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CRAFTSMANSHIP

Contents

CRAFTSMANSHIP

FEBRUARY 2014 Nº308

20

? INTERNATIONAL 15-METRES

Whither the 15-Ms? This most exclusive class needs sisters

FEATURES COVER STORY

6 . ALCYON The extreme French houari with a bizarre sail plan COVER STORY

COVER STORY

30 38 CLASSIC SAILING

30 . POUNDSTRETCHER Why novice boatbuilder James Palmer paid £1 for a wreck 38 . IN GOOD COMPANY Meet Adam and Debbie Purser who set up Classic Sailing 46 . TURN BACK TIME Step into the past with the Nottage Maritime Institute 56 . WOODEN WONDER Designer Nigel Irens launches his new wooden motorboat

ADRIAN MORGAN

REGULARS 14 . TELL TALES 29 . ADRIAN MORGAN 45 . NEW CLASSICS 53 . SALEROOM 54 . OBJECTS OF DESIRE 95 . LOOKING AHEAD 96 . LETTERS 98 . STERNPOST ONBOARD 62 . WYLDE SWAN TALL SHIP 68 . LAZARETTE 69 . BOOKS 71 . CLASSNOTES 73 . GETTING AFLOAT

COVER STORY

60 . MUSICAL MAESTRO Giacomo Puccini and his passion for speedboats 62 . ISLAND LIFE Jump aboard Wylde Swan for a trip to St Kilda

COVER AND LEFT: GILL MOON

20 . THE FAB FOUR Can the 15-Ms survive without new blood? Find out here

62

CRAFTSMANSHIP 80 . YARD NEWS 82 . ELLAD RESTORATION – PART 4 86 . BOATBUILDER’S NOTES 89 . APPLYING PAINT SAFELY CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

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classicboat.co.uk Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London, SW3 3TQ EDITORIAL Editor Dan Houston +44 (0)207 349 3755 cb@classicboat.co.uk Acting Deputy Editor Steffan Meyric Hughes +44 (0)207 349 3758 steffan.meyric-hughes@classicboat.co.uk Senior Art Editor Peter Smith +44 (0)207 349 3756 peter.smith@classicboat.co.uk Production Editor Andrew Gillingwater +44 (0)207 349 3757 andrew.gillingwater@classicboat.co.uk Contributing Editor Peter Willis peter.willis@classicboat.co.uk Technical Editor Theo Rye Publishing Consultant Martin Nott Proofing Vanessa Bird ADVERTISING Advertisement Manager Edward Mannering +44 (0)207 349 3747 edward.mannering@chelseamagazines.com Senior Sales Executive Patricia Hubbard +44 (0)207 349 3748 patricia.hubbard@chelseamagazines.com Advertisement Production Allpointsmedia +44 (0)1202 472781 allpointsmedia.co.uk Published Monthly ISSN: 0950 3315 USA US$12.50 Canada C$11.95 Australia A$11.95 Subscribe now: +44 (0)1795 419840 classicboat@servicehelpline.co.uk http://classicboat.subscribeonline.co.uk Subscriptions manager William Delmont +44 (0)207 349 3710 will.delmont@chelseamagazines.com Subscriptions Department 800 Guillat Avenue, Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 8GU Managing Director Paul Dobson CHELSEA Deputy Managing Director Steve Ross ARINE M MAGAZINES Commercial Director Vicki Gavin Publisher Simon Temlett Digital Manager Oliver Morley-Norris Events Manager Holly Thacker The Chelsea Magazine Company Ltd Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London, SW3 3TQ +44 (0)207 349 3700 chelseamagazines.com Copyright The Chelsea Magazine Company 2013 all rights reserved

The disclosure that the Skills Funding Agency intends to stop paying for boatbuilding courses and other training comes as a bit of a downer at the end of the year. The news – see our report on p14 by the way – conveys the sense of yet something else collapsing in the funding gloom of post 2007-bank-crash Britain. But the two-year courses, at places like MITEC in Pembrokeshire, Falmouth Marine School and Lowestoft College (not IBTC), boast good records in helping students find employment at the end of their time. Typically they teach a range of skills which enable trainees to get into restoration work, as well as wooden boatbuilding, from scratch. These courses are very different from the other well-known courses in boatbuilding run by the likes of the Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy and the International Boatbuilding Training College. And the crucial difference is funding. For young people the idea of getting hugely saddled with debt is onerous and it seems a very retrograde step to be taking, especially when these courses do turn out people who are equipped for something a bit more real YACHTS than the call centre. No offence is meant to CHELSEA “We still really MARINE anyone who works in one of those places but they do seem indicative of our non-aspirational service need to train culture where almost everything we use (or wear) skilled people” seems to come from the far east. Making wooden boats and repairing them is a valued skill that needs no argument to verify. YACHTS It’s not certain that the apprenticeship scheme, which agreeably is a very CHELSEA MARINE positive contribution to the skill base, is going to fill the gap. In tough economic times apprentices are often first to go – these threatened two-year college courses at least provide a skill level that can set the young boatbuilder on his way. And we are mainly talking about young people here, people who might want a lifetime in the trade, and a chance to become true masters of their craft. Because, let’s face it, some of the boatbuilding courses are for the downshifter, leaving a city job with mortgage paid and kids having left, a kind of Hugh Fearnley-Boatbuilder if you will... and no doubt a good chap. But a true craftsman in the old sense? We still really need to train skilled people like that. YACHTING

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CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

5


Alcyon The houari

of Marseille Her closest living relatives are the American sandbaggers Bull and Bear, replicas of a type of boat that used to sail the shoal waters of New York Bay. But what’s she doing in France and why are French maritime historians aboard? STORY DAN HOUSTON PHOTOGRAPHS NIGEL PERT


Previous page: Hooray for the houari – Alcyon recreates the 1870s. Above left: “like sailing on a soup bowl”, but she needs that width to hold up that vast rig

8

W

e’re about 10 minutes into a fairly promising day of sailing, limbering up in light airs for the start of the Saturday race at Monaco Classic Week, when a RIB roars up with a corpulent fellow in a linen blazer and boater, who steps nimbly aboard and, kicking his sandals into the cockpit, makes for the foredeck after the most cursory of greetings. The boarding creates a quiet fuss aboard. The gentleman’s authoritative demeanour puts me in a quandary… I wonder: “Who is this guy?” As he starts giving orders and getting our foredeck man – the renowned rigger Patrick Moreau – to do stuff I conclude that this must be the real owner of Alcyon. Edith Frilet – who until about two minutes ago I thought had this wonderful extreme-rigged yacht built in memory of her great grandfather – is remonstrating quietly with husband Marc, who is helming. She seems as consternated as I am; he, however, is placatory.

