Aries is a 115ft ketch, built and designed by the famous Camper and Nicholson shipyard in Gosport, United Kingdom. The framing of the keel was in 1939 but because of the 2nd World War and family circumstances Aries was first launched in 1952. Her first owner was the tobacco tycoon R.J. Reynolds.
Designed for long North Atlantic and Arctic cruising, Aries was given her extremely seaworthy structure and volumous hull form, which gives her interior space and comforts that are normally not found in many (racing) classics of this size, giving Aries an exclusive elegance of style, solidity and reliability.
In 1959 Aries was donated to the American Geographic Society and served as an oceanographic research vessel. She then sailed for bermuda where, for the next two years she studied ocean currents with the aid of Swallow buoys. To view the excerpts of the first log from 9 to 16 march of 1959 click here. In September 1960 the Aries survived without damage Hurricane "Donna" that suprised here while she was docked.
To read more about Hurricane "Donna" in the oceanus magazine click here and some more information about the studies that she did click here.
She then was sold in the spring of 1961 to the Man Johnson Co. Ltd. of Panama, one of the holdings of Mr. John Theodoracopulos, a Greek shipowner. Mr. Theodoracopulos has taken 'Aries' to Greece, where she then was used as a yacht.
The history in the late 1960’s and 70’s is clouded in mystery. Aries was restored in the early 80’s in Halifax, Canada, by Canadese dentist Dr. Jene Jensen who fitted a new interior and a bermudian rig.
After several years of chartering in North America, Aries came to Europe after having been dismasted in 1989 in a Caribbean hurricane. There she was partially restored in the early 90’s but financial problems of the owner at the time forced the work to be stopped and the boat to be put up for auction.
This is where the yacht was bought. During 1996/97 Aries was restored in The Netherlands under supervision of her new owner and given a new rig and partially new interior, new electrical systems, sails etc (for further details see refit section).
Since Spring 1997 the yacht has been used for charter operation with charter activities (€32 500 / week) increasing to up to 25 weeks per annum in the past few years of operation.
The first two Winters were spend in the Eastern Caribbean and the San Blas Islands, Panama and Costa Rica respectively. After that, Aries remained in the Mediterranean all year round, with Cannes as her home port in Winter. The reason for this being to significantly extend the Summer season (late April to early November) and enable quiet maintenance in Winter. All this has guaranteed a profitable organisation while ensuring an optimum condition of the vessel.