November 15th 2012. By Zuzana Prochazka.

Rose Wilder: Modern Sailing Technology in a Classic Package

Built in Italy, this Sparkman & Stephens design has been upgraded throughout the years without losing her unique charm.

Originally christened Sandpiper, Rose Wilder is a classic Sparkman & Stephens (S&S) design that was built by Cantieri Sangermani of Lavagna in 1968. There were only three of these built and this is the only one to come out of Italy.

rose wilder

Despite the classic look of the Sparkman & Stephens design, this sailing yacht carries a lot of modern technology.

Rose Wilder has spent her life on the West Coast of the United States. Her first owner of 27 years raced her extensively, her second owner upgraded her systems, and her third and current owner, who has restored a number of historic homes, has fitted her out with additional equipment including a hot water heater, a MaxProp, a black-water holding tank, and bow and stern thrusters. Upgrades throughout the years were done with an eye toward maintaining her classic elegance and she continues to be the fast cruising yacht she always was, only now with modern sailing technology above and below decks.

The underbody is a modern swept fin keel with a large skeg-hung rudder, and the construction is iroko framing and backbone with mahogany planking riveted with silicon bronze fasteners. Rose Wilder is 50’ 6” LOA with a beam of 12’ and a deep draft of 7’ 3”. She is sloop-rigged with a removable inner forestay, running backstays and a large headsail on roller furling. Power comes via a Perkins 4-108 and fuel and water tankage is substantial: 80 and 160 gallons, respectively.

Below decks is a step back in time with highly varnished surfaces and a white upholstery and headliner that creates a classic ambience. To port is a U-shaped galley at the base of the companionway and opposite is a large nav desk with instruments and a Furuno radar, both conveniently visible from the cockpit. Aft is a private navigator’s quarter berth cabin with a door and hanging locker. The saloon has a drop-leaf gimbaled table between two settees and two upper berths outboard. Forward and to starboard is a head and to port is a cabin with twin berths that are convertible to a king-sized bed. The forepeak functions as a sail locker with a workroom and tool stowage. The entire interior is functional but at the same time, inviting as it evokes another era.

The grace of S&S lines can’t be beat and Rose Wilder is a head-turner when under her full 1,040 square feet of sail. This elegant piece of sailing history is waiting for a new and knowledgeable owner; she’s for sale in Newport Beach, California.

For more information, view the Rose Wilder listing on Yachtworld.

-Zuzana Prochazka

Zuzana Prochazka
Zuzana Prochazka is a writer and photographer who freelances for a dozen boating magazines and websites. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana has cruised, chartered and skippered flotillas in many parts of the world and serves as a presenter on charter destinations and topics. She is the Chair of the New Product Awards committee, judging innovative boats and gear at NMMA and NMEA shows, and currently serves as immediate past president of Boating Writers International. She contributes to and, and also blogs regularly on her boat review site,