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

Things soon settle down. Even on this little ship the foredeck seems quite remote from the cockpit, but our good angle for the start line gets compromised when we are shoved up to windward of it by a vessel cutting up onto us and we have to wear ship around to cross it a few minutes late. The stream of orders from the foredeck abates and we settle into the race – heading west along the coast from Monaco, where this boat was making her debut on the scene of the classic Med regattas. To say Alcyon is extreme would be an understatement. She’s like a soup bowl carrying a pillowcase of rig. With her length overall of just 22ft 11in (7m) but boom and bowsprit extending out to 68ft 11in (21m), the cloud of canvas overhang is absolutely nuts – she looks like a boat that you’d really expect to see in black and white, when our yachting ancestors were zealously over-rigging yachts to win silver on sunny summer regatta days. But this is because she is based on the lines of the famous New York sandbaggers – the dishy racers so admired by the racing crowd of New York Harbour in


Dan Houston

ALCYON

A happy ship at the end of the race

Above, left to right: dead-eyes look authentic and original although these lanyards are made of Dyneema; bronze fittings and no-nonsense period blocks

Dan Houston

Dan Houston

The crew of Alcyon during CB’s sail aboard, left to right: Daniel Charles, photographer Nigel Pert, rigger Patrick Moreau, Edith Frilet, Mathieu Frilet, Jean-Yves Bequignon, Patrick Girard and Marc Frilet. Note the wide cockpit and equally wide side decks – afforded by the hull that is more than half as wide as the boat’s length, which is needed to create enough stability to counter the force of the huge rig

the latter half of the 19th century. These boats had in turn developed from the shoal draught oyster boats of the area, a vernacular design of 20ft to 30ft (6.1m-9.1m) length overall, which had evolved with the need for speed in those waters. Getting home with the first catch got the best price at the fish quay, so rigs grew and the dishy hulls evolved to be stable enough to hold them upright. With the catch aboard, the oyster boats would famously dash back to harbour with their crews apparently moving the sacks of oysters from one side of the boat to the other as extra ballast when tacking. This practice, but using bags of sand as a more efficient ballast, was taken up by yachtsmen and sandbagger racing became established as a sport along the east coast of the United States and even on the west coast in San Francisco. French captains sailing out of the busy and prosperous port of Marseille in the 1860s, leaned on their bulwarks and seeing these sandbaggers zipping up and down the harbour, decided to recreate the type back home. They took dimensions and began a small fleet, known as

houaris – to be used solely for yachting, racing in the azure waters outside the city and its environs like the Île de Porquerolles, and attended nearby regattas. Old daguerrotypes of the craft still exist and one can see the famous 32ft (9.7m) booms and huge jibs, which gave the houari its radical slanting look. Hollow bow sections show a very sharp entry while wide counter sterns earned them the somewhat derogatory nickname of “a Marseille ass”. One can imagine the emerging sporting scene with the owners and captains in their Olympic moustaches, linen suits and boaters, their crew very likely five or so salt-infused Cape Horners co-opted to handle the vagaries of the crazy rig during the sudden and unpredictable onslaught of the strong winds of a mistral. There’s no chance of such a wind today though, with southern Europe enjoying high summer in mid September, and at last I’ve found out that our “owner” is in fact a guest – the French yachting historian Daniel Charles, who turns out to be very charming, after that brusque beginning. And this boat is amazing. I feel quite CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

9


ALCYON

ALCYON 2013 MARSEILLE

LENGTH OVERALL

22ft 11in (7m) LENGTH OVER SPARS

68ft 11in (21m) BEAM

11ft 10in (3.6m) DRAUGHT

6ft 1in (1.9m) DISPLACEMENT

11,000lb (5 tonnes) SAIL AREA

1,614sqft (150m²)

PLANS: FRANÇOIS CHEVALIER

Above: the sail plan and her lines showing the radical shape of her hull and the extreme sail area. Right and far right: the boat faithfully recreates her original namesake, seen here drawn and photographed

Above: Daniel Scotto’s (Chantier Scotto) brass maker’s plate

10

privileged too because it’s only the eleventh time Edith and Marc have sailed Alcyon, which came out of Daniel Scotto’s yard in Marseille earlier in the summer. “Please don’t judge our sailing,” they had disarmingly asked when they agreed to take CB aboard. “We are still very new to this boat and no-one has sailed with a rig like this in France in 100 years!” Indeed, with the passing of the days of the windjammer, the houari Marseillais as a type gradually lost their appeal and by the early years of the 20th century had all but completely disappeared, consigned to a few fading photographs in an age of almost galloping progress. They were forgotten and even when the replica 28ft (8.5m) sandbaggers Bull and Bear were launched in 1995 and 1996 respectively by the Independence Seaport Museum’s Workshop in Philadelphia, creating a stir in the newly established classic boat restoration movement, nothing registered in Marseille about that link, which had created the colourful but short-lived reign of the houaris.

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

Edith and Marc were sailors and cruisers of a variety of different craft, usually based in Marseille, who’d restored an old fort on the island of Porquerolles, the place where Edith learned to sail as a child. But it wasn’t until relatively recently that Edith by chance discovered, through her sailing friend and maritime historian Noëlle Duck, some of her family history, and that her great grandfather, Emilien Rocca, had owned a boat, Alcyon, built in 1871 as a houari, to race out of the prosperous city port. Rocca was a yachtsman who owned several boats, including Zingara, which he sold to the famous French poet Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) – who renamed her Bel Ami after his successful second novel of 1885. Emilien Rocca raced the original Alcyon through the 1870s with around 20 others of the type and in 1887 helped found the Société Nautique de Marseille. The class gained special recognition from the Yacht Club de France. Papers existed and so with a bit of digging, Edith was able to research the type and some


Dan Houston

of Alcyon’s history. “There were also photos in old boxes at home that I hadn’t really looked at and we had aquarelles of the boat that we had kept but had no idea what she was or that she belonged to anyone in the family. My aunt was able to help with explaining some of the family story, too.” Having the wherewithal to build a boat from scratch, three years ago, Edith and Marc, an international business lawyer, engaged the services of local naval architect Gilles Vaton, who would be able to draw a lines plan. “We gave him our archives and we were able to take lines from a model we discovered at the Chamber of Commerce. We had photos of Alcyon’s undersides and her dimensions so we were confident we could do this accurately. But we also had a lot of advice from various experts about what we should and should not do and we got confused by some of the ideas – in the end we decided we just had to do it our way,” Edith says, relating the all-too-familiar headaches some owners have to face when recreating such craft from the past.

