burled olive wood’. A fireplace and a built in semi-circular couch and fine carpentry form an elegant and timeless style.
Sadly the Wellman family had to sell SIGNE shortly after launch.
She underwent a major 5 Year Survey / Refit conducted in Portsmouth (UK) in 2010. Procedures undertaken included:
• Rig pulled, dye tested, X Rayed. Furlers were rebuilt as applicable.
• All tanks cleaned
• All skin fittings removed, inspected, serviced as appropriate or replaced.
In 2012 a further cosmetic refit was undertaken in Trinidad. Varnish of the interior mainly.
Other upgrades and replacements as described in this listing include a new suit of sails from Quantum.
2014 / 2015 the yacht had a yard service ashore including centre-board service and a fresh top coat on the hull topsides.
October 2018 full underwater service
The Company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his agents, or his surveyors, to investigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.