PETRONELLA is a classic steel yacht designed by Van de Stadt and built in the Netherlands. The current owners brought her from Berthon in 1997 and since then she has proven her bluewater capabilities by exploring the Mediterranean, Caribbean and East Coast of the US. Over the years the owners have made sure, she has been kept up to date with maintenance and regular updates. PETRONELLA is perfectly set up for her new adventures.
We purchased PETRONELLA in early 1997 from her second owner, who had undertaken three transatlantic crossings with her in the ARC, along with several Antigua Sailing Weeks and a TransARC. We were attracted to her due to her strong steel hull, built to the high Dutch standards, combined with her attractive features and beautifully finished interior. We believe that the first owner did an excellent job in project managing her build, delivering a well-engineered and well-equipped boat. She has indeed proven to be a wonderful bluewater cruising boat, easily handled by a couple, and has been much admired wherever we have cruised.
After buying PETRONELLA we decided to sail her for 6 months to get to know her and decide what alterations we wanted to make. She then came ashore and we undertook an 18-month refit including new hatches, portlights, replacement deck covering, modifications to fore and aft cabins and heads, etc. After relaunching in November 1998, we cruised the English Channel and Southern Brittany each summer until 2004 when we set off to go further south albeit travelling back to the UK by air at regular intervals for work and family. The next few years were spent in this mode cruising the Mediterranean including the Balearics, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece and Turkey.
In 2009, we returned to Spain and laid PETRONELLA up ashore, where she remained for 2 years due to family commitments. During this time, we took the opportunity to replace our Volvo engine and rigging in preparation for an Atlantic crossing. In 2011, we sailed to Lanzarote and stayed in the Canaries for the 2012 summer season. In 2013, with two friends on board, we departed from Gran Canaria for the Cape Verde Islands before crossing the Atlantic to Grenada. This passage took 15 days under a twin poled-downwind rig with two headsails and carbon fibre poles, all managed from the cockpit.
We then cruised the Caribbean Windward Islands for the remainder of the season before returning to Grenada to lay up at Spice Island Marine. In 2014, we headed back up through the Caribbean and onward to the US East Coast making landfall at Chesapeake Bay before cruising via New York up to Maine. We returned south in 2015 via Florida, the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico and the BVIs. For the next couple of years, we cruised the Windward and Leeward Isles of the Caribbean. In 2019 after much deliberation we decided to put our cruising plans to continue to the Pacific on hold in order to ship PETRONELLA home and enable us to undertake some land based travel for a year or two. Little did we know that Covid was around the corner and this decision was indeed a very fortunate one! Now 4 years older we have decided that we are, sadly, not going to be able to undertake any more long distance cruising and therefore PETRONELLA needs to find a new owner/family who will love her and enjoy her as much as we have.
Finally, we feel that there are several features that really set PETRONELLA apart from others and made our cruising life even more special and enjoyable. These features are listed in no particular order.
The cockpit – from the perspective of comfort, access, and safety – is truly a wonderful space.
The sprayhood, bimini, and all associated canvas work have provided us with excellent protection in all types of weather.
Space below deck – the storage capacity is phenomenal, whether for personal belongings, provisions, or ship’s gear. Despite the flush deck, she feels spacious and easy to navigate, with room for everyone.
The general layout, while fairly conventional, is very well proportioned, flexible, and suitable for a family or two couples with occasional guests. The saloon is particularly bright, spacious, and conducive to socializing, while the galley is strategically positioned for meal preparation both underway and in port. Numerous handholds make navigating her even in bad weather a breeze.
Underway, she is well balanced and has a smooth motion courtesy of her winged keel. After setting up the Monitor wind vane off Mindelo, we connected it to the emergency tiller, adjusted the lines, and completed our passage to Grenada 15 days later without using any power for steering.
Sailing capabilities – while she may not be a ‘racing boat,’ PETRONELLA is no slouch. With a decent wind, she can average 150-175 miles a day. In winds exceeding 30 knots, the staysail and well-furled main allow her to sail comfortably to windward. Despite her 25 tons, she can also maintain a reasonable speed in light airs thanks to the taller rig. In all conditions, she has proven to be a powerful and seaworthy vessel.