Dan Houston

The Frilets then engaged Daniel Scotto, of Chantier Scotto, again in Marseille, who built the boat with the strip plank (cedar) epoxy-saturation technique system. “I think we have to thank Daniel Scotto for getting the boat to look right,” Edith says. “And that was the most important thing for us because we were keen to do this for Marseille. We wanted to recreate this piece of yachting history that had been so forgotten, but which is a part of the maritime story of the port.” Earlier photos show the houari as having quite a radically raked rig, something Edith thinks may be influenced by the local lateen-rigged working boats, called pointus, which were used up and down the south French coast. But Alcyon isn’t as raked as some… “Nor is she so extremely rigged,” Edith says, “we reduced the rig size by about 10 per cent because we wanted to be able to handle her ourselves, or with our son Mathieu.” It’s hard not to gulp when you consider this rig could be some 10 per cent larger. In a blow I can imagine that you’d have to bowse everything down and go under a

Clockwise from top: this looks like one of Nigel Pert’s famous fisheye photos but it’s not… it’s just a really long bowsprit; blesséd are the cheesemakers; Daniel Charles and Edith reflected in a porthole

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

11


ALCYON

Above, left to right: the substantial deck-mounted turning block to bring halyards aft; her gunter gaff in its sliding gooseneck track on the aft side of the mast. Below: consulting the chart is more 2013 than 1871

12

trysail and staysail; I am sure the hull form would be prone to quite a lot of heave as well. But the boat is not really meant to be judged in those terms – she’s a recreation from a quite fabulous 30-year chapter in yachting’s past and her form and purpose reflect that elegantly. On our day of racing we joined Edith and Marc and their four crew, including son Mathieu. The rig is quite intriguing, being gunter, with the gaff sliding up a track screwed to the mast. Two massive metal turning blocks are in place to take halyards and lines back to the cockpit, which will make for safer sailing in winter conditions – the Frilets plan to sail over the winter in the traditions of the original houaris where the regatta season began in September and ran through to April or May. With the rig being so extreme it’s almost impossible to judge the potential performance of the boat this early into her life, though there were times in the light airs off Monaco when she hinted at a promise of being quite gamey, accelerating quickly on light puffs of wind and surging pleasantly through the water on a fine reach with a confidenceinducing sense of stability. Unlike the American sandbaggers, the houaris did not have centreboards, having instead a radically raked keel, from aft of her mast with around 6ft (1.8m) draught, which added to the already impressive stability of the wide hull. They were also cabin boats, with small cuddies under deck houses abaft the mast, whereas sandbaggers were open boats in the tradition of the fisheries from which they were derived. Alcyon’s own cabin has seat-bunks either side with a chart table aft to starboard and lockers for her gear. There is even a quarter berth to port and some lounging space forward of the keel-stepped mast. The wide beam creates more space than one might expect. And this beam, at 11ft 10in (3.6m) is more than half her overall length of 22ft 11in (7m), which is even more extreme than the original American sandbagger Annie, currently being kept at Mystic Seaport. Dating from 1880 this renowned racer has a beam of 12ft (3.7m) on a length overall of 28ft (8.5m) and a

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

draught of just 2ft (0.6m). Her length over spars was 68ft (20.7m), although today she sails with a much cut-down rig, albeit with a crew of nine or 10. In her heyday she would have been raced by the same number of crew, of crew, some of whose job it was to lug her 50lb bags of sand from one side her centreboard case to the other to help keep her upright after each tack. Annie’s sail area is quoted as being 1,300 sqft (121m2) but that’s likely to be her current cut-down rig. So one can see that there are substantial differences with the French Marseille houari, which, if anything added a keel in order to create an even more extreme sail-area-to-length-overall ratio, while preserving the necessary stability. And these craft would need to be stable, the winter conditions provide quite hairy sailing in these southern waters where the mistral might barrel out of the coastal valleys with speeds of 75 knots – easily enough to overwhelm a boat that is inherently unstable. And it does not seem as though these houaris were considered unstable, by their owners or local sailors. Indeed, Edith has her own theory as to why the type disappeared after 30 years of wowing the crowds along the coast of southern France, where the regattas extended from Marseille to Cannes and San Remo. “I think they disappeared because British yachtsmen were coming to the south of France during the wintertime and they had British rules for yacht racing and gradually the British rules and British styles of yacht took over and overwhelmed older rules and also older classes, like the houaris,” she says. It’s interesting to note that the heyday of the sandbaggers was also curtailed in the late 1890s as American yacht clubs developed measurement rules and systems of handicapping racing yachts. The wind in our race has faltered. It is time to switch on the 20hp diesel and turn the boat for port. Aboard the mood is relaxed and convivial; plastic glasses are produced as some cool Moët arrives on deck. We can toast the wonderful, wacky Alcyon knowing that with a bit of tweaking here and there she will be an impressive example of a late-1800s racing yacht. With her oversized rig and radical lines Alcyon is recreating the sight that turned heads in the sandbaggers’ era, but once again, and specially-so, from Marseille.

“I think they disappeared because British styles of yacht took over”


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Tell Tales

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UK

The Skills Funding Agency has announced its intention to stop funding the City and Guilds Certificate and Diploma courses in Marine Construction, Systems Engineering and Maintenance for students aged 19 and over not on a Modern Apprenticeship. If made, the change would be effective from 1 August, 2014. The decision has been proposed due to the low demand for publicly-funded enrolments in the last two funding years. At the MITEC School of Boatbuilding in Pembrokeshire, Wales, more than 40 students are currently studying these courses free of charge, over a two-year period. Senior lecturer Richard DavisScourfield told CB that this change to funding could mean an end to the department, as most of its students are not on apprenticeships and will be unable to privately fund their courses. At present, the course is very successful in finding employment for school leavers in the boatbuilding, construction and related industries. The situation is in marked contrast to the strong interest in boatbuilding courses that are privately paid for, at institutes like the International

JOHN GREEVES

No funding for budding boatbuilders

Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft (IBTC) and the Boatbuilding Academy in Lyme Regis. These cost up to £14,000, but the attraction is the ability to gain the same

Above: a MITEC student at work on a Tenby Lugger replica

COWES

C/O GUY VENABLES

Uffa Fox’s house for sale

14

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

qualification in a year instead of two. All is not lost, however. City and Guilds has launched an appeal which was under review as this issue of Classic Boat went to press.

