If You Were A Sailboat is an unreleased cover version of the 2007 track by Katie Melua (the lead single from her album Pictures). It is not known if it was recorded around the same time as the two other Melua songs (Nine Million Bicycles and The Closest Thing To Crazy, all written by Mike Batt) but since Prince was most likely not involved in the original songs, it is safe to assume that If You Were A Sailboat was recorded at the earliest in late 2007, after the release of the song by Katie Melua (as a single in September 2007). More information will be added if it becomes available.
Prince’s version of If You Were A Sailboat was posted on Batt’s YouTube channel in April 2022 with the following description:
"Prince’s recording of my song If You Were A Sailboat, which I wrote for Katie Melua, of whom Prince was a big fan. He sang three of my songs for her (The Closest Thing To Crazy, Nine Million Bicycles and this one). Before recording it he asked me if he could change "If you were a cowboy" to "If you were a gypsy" to fit the male POV better. I agreed, but when I approved the final version that he sent (as here) he snuck in "If you were a Witness" for "if you were a preacher"!!! (He was a Jehovah’s Witness). I hadn’t noticed that! I’m sure he wouldn’t mind my posting it now, so the world can hear it. Very nice of him to ask permission to make that word change."
This description may be confusing as it implies that Prince recorded these three tracks in the studio, which contradicts a post by Mike Batts on Twitter in 2019 that reads
"Prince did 3 of my songs on stage but only recorded one of them and that’s unreleased". It has been confirmed that Prince also recorded a studio version of Nine Million Bicycles however.
Despite being posted on YouTube by the writer and producer of the song, Prince’s version of If You Were A Sailboat is considered as unreleased since it was not officially sanctioned by The Prince Estate.
Of note, the Itunes edition of Katie Melua’s album Pictures also includes her cover of Under The Cherry Moon, but that does not necessarily indicate that Prince was involved in the making of her record.