What Happens to Retired America’s Cup Yachts?

Since design and innovation have always been two driving forces of the America’s Cup, the result is an assortment of one-off, specialized high-tech yachts. We can all relate to the enhanced speed of technology, where out-dated now means only a year or two (look at your cell phone for example). The same goes for America’s Cup yachts, which means the out-dated need to go somewhere…

The technological impact of the 2013 America’s Cup has trickled down to recreational water sports such as kite surfing. We are now seeing the frequent use of hydrofoils giving the art of flight a whole new meaning.  Ever-evolving equipment leaves many wanting, or needing the newest everything to be considered competitive, leaving behind the ‘old.’

America’s Cup yachts are the epitome of technological innovation whose purpose is to create and sail the fastest boats in the world.  Every Cup brings the design and construction of new boats by every team involved. The fate of retired America’s Cup yachts from years past is not always the same, for some get scrapped for parts, cut up and recycled, put on display or if they’re lucky… sailed. The high performance level of Cup boats make owning one for recreational use extremely impractical, leaving only a small handful that remain actively sailing by charter companies around the world. USA 76 is one of those lucky few.

As for the winning yacht of the 33rd America’s Cup from 2010, she has been elaborately put on display at the Oracle headquarters in Redwood City, California. The massive 90 foot trimaran USA 17, raced by Oracle Team USA, is now dramatically elevated and heeled over in the middle of the campus’ pond. This yacht-turned-sculpture is still in need of attention by knowledgable sailors and boat builders to ensure the safety and longevity of the installment.  ACsailingSF owner Brad Webb raced as bowman on USA 17, so it made sense for he and the ACsailingSF team to apply their expertise to maintain and look after USA 17 for years to come.