Sunshine

Read More about SY Sunshine's History

The schooner SY Sunshine is the third 'sister' built to the design drawn up by the famous naval architect William Fife Jun. in 1900. The original Sunshine (1900) - and its first sister ship "Asthore" (1902) - were built by the Fifes at their yard in Fairlie. Both vessls changed names several times, with Asthore also being called Sunshine for a long while. The original Sunshine was built for a local gentleman, Glen F. McAndrew of Largs Castle in Scotland, whose house was close by the Fairlie yard. In 1906 she was in the possession of the Portuguese Royal family, during which time she was called "Maris Stellis". These schooners were predecessors of the legendary yachts "Susanne" and "Cicely".

In 1901, Yachting World published an article about the launch of the schooner Sunshine:

"She was designed by William Fife Jun. and while intended for a cruiser, she looks, with her long overhangs, small but powerful underwater body, strong and well turned bilge, and extremely roomy deck, every inch a modern racer. While Sunshine is not exactly like any boat ever designed by Mr. Fife, in the absence of a drawing it will give a pretty fair idea of her to say that she is an enlarged and improved edition of those pretty and speedy little schooners Helen and Geisha , which were built at Fairlie a few years ago. Sunshine is a very handsome boat and cannot fail to be a speedy one."

Construction of the reborn Sunshine began in late 1999. She was launched in 2003 and then shifted to the fitting-out-berth. In October 2004, the Myanmar Shipyards officially handed her over at a gracious ceremony fit for a super tanker and away she sailed for a maiden cruise through the spectacular uninhabited islands of the Mergui Archipelago and on towards Phuket, Thailand.

Her hull is Dutch marine grade A steel, and she has been built under the strict supervision of a Lloyd's surveyor, to Lloyd's SSC plan approval. Yangon was chosen for the build as the facility at Myanmar Shipyards is highly suited to the job. In Myanmar, one can still find building and handicraft techniques that are as close as it gets to the skills originally employed in the Scotland of the early 20th century.

Although there are many survivors in the cutter category, few classic schooners still exist today, and Sunshine was built with that thought in mind. It was probably in the early 1900s when the design of sailing ships and yachts were at the height of their evolution, just before steam and diesel engines and racing rating rules began to interfere with the purity of their original function and beauty. Looking into the future, it is likely that there will be a reduction in the numbers of original vessels, due to the high and ever increasing costs of maintaining these rare remaining vessels.

Read more about Sunshine. 

Meet the Crew: Evan, First Mate on SY Sunshine

With his distinctive English accent, many people think Evan is from the UK. In fact, he was born in a small village in the Irrawaddy delta, close to Yangon, which at that time was still Myanmar's capital. The village had about 200 houses and his parents were rice farmers, just as everyone else in the area. Evan was a bright kid and managed to find his way to high-school in Yangon. 

He was 18 and looking for a job, when his roommate introduced him to Peter. Evan had seen foreigners before: His village was Christian, and once a group of Jehovah's Witnesses passed through. He had never spoken to foreigners. But that day the doorbell rang and Peter stood outside. Peter had started building his yacht Sunshine in Yangon a few months earlier. It was the time of constant power cuts, Myanmar was almost completely disconnected from the rest of the world, but a bit of the old colonial charm was still alive. Peter remembers his first encounter with Evan like this: "I went to his home and his roommate Joshua opened the door. There was a tiny and shy boy hiding behind Joshua. He didn't speak a word, but Joshua convinced me to hire him." 

A few days later, Evan started his work in the shipyard. At that time, the generals didn't allow foreigners the use of walkie-talkies. The project's office was a 10-minute walk away from the workshop, so Evan's first job was to run from the office to the boat and back to report what was going on. He stayed until Sunshine was launched in 2003. 

"I had no idea what to expect, so I expected nothing", Evan says. "I had never been to the beach, never seen the sea, never seen a sailing boat - Sunshine was the first boat I ever stepped onto." But that day was his introduction to sailing.

A few months later Sunshine went on her first big voyage to France. After three months at sea, the yacht and the crew arrived in the French port of Cannes. The city was just hosting its annual film festival, the port and the surrounding waters were full of huge super yachts. "We had never seen any boats like that and we asked, what kind of strange-looking fishing boats they were." 

Evan has been on Sunshine ever since. "Sailing is now so much a part of me, I couldn't even imagine to stop", he says. On board, he's the first mate, in charge of navigation and steering. 

Click here to read more about Sunshine and her history.      

German Yacht Magazine Features Burma Boating

German magazine Yacht writes about Burma Boating in an article titled "Mysterious Asia". The text highlights the latest addition to our fleet: "The star of the show is the William Fife schooner ‘Sunshine‘".

It's just a short story but we're excited to be featured again in one of Europe's oldest and most important yachting magazines. And doesn't Sunshine just look stunning when she's sailing?

Click here to read more articles about us.