The Mystic 55 is a fast and capable bluewater cruising yacht built with epoxy and a carbon spar, making her relatively light and easy to handle short-handed. Built in the UK by West and Bowman to very high standards, she has proven herself to be a powerful passage maker and a manageable platform for both family and two-handed sailing. The chart table area in the main saloon offers good exterior vision, making watch keeping in open water a possibility and significantly reducing crew fatigue.
In her current ownership since 2001, she has been beautifully maintained, with new teak decks and AGM batteries fitted in 2023, along with many recent updates, including a new rod and a repainted rig. Her owner has diligently serviced and maintained her machinery and systems, ensuring reliability.
SURPRIZE is a handsome Dubois design with three generous sleeping cabins and lovely joinery below decks. She would be perfect for a North Atlantic circuit and beyond. Yet, she is also manageable for more local cruising.
This yacht is a joy to sail, particularly upwind where she performs like a Swan of her vintage. With her lightweight epoxy construction, generous but easily reef-able rig, carbon mast, deep keel and excellent sails, she is remarkably quick in all wind conditions and a fine sea boat.
The sail plan and deck layout are designed for two to handle her with ease or single-handed, including reefing, while retaining excellent performance. A key design feature is the self-tacking roller Solent jib for windward sailing, or fast reaching when led to the rail; it also will furl to storm jib size. The outer furler has a 150% genoa that will drive the yacht surprisingly well in light to moderate air upwind or off the wind. With this arrangement, the yacht can be easily handled in all sensible wind conditions — including the fun of short tacking into a harbour single-handed. All key sail-handling lines lead to electric winches in the cockpit: main halyard, first two reefs, jib sheet and both furling lines.
The hull design has also been carefully thought through. She has low wetted surface in light air, increasing waterline length as she heels, and best of all for a cruiser, has balanced hull lines so she does not round up in the puffs, easing the work for helm and autopilot. The deep bulb keel and excellent form stability result in high righting moment and minimum heel.
SURPRIZE was beautifully built by West & Bowman, essentially as a custom build, and it shows in all her details. I have owned her since 2001 and she has carried us around the English south coast, to Spain and Menorca, and for the last 18 years has been in Croatia ranging out to the Aegean and the Tyrrhenian Sea. We have kept up our maintenance including in recent years new rod rigging and mast paint, new teak deck, batteries, Force 10 stove, windlass, anchor chain, all cabin hatches and screens, etc. Engine, generator and watermaker have had major services since 2019. We love this yacht and are reluctant sellers but at our age, we feel a smaller yacht and some other adventures should be pursued.