Commodores House on the Isle of Wight has come up for sale. A familiar sight to those who sail in the Solent, it is one of the largest and most imposing houses in Cowes, and was famously once owned by Uffa Fox. He bought it in 1948 and converted the warehouse into an office and boatyard. Inside, there is a master suite, four further bedrooms, two further bathrooms, breakfast/kitchen room, library, utility, conservatory, balcony, boat storage, private quay with crane, and mooring rights. As well as its location just around the corner from the Royal Yacht Squadron, it has spectacular views of the Medina, harbour and the Solent beyond, and serious heritage, with its link to a man whose influence on sailing and yacht design is hard to overstate. Offers over £4M. struttandparker.com Tel: +44 (0)207 6297282


TELL TALES

Awards Classic Boat Award logo 2014.indd 1

15/11/2013 15:34

Votes are flying in for our prestigious 2014 Awards. Since voting opened online on 9 December, more than 1,400 of you have voted, in up to seven categories. At a rate of eight voters an hour, we look set to smash last year’s turnout of 18,000 votes cast by nearly 4,500 voters. But we still need you. Please visit our website, classicboat. co.uk, and click the red ‘vote today’ button on the right-hand side. The deadline is midnight on Sunday 16 February in local time – wherever you are in the world. The winners The winners of the seven publicly voted categories – along with the other six categories judged by our expert panel – will be announced in our April issue (published on 14 March).

TO VOTE

online classicboat.co.uk/awards2014 email vote@classicboat.co.uk

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Keep on voting…

Raymond Jeckells, 1913-2013 The sixth-generation sailmaker Raymond Jeckells, of the eponymous Norfolk sailmaking family, died in November of a heart attack, aged 82. Born in Lowestoft on 16 January 1931, he trained as a naval architect before joining the family firm, while getting his practical education from racing National 12s. His career was marked by a number of innovations, including the first window jib in the 1950s; the use of early computers in the 1970s to calculate sail shape; making Jeckells the first British loft with a laser cutter and the first to make an asymmetric jib. Clients ranged from the Tall Ship Royalist to the Mirror dinghy class, for which he cut 66,000 suits of sail. Son Chris, present MD, remembers visiting local houses with his mother after school, collecting and dropping off sails to women who sewed on the corner patches and numbers. In his later life, Ray lived in Horning, and sailed a Yare and Bure One-Design and a Norfolk One-Design dinghy until the age of 79. “He loved everything to do with the water,” said Chris. “And he had a sixth sense for when someone was about to fall into the river [Bure], which he loved.” He is remembered by many for his helpfulness, positivity, banter and witty sense about the realities of life.

CORRECTION Last month (p24), we stated that the National Register of Historic Vessels (and others) is run by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. As we are well aware, it is in fact run by National Historic Ships, a separate organisation. Our apologies.

Herreshoff 12½

The Herreshoff 12½ has long been 1914 recognised as one of the foremost examples of enduring boat design. Few other boats have acquired a more long-lived popularity; in a century, no modification has been made to the design. Around 330 were built in wood and today, the tradition continues with the exact GRP replicas – the Doughdishes built by Ballentine’s Boat Shop in Massachusetts. They can and do, in large numbers, race on equal footing under the umbrella ‘H-Class’. The 15ft 10in (4.8m) boat, named after its waterline length, might look like a dinghy but it’s really a miniature yacht, with a long, heavy keel and 1,400lb (635kg) displacement. They are popular dayboats and were once described by the late yacht designer Joel White as “probably the best small boat ever designed.” The attached picture is of Elf, built at the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company in 1914. She is still actively sailed and has been in the same family for four generations!

TO CLARIFY… C/O BALLENTINE’S BOAT SHOP

Herreshoff’s masterpiece

Last month’s news story on Falmouth workboats mentioned the word ‘yachties’. This was in no way meant to refer to the sailors of Falmouth’s workboats, who we know are out in all weathers working without engines in one of the world’s last working sail fisheries. Apologies if this caused any confusion. CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

15


JOSePHINe SCHAuMBuRG

C/O GIACOMO De STeFANO

TELL TALES

EUROPE

CB Person of the Year goes skiing together with the Dutch steel cutter Chulugi starting in 2015, which will be global and collect data on pollution while promoting Giacomo’s green message to “be water” and protect waterways and the sea. Memphis, bought as a wreck, and now being restored on Mallorca, is also acting as a test bed for organic alternatives to modern marine coatings. Giacomo is using pine resin instead of epoxy and a new antifoul called LEAF (Low Emission Anti Fouling) instead of traditional, toxic

Since winning our Person of the Year award last year, Giacomo De Stefano has been busy preparing to circumnavigate the island of Mallorca this summer. It will be a repeat of his 2012 ‘Man on the River’ eco voyage, from London to Istanbul in an Iain Oughtred dinghy (CB296). This time he’ll use a traditional local laut. He’s also restoring the 62ft (18.9m) LOS gaff ketch Memphis, built in 1928 by James Miller & Sons to a design by William McBride. This is for a wider voyage,

Above: Giacomo de Stefano is planning an epic kite-skiing odyssey

coatings. When we caught up with him, he was en route to Chamonix in France, to test a pair of new wooden skis. In January, he will be using them to ski 3,500km (c2,175 miles) from Copenhagen in Denmark to Nordkapp in Norway. The journey is for Italian television and Giacomo will have a kite to help him and a kayak/sled to traverse short sections of water. This project has been titled ‘Man on the Snow’. “Snow is just frozen water,” as Giacomo puts it…

