Launch, commissionning and sea trials

New Boat Launch - Gunboat 68 Little Wing

We’re excited to announce the launch of our seventh Gunboat 68! At the moment we celebrate the latest addition to the Gunboat family, we’re also focusing intently on the final stages of completion.

In like a lion, out like a lamb

In a sense, March has a vibe that is perfectly suitable for the launch, commissioning and handover of a new Gunboat. There’s an intensity around launching a yacht built with artisanal craftsmanship and cutting-edge technologies, a storm of activity to get the boat ready to exit the factory and make the splash! It’s the culmination of >58,000 hours of boatbuilding and 51 trades working together. At the end of the process, the bustle stops and a fine-tuned, brand-new Gunboat sits ready for handover as the weather promises sunshine, springtime and the summer ahead.

From the implementation of the latest generation composite materials and interior finishings, incorporating raceboat technology and comprehensive sailing and cruising yacht systems, with each new Gunboat we’re pushing the boundaries of performance and comfort at sea.


Gunboat 6807 emerged from the factory 19 tons light, a fully loaded 68-footer featuring ultra-lightweight, robust construction, masked by a jaw-dropping, head turning custom metallic paint job. After a short move across the road to the marina, daggerboards were installed and she was ready to splash! On the water, Rigging Projects headed up the installation of the 29m mast and rigging and she’s officially a sailboat.

“Well, she’s walking through the clouds…”

Christened “Little Wing”, Gunboat 6807 is ready to deliver incredible adventures. The owners were drawn to the core DNA of Gunboat, with a vision of short-handed world cruising without compromising performance. It’s a specific cocktail of features that make cruising exceptional. Remarkable performance is achieved by pulling in technologies from Grand Prix yacht racing, from the aerodynamic performance design to building the yacht to be strong with extra weight savings throughout (from the Nomex floors to carbon fiber toilets!). At the same time, the boat is designed to be safely handled with a family on board and just one person can manage most maneuvers while on watch. All sail controls are centralized in a secure forward cockpit right next to an interior helm station. And daggerboards contribute to the performance (yes upwind!) and cruising stories. Retractable boards and rudders enable access to skinny waters and exclusive anchorages.

On the water with Little Wing

Commissioning and sea trials are underway as we complete our comprehensive system of checks under our quality control system – and we get to go sailing! As an integral part of the 18-month build, we complete numerous checkpoints from the start of the build through handover to the owner.

During the first two days of sailing, we systematically performed checks on sails, structure, steering, rudder, bulkheads, and high load areas like under the mast base, martingale, crossbeam, longeron, etc. by loading up and checking the whole boat on each tack. Our partners from Doyle Sails and Rigging Projects joined us during this critical time for max efficiency.

The first day was a glamour with 12-18 knots of breeze, perfect for testing. We tested the J2, J3, J0, full main and first reef. Of course the highlight was definitely seeing the speeds, easily achieved in conservative testing modes – 21 kts of boat speed in reaching conditions, and 15-16 kts upwind, skimming along! It was a quick process as each test determining factor fell in line – Daggerboards were halfway down for the first half the day, then we snuck them down more and more as we went along, testing the loads through the daggerboard structures ultimately increasing load testing throughout the rest of the boat. By the end of the day we saw maximum righting moment on the shrouds with full sails and daggerboards.

The 2nd day honed in on upwind mode. We had very light wind, 5-8 kts, and tested the big sails, the A2.5 and A5. We were doing 8 knots in 5 knots of breeze, so smiles all around! The boat feels light and fast, and the Doyle sails are a good balance between performance and cruising simplicity. With Doyle, Rigging Project, and Gunboat department heads on site for checks in their respective areas, commissioning on an artisan yacht is still science-first.

The sails from Doyle are fantastic. Sails fit well, reefs were checked, and the pro’s were on board to see any little thing that could make them perfect, starting the owner off on the right foot.

Now it’s back to work mode at the dock. Next week, formal engine trials, compass swings and electronics calibrations – our next ticket to go sailing! Visit our social media channels for more images and exclusive testimonials from our internal teams!