The Gallant 53 was designed by the celebrated naval architect and yacht designer, E.G. Van de Stadt, the culmination of his pioneer work and vast experience in the development of offshore glass-fibre yachts for which he is internationally renowned.
To many eyes E.G. Van de Stadt's design is still one of the most attractive ever conceived with beautiful lines and superb proportions. In 1967 introduced and awarded the Lloyd's Register of Shipping 1968 Yacht Trophy for outstanding design, performance and craftsmanship. Universally recognised as the highest distinction any Yacht Yard may hope to achieve. She was the longest GRP production yacht in her day, but still a 'Gentleman's yacht'.
They soon gained a reputation for their stunning good looks, bulletproof construction, superb motion in a seaway and as has been proved, the ease with which they can be handled with a minimum crew. Twenty two were built as ketches or cutter-rigged sloops by Southern Ocean Shipyard Ltd., by Tylers in England from 1967 to 1973.
Dame Naomi Christine James (born 2 March 1949) sailed around the world aboard a Gallant 53 named Express Crusader. During her voyage, she once nearly lost her mast, capsized and had no radio for several weeks. She was the first woman to sail single-handed around the world via Cape Horn. She departed Darmouth on 9 September 1977 and finished her voyage around the globe on 8 June 1978 after 272 days, thus improving Sir Francis Chichester's solo round-the-world sailing record by two days.