OBITUARY

REGATTA NEWS

Free berthing at Falmouth Classics This year’s Falmouth Classics (13-15 June), will run alongside the shore-based shanty festival, and offers free moorings, thanks to sponsorship from National Ventilation and Air Tech. This puts it on a par with French regattas. Last year, for the first time, Falmouth Classics was run as a separate June event. Previously, it formed part of the larger Falmouth Week in August for modern boats. 16

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

Devon boatbuilder Paul Skentelbery died of prostate cancer on 31 October. He was born into a boatbuilding family, and followed in his father’s footsteps, building wooden boats until 1968. With brother John, he took the Skentelbery and Sons yard successfully into the GRP era, and in 1977 took the mould of the Skentelberybuilt 40ft (12.2m) Alan Pape-designed cruising yacht Grace Virtue, launching the successful line of Saltram/Saga yachts that continued for 23 years. In all, Paul and John built more than 60 boats, adding 31ft (9.5m) and 36ft (11m) versions of the deep keel, canoestern cruising yacht. Paul is much missed by his family, particularly crew of 44 years Judy. Claire Skentelbery, daughter

OBITUARY

Stan Bishoprick 1937-2013

C/O CLAIRe SkeNTeLBeRY

C/O THe ORGANISeRS

Paul Skentelbery 1944-2013

The opera-singing boatbuilder Stan Bishoprick died on 25 October. He was born in Oregon and led a life of many facets: opera singer, timber company owner, racehorse breeder and, in 1994, founder of Legendary Yachts, a firm building new wooden boats to old designs, including his own 72ft (22m) yacht Radiance, a replica of the L Francis Herreshoff ketch Ticonderoga. He leaves behind two sons, a daughter and his wife, Nancy McCracken.


TELL TALES

GREECE

New Corfu regatta and Greek island cruise Following the successful launch of the Spetses Classic Yacht Race in 2011, organiser Stratis Andreadis has revealed a new regatta to run this 12-14 June on the island of Corfu, with a cruise-in-company to link the two. “The idea is to give people more of a

reason to make it to the Greek islands,” Stratis said. The two regattas with the linking cruise will take a total of 10 days, reaching Spetses in time for the 19-22 June regatta. The cruise will stop at the most beautiful of Greece’s islands – “virtually unknown places where no

Above: little and large at the Spetses Classic yacht Race, 2012

tourists go” – in Stratis’s words. The first three Spetses regattas have drawn an interesting mix of 60 or more vessels to race in thermal winds and a relaxed atmosphere. See CB292, page 38. For more details, photos and a registration form, go to ccyr.gr.

C/o THE oRGANISERS

RAdio LiCENCES

C/o CoRNISH CRABBERS

C/o RMG

VHF ticket harder to get

C/o SPIRIT YACHTS

NMM

bCyC

New chairman New regatta The Royal Museums Greenwich chairman board of trustees has elected a new chairman in Sir Charles Dunstone, who takes over the position from the Rt Hon Lord Sterling of Plaistow, who has stepped down after eight years. Dunstone is chairman of Carphone Warehouse, Talk Talk and the Prince’s Trust.

Sean McMillan, owner of Spirit Yachts in Lowestoft, Suffolk, has taken on the role of Regatta Chairman and Rear Commodore Sailing in the British Classic Yacht Club. This will involve overseeing the annual BCYC Panerai regatta in Cowes, Isle of Wight.

CoRNwALL MARiNE

Crabber boss is new chairman

Cornish Crabbers MD Peter Thomas has taken up a new role as chairman of the industry group Cornwall Marine Network, taking over from John Langan, owner of Penryn’s Challenger Marine. Cornwall Marine Network works to help boatbuilders and has been EU funded since 2005.

The process regarding VHF licences changed this January. Training and assessment have been separated to bring British VHF licensing up to European standards. The RYA has announced the new format that stipulates a minimum 10 hours of study, followed by a written and practical assessment at a test centre.

woRd oF THE MoNTH

SelvAGee

“An endless loop of spunyarn made by passing a length of it round and round between two nails in a board, and then finishing off with marline hitches all round it. Used as a sling for any object, or to grip a rope (such as a jib topsail sheet) so as to attach a tackle to it.” B Heckstall-Smith and Capt E du Boulay

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

17


TELL TALES

chris museler

chris museler

NEW ENGLAND

Model of AC legend takes shape

18

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

the Herreshoff family’s role in innovation and the Industrial Revolution. Jones hired design engineer Ross Weene from Rodger Martin Design to refine the display that will have three steel rods running through the keel of the 800lb (363kg) boat welded onto a 1,500lb (680kg) steel baseplate. Though the hull was built in GRP, all the other parts are being built to original material specifications and in the same construction methods. Along with the model, Lee and his crew have been replicating full-scale parts for an interactive exhibit. Replicated already is a 4ft (1.2m) section of Reliance’s 84ft (25.6m)

Above, left to right: model maker Sandy Lee is leading the team; this might be a model, seen in the foreground, but it’s still an epic build – the hull alone measures 33ft

spinnaker pole, which was more than 1ft (30cm) in diameter at the middle, tapering to 4½in (11cm) at the ends. Just the small section on display weighs 50lb (22.7kg). Reliance, designed to race against Sir Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock III, actually survived until she was scrapped in 1913. Sculptors are planning to replicate the faces of all the original crewmembers, and seamstresses will be hired to replicate, in scale, their uniforms of 1903. Lee hopes to have the model on display for Bristol’s famed 4 July parade in 2015, but the entire project is already open to the public. For more, go to therelianceproject.com

MYSTIC SEAporT

Crew needed for whaleship’s next grand voyage

c/0 mystic seaport

An ambitious plan to make a model of the largest and most famous America’s Cup yacht of all time is back on track, writes Chris Museler. Small ship models are ubiquitous in New England, but a 1:6 scale model of the 144ft (44m), 1903 Cup defender Reliance is already inspiring with her spindly Douglas fir spars and delicate cast-bronze hardware. The 12-year-old project started by the Herreshoff Marine Museum was mothballed until the staff found model maker Sandy Lee in 2010. “I was cornered at the punch bowl during a Christmas party,” says Lee, who leads a cadre of talented volunteers at one of the original Herreshoff Manufacturing Company sheds. “We had the hull, cleats and spinnaker pole when I started.” One volunteer, 76-year-old Bill Lawton, led the woodworking shop for Pearson Yachts in 1964 at the same Bristol complex. The project originally began with a gift from the Bartram family. Plans for a new atrium at the museum renewed interest in the Reliance model and her striking 24ft (7.3m)long, needle-like hull. Though this is a model, the aluminium mast with its telescopic topmast will stretch nearly 40ft (12.2m) into the air, making her too big for any existing museum buildings. Lee and museum president Dyer Jones say the boat will be displayed under full sail at a 15-degree angle of heel to draw visitors into the story of

