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Stars and Stripes 86 – US 56

Stars and Stripes 86 – Part of Dennis Conner’s 1987 Campaign to win the Cup back!

Available for charter at St. Maarten’s 12 Metre Challenge!


Following the defeat of America’s 12 Meter defender, Liberty, in the 1983 America’s Cup the well-funded Sail America Foundation mounted a campaign to bring the 1987 America’s Cup back to the USA. Dennis Conner, who parted ways with the New York Yacht Club after the 1983 loss of the Cup, led the Sail America campaign and represented the San Diego Yacht Club. With a hefty budget of $16 million the campaign designed and built four 12 Meter yachts. The 12 Meter yachts were all named after the American flag – Stars and Stripes.

Stars and Stripes 83 was the first of the four hulls for the Sail America Foundation campaign. She was the partially rebuilt Spirit of America (1982). A design team lead by John Marshall with the yacht designers Britt Chance, David Pedrick, and Bruce Nelson, built the first of three completely new 12 Metre boats for the campaign, STARS & STRIPES 85. Stars and Stripes 85 was shipped to Hawaii for testing. Conner chose Hawaii for his America’s Cup training because it had high winds and heavy seas similar to the 1987 host of the America’s Cup, Fremantle, Australia.


Stars and Stripes 86 was the third of the four hulls built for Conner’s 1987 campaign. After the testing done with Stars and Stripes 85 a new faster radical hull, was built, Stars and Stripes 86. Stars and Stripes 86 was designed with a different keel and had more sail area than the previous hulls in order to take advantage of the heavy seas and winds expected in Fremantle. Although match races between Stars and Stripes 86 and 87 were very close all throughout training, Conner eventually chose Stars and Stripes 87 to race in the 1987 Louis Vuitton Cup.

In August 1995, Stars and Stripes 86 was bought by 12 Metre Challenge. The plan was to move Stars and Stripes 86 from San Diego to St. Maarten, immediately, to refurbish it and have it ready for the 95-96 sailing season. Two weeks later, Hurricane Luis hit St. Maarten and plans changed. After Mother Nature’s delay, Stars and Stripes joined the 12 Metre Challenge fleet in January of 1996. Today, Stars and Stripes is available for charter in St. Maarten. Contact us for more information about sailing aboard Dennis Conner’s Stars and Stripes 86!

Stars and Stripes 87 – US 55

1987 America’s Cup Winner – last 12 Meter to win the America’s Cup!


Available for charter at 12 Metre Challenge in St. Maarten

Stars and Stripes 87 was the final of four hulls built for the 1987 Sail America campaign for the America’s Cup. She was designed based of the results of testing and development of the previous three Stars and Stripes’ hulls. Development and testing continued until it was time to go to Fremantle. The three new boats, Stars and Stripes 85, 86 and 87 were shipped to Australia. Just days before the America’s Cup Regatta would begin Stars and Stripes 87 edged out Stars and Stripes 86 for the honor of competing in the 1987 America’s Cup.


On January 31, 1987, the America’s Cup finals, a best of seven series, began in Fremantle, Australia. By February 4, after only four races, Stars and Stripes had won the America’s Cup by a score of 4-0. The American, Stars and Stripes 87, dominated the regatta and beat the Australian, Kookaburra III, by over one minute in every race. The Americans had successfully won back the America’s Cup making Dennis Conner the only man in history to ever lose and win back the Auld Mug.

Today Stars and Stripes 87 is available for charter at St. Maarten’s 12 Metre Challenge. Sail on an America’s Cup Winner! Contact us for more information!

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“Everything was perfect! The crew were fun, boat was clean smooth sailing all the way! Perfect anniversary gift!”

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