Branson's 1986 speedboat makes a comeback

Published 6:59 AM ET, Wed April 24, 2013
richard branson virgin atlantic challengerrichard branson virgin atlantic challenger
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In 1986 business mogul Richard Branson smashed the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic in his powerboat, Virgin Atlantic Challenger II. Courtesy Virgin Media
But almost 30 years later, his legendary vessel has been discovered languishing in a Spanish boat yard. Courtesy Dan Stevens
That was until British boat builder Dan Stevens (far right) got his hands on it. The former naval officer now plans to restore the historic vessel to her former glory, touring her across the UK. Courtesy Dan Stevens
The 22-meter boat still bears the Virgin emblem -- albeit a little faded. "Cosmetically, she's dusty, the paint is starting to peel, and the fuel tanks need to be reinstated," Stevens says. Courtesy Dan Stevens
Inside, the boat remains largely untouched. "It's like stepping back in time," says Stevens. "It still has all the Virgin livery, original charts, electronics and seats." Courtsey Dan Stevens
Branson himself has backed the ambitious plan, tweeting: "Mission to save VirginAtlantic Challenger II, great to see I'm not the only boating fanatic! Best of luck team." Courtesy Dan Stevens