Details of the 38th voyage of the 113ft (34m) whaler charles W morgan – flagship of mystic seaport (cB306) and relaunched after a five-year restoration in July 2013 – have been finalised. she made 37 voyages as a whaler over eight decades but this time, instead of oil and bone, she will carry memories and knowledge, and will sail traditionally with cotton sails and no engine. her itinerary is: mystic ct, New london ct, Newport ri, Vineyard haven ma, New Bedford ma, Boston ma, and back. Volunteers and professional crew are needed so for more information, go to mysticseaport.org


203ft. Schooner Athos

180ft. Ketch Adele

180ft. Ketch Marie

174ft. Sloop Erica

J-Class Lionheart

125ft. Schooner This is Us

Truly Classic 108 Simba

Truly Classic 90 Atalante

85ft. Pilot Classic Windhunter

Truly Classic 78 Heartbeat

Truly Classic 51

47ft. Daysailer Elsa

Essence 33

37ft. Pilot Classic Josephine III

37ft. Wally Nano

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USA:+1 4016190550


FINDING THE FIFTH

15-Metre

The International 15-Metres are some of the oldest and most stylish yachts on the regatta circuit, but with just four in the fleet the class is fighting for survival. Here, we discuss the future and the possiblities for expansion STORY THEO RYE PHOTOGRAPHS NIGEL PERT


15-M

A

nyone who saw the four restored International 15-Metre gaff cutters racing in their own series last summer will probably have been impressed. Long, low, elegant and over-canvassed, the challenges of sailing them in a closely matched fleet are compelling. Coming into the final race, three of the four – The Lady Anne, Mariska and Tuiga – were all in the running for the championship, which gives you some idea of how tight it had been. Hispania had been steadily improving all year as well, and it seems very likely that she will be a contender for honours this season. The racing was close with a couple of collisions and the loss of a spar seeming to be as common today as when they raced before the First World War. The story of how the four survivors came to be racing again has been told (CB283) and the class is now looking to the future. Various rumours of replicas and possible restorations have been heard on the circuit, and some of the possibilities are intriguing. There were 19 15-M yachts built between 1907 and 1913 (Wikipedia adds an extra one, Neptune, by Johan Anker, but she was not a 15-M, or even close, as a look at her basic dimensions makes clear. The closest she came to the class was being 15m (49ft) long on the waterline, which was an entry in the Anker design list that seems to have caused some confusion). The 15-Ms were tough yachts; the new International Rule was much criticised when it was adopted, for producing heavy and expensive yachts. To be fair, longevity was one of the intentions; that the racers of today would make sound cruisers for tomorrow, and to that extent the rule was notably successful. Tuiga was still

in commission (just about) as Norada when she was found in Cyprus in the late 1980s, as was The Lady Anne (as a ketch) in 1990. Hispania and Mariska survived remarkably well as houseboats, even minus their keels. An Alfred Mylne-designed 15-M, Tritonia, from 1910, is a likely survivor, although her exact whereabouts is a mystery. Renamed and re-rigged numerous times, she found her way to Brazil in 1978, where she became the first “Cisne Branco”, the name of all Brazil’s sail-training vessels. She surfaced briefly in a yard somewhere near Rio in the mid-1990s, but nobody seems to know exactly where she is now. She raced with little success as Tritonia in 1910 and as Jeano in 1911, but contemporary observers felt she was “an able ship” indifferently handled. If she still exists, her restoration would be a very interesting project; Mylne & Co have drawings for her. Others were known to have survived for long periods but have since disappeared. Fife’s first design, from 1907, Shimna, was still in commission (named Yildiz) around Istanbul in the 1930s, and there are many yachting aficionados there who might have recognised her pedigree, and kept her going. Vanity, the third of the 1909 Fife sisterships (with Tuiga and Hispania), was laid up on the Black Sea during the First World War in Kherson, in what is now Ukraine. It’s not impossible that she has also survived, either altered beyond recognition or mouldering away up a creek somewhere. There were three 15-Ms by Camper & Nicholsons. The famous Istria of 1912, the most successful 15-M ever built and class champion two years running, was broken up in Kragerø, southern Norway, in 1924. There is some evidence that her radical construction, with softwood planking, was deficient; for her 1913 near-sisterships

ILLUStRatIoNS By aDam BEESoN

NIco maRtINEz

Previous page: (l-r) Hispania, Tuiga, Mariska and The Lady Anne racing off Monaco. Left: the unmistakable sight of Hispania carving through the water

22

1907

1907

1908

1909

Ma’oona

ShiMna

MaRiSka

oStaRa

DESIGNER

DESIGNER

DESIGNER

DESIGNER

BUILDER

BUILDER

BUILDER

BUILDER

alfred Mylne Robert Mcalister & Sons

William Fife iii Robertson & Sons

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

William Fife iii Fife & Son

alfred Mylne Robert Mcalister & Sons


BEkEN of cowES

Above: Istria (sail number D7) leads The Lady Anne (D10) and Ostara in third (D2)

Pamela III and Paula, Nicholson reverted to hardwood planking. Paula was also broken up after being very seriously damaged in a storm in the late summer of 1924. Coming in to Brightlingsea she was surveyed by the Lloyd’s surveyor, who reported the dismal situation: “Stem broken, the skin plank seams and butts started, deck covering boards started, chainplates strained, the mast broken about 8ft (2.4m) from deck, fastenings in way of frames, beams, beam knees, shelving, skin and deck planking, and floors generally strained throughout vessel. Iron stanchions in way of mast strained and started from fastenings. This vessel has been sold to a syndicate and is now being broken up.” Paula III’s sister Pamela though was a survivor. Re-rigged and renamed Pam, she survived past the Second World War still sailing on the Solent. There are several photographs of her in 1940s editions of The Yachting Monthly magazine, where she looks in fine

fettle. It seems unlikely that a hull of that size could disappear so close to a major yachting centre without someone knowing something; perhaps she was part of the 1950s diaspora when many British yachts set off for the Med or beyond, often crewed by the war weary and disenchanted looking for sunshine and adventure. Maudrey, Fife’s last 15-M, from 1913 and somewhat unlucky in period, was also broken up in Norway, in Oslo in 1925. But the 1913 Anker & Jensen 15-M, Isabel Alexandra, was still sailing in the mid-1980s, when she made the trip from Stockholm to Greece. Mystery still surrounds many of the others. Fife’s beautiful Sophie Elisabeth from 1910 was later renamed (rather less beautifully) Beduin, then Magda X, then Safari. She lapsed from class from Lloyd’s in 1933, under the ownership of Niels Benzon of Copenhagen, but the cold waters around Scandinavia are kind to wooden yachts and she may yet exist somewhere. Mylne’s

1909

1909

1909

1909

Anemone II

enCArnItA

HISPAnIA

tUIGA

DESIGNER

DESIGNER

DESIGNER

Joseph Guédon

William Fife III

DESIGNER

BUILDER

BUILDER

maurice Chevreux BUILDER

Chantier Vincent

Astilleros Karpard de Pasajes

Astilleros Karpard de Pasajes

William Fife III BUILDER

Fife & Son CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

23


Paula II from 1910, later Cestrian, also went to Scandinavia during the First World War, but afterwards was purchased back by W P Burton (who had commissioned Ostara from Mylne in 1909), who raced her in the post-war handicap fleets with some success. Mylne’s first 15-M from 1907, Ma’oona, was re-rigged and sailed on as a successful cruiser and handicap racer for many years; but what became of her is a mystery, as it is for Max Oertz’s Senta from 1911 and the two French 15-Ms Encarnita and Anenome II. So the options for a fifth yacht would appear to be based either on finding and restoring an original, or building a replica. The options for restoration are challenging: Tritonia seems the most promising, and it would be good to find out her condition or if she is being restored. Isabel Alexandra possibly in Greece, Vanity or

1909

1910

1910

1910

1911

Vanity

Paula ii

tRitonia

Senta

DESIGNER

DESIGNER

DESIGNER

SoPhieeliSabeth DESIGNER

Max oertz

William Fife iii BUILDER

Fife & Son

24

Slec (Yildiz) may all be worth further investigation. Of these, Vanity is enticing, a sister of Tuiga and Hispania, she was always admired and competitive. The CIM rule is hard on replicas because part of it is based on the year of launch. With the other 15-Ms any replica would enjoy boat-for-boat racing without time allowance or handicap, but for other regattas the penalty is likely to prove significant. It doesn’t matter that the “restored” yacht may have been entirely rebuilt, with no original parts, she will still get an age allowance, which is likely to be an insurmountable advantage. But if the temptation of a yacht with more than 4,000sqft (372m²) of sail, no guard rails and no winches is too much, there are several good contenders to be rebuilt. Pamela, Nicholson’s last 15-M design, once tuned up was recognised in period as the quickest yacht in the

alfred Mylne BUILDER

Robert Mcalister & Sons

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

alfred Mylne BUILDER

alexander Robertson & Sons

William Fife iii BUILDER

Fife & Son

DESIGNER BUILDER

Max oertz


15-M

cB ARcHIVES

REBUILD AND RUNNING COSTS FOR A 15-M Only a basic estimate of running costs can be made due to lack of knowledge of racing programme and size of crew. With the help of Fairlie Yachts, we compiled a rough estimate of minimum costs (all 2013 prices), based on four permanent crew, but the figures don’t allow for contingency or damage/breakages incurred. The conversion to sterling is necessarily arbitrary and rounded up or down to be a guide only.

BUILDInG FROM nEW

€3.1 million (£2.6 million) InSURAncE

FROM SEGLARBLADET 21 AUG 1913

€15,000 (£12,500) FOUR FULL-TIME cREW WAGES

€153,000 (£129,000) cREW FLIGHTS

€2,000 (£1,700) SUBSISTEncE/HOUSEHOLD

€23,500 (£20,000)

RAcE cREW PER REGATTA

€6,500 (£5,500) class, and would be an ideal candidate. Paula III, her sistership, has similar potential. Istria, class champion in 1912 and 1913, and well on the way in 1914 before war intervened, also makes a good case. None of the Nicholson machines would be easy though: the Marconi rig, authentically rebuilt, would mean that setting a modern asymmetrical or symmetrical spinnaker would be very difficult. Even in period, it was very evident that the potential of the yacht could only be exploited by a very able crew and helm. Getting a competent crew together is challenging, even though the yachts are now allowed more than the 14 crew they were restricted to in period. If the fate of Vanity could be confirmed, as a restoration or replica she would be a great option. She was a totally dominant class champion in 1911. Fairlie Yachts in Hamble have the plans and the experience,

Above: sail changes on The Lady Anne. Opposite, top to bottom: Alf Diaper (with hat) and crew on board Istria; Sophie Elisabeth sailing in period

SUMMER BERTHInG

€16,000 (£13,500) WInTER BERTHInG In cAnnES

€6,500 (£5,500)

MAInTEnAncE/FUEL

€9,000 (£7,500) REGATTA FEES

€3,000 (£2,500) SUnDRIES

€6,000 (£5,000) TOTAL

€240,500 (£203,000)

1912

1912

1913

1913

ISTRIA

THE LADY ANNE

PAMELA

PAULA III

DESIGnER

CE Nicholson

DESIGnER

DESIGnER

DESIGnER

CE Nicholson BUILDER

Camper & Nicholsons

William Fife III BUILDER

Fife & Son

BUILDER

Camper & Nicholsons

CE Nicholson BUILDER

Camper & Nicholsons CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

25


15-M

News Racing

having rebuilt the hull of Hispania and completely restored Tuiga, her sistership (as well as The Lady Anne). There are several other Fife designs that could also be recreated. Maudrey was dogged by bad luck in her early racing, but was a very powerful design and has potential to impress, although the same caveats for the C&N yachts apply here, too. Sophie Elisabeth spent most of her racing career in the Baltic so is hard to judge; but is undoubtedly pretty as all the Fifes were and should be well matched to the existing fleet. Mylne’s Ostara was a class champion in 1909 and 1910 after epic racing with Vanity in particular. Mylne’s skill as a designer was evident, and that was matched by excellent sailing under W P Burton. Mylne & Co have her drawings, along with those of Tritonia. Mylne’s last 15-M design, Paula II from 1910, got off to a slow start under her inexperienced and elderly first owner but always showed potential, especially in her second season. She came back under a cut-down rig and raced briefly but remarkably successfully in the curtailed 1914 season, winning three of her six starts against what were considered to be some of the best, including Istria. Max Oertz’s Senta is another dark horse. She never raced in UK waters but Oertz was a fine designer and she could well be an interesting case; as would Isabel Alexandra, the Anker & Jensen design from 1913. With only four yachts involved a certain informality in the arrangements exists and this is no bad thing. It is clear that the existing four enjoy close racing and provide a great spectacle, and with some care this can be preserved even with a larger fleet. A century after the first flowering of these remarkable yachts, it is wonderful to be contemplating their renaissance.

1913

1913

ISABEL ALEXANDRA

MAUDREY

DesiGNer

Johan Anker BUilDer

Anker & Jensen 26

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

profile: see p3 DesiGNer

William Fife III BUilDer

Fife & Son

Above: the fab four in the glamorous harbour at Portofino (note the size of the 186ft/65m LOA schooner Adix in the background). Right: (l-r) Hispania, The Lady Anne, Mariska and Tuiga at the 2011 Monaco Classic Week


15-M and finally at Portofino (19-21 September). Going in to the final regatta it was an exceptionally close battle, with Mariska, Tuiga and The Lady Anne tied on points. In the end The Lady Anne managed to stay out of trouble and just scraped home in first place, capping her inaugural victory in 2012. Hispania, Tuiga’s sistership, is also improving with every race, and all four are working to trying to equalise their ratings, under the original measurement rule. The potential is there for an even closer competition this year. Theo Rye

CARLO BORLenGHI

In 2011, Monaco Classic Week made history with the inaugural regatta of the four surviving 15-M yachts. Tuiga (1909), Mariska (1908), Hispania (1909) and The Lady Anne (1912) had founded the 15-M Class Association, which is probably the world’s most elite club. Members have a common training programme, races run in real time without the constraints of a rating, and their own course. Last year, the 2013 15-M Class Association competition was held over four regattas; at Mahon for the Copa del Rey (28-31 August), Marseille (4-7 September), Monaco Classic Week (11-15 September)

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

27


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Adrian Morgan

Speed is not king

American counterpart by just two-and-a-half seconds after 120 miles of hard racing, which included housing topmasts mid-Channel – a feat as skilful as it was dangerous. You can bet that the adrenalin level, soaked to the bone, lee decks awash, would have been no higher had they been travelling at 30 knots, warmly dry-suited, three metres above the water. We will not see mighty monohulls contesting the America’s Cup next time. Multihulls are the weapons of choice, considered of greatest appeal to those who would not know a shroud from a shackle; those addicted to Formula 1. And yet even confirmed petrolheads make no claim to enjoy F1 simply for speed. Race cars were lapping faster in the 1980s. No, it is the passing, or crossing of tacks, tactics and control, that makes for the spectacle. It matters little if the cars are doing 150mph, and the same goes for yacht racing. By returning to what is disparagingly called monohull dinosaurs we would see a return to tactics, sail changes, spinnakers, crew work and helmsmanship. Consider this: two 50-tonne lumps of over-canvassed monohull converging at 14 knots on a leeward mark, decks alive with crew preparing to douse spinnakers (and topsails perhaps), or two foiling freaks with rubber-clad, helmeted winch-whirlers travelling at twice the speed. I know which sight would make my heart race faster. This, I realise, is a minority view. We live in a time when attention spans are said to be short. America’s Cup races now last barely half an hour. When that crucial race was abandoned for “lack of wind”, the boats had been out for less than 45 minutes and were zipping along at a respectable 18 knots. “Too slow” they said, when to my mind, and many others, the race had been one of the most tense and exciting so far. But no, speed is what we all want. Right? This is what we will be served up next time and once speed begins to lose its thrill, then what? Like a junkie we will seek in vain to rediscover that initial buzz, until we barely remember the way it was before boats rose on foils. So, how about this? For the next America’s Cup, let battle commence, the weapons of choice being 125ft (38.1m) gaff cutters, viz Navahoe and Britannia, setting around 12,000sqft (1,115m²) of sail. Dinosaurs, certainly, but considering the enduring appeal of these incredible creatures, it’s an idea that’s perhaps not as daft as it sounds.

Adrian wants a return to monohull racing in the America’s Cup

W

hile watching the last America’s Cup it struck me how depressingly quickly we become accustomed to speed. At first, the sight of 72ft (22m) catamarans rising above the waters of San Francisco Bay at 40 knots had an eye-boggling allure. For a while. Me? I switched off at race 12 when it became clear that the American boat (crewed by Australians and Kiwis) was simply faster by a fraction of a knot. And a fraction of a knot was all it took. Barring accidents the game was effectively over. Since then I have lost count of friends who claimed to have become spellbound by those “amazing” races. You know, sane, classic boat-owning folk used to the heady heights of five knots plus, in Harrison Butlers and Cornish Crabbers, content with attack angles of 120 degrees. “Wow, did you see the America’s Cup?” Well, yes and I found it, ultimately, underwhelming. A crew of flak-jacketed winch pumpers bouncing across a trampoline. How much more interesting, after the initial thrill of speed had palled, would it have been to see two classic cutters contesting sport’s oldest trophy. Let’s take Navahoe and Britannia, protagonists in a memorable battle back in 1893 that were just 25 seconds apart at the Cherbourg breakwaters after a wild, gale-struck cross-Channel slog. Speed, after all, is relative. Britannia probably logged no more than 15 knots on that night when she beat her

“We live in a time when attention spans are short”

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

29


driven

by desire When novice boatbuilder James Palmer first came across Kestrel, she was a washed-up, riddled-with-rot wreck. Most people would have run a mile but, instead, he set about an ambitious restoration. Here’s the full story story PETER WILLIS PHotoGrAPHs GILL MOON


A Above: given her rotten state and purchase price of just £1, James should be incredibly proud of his one-man restoration job 32

greeing on the most elegant of the 200 or so vessels at last year’s Old Gaffers anniversary rally in Cowes might involve long discussions, but “officially” it would be the winner of the Classic Boat Concours d’Élégance award. That boat, a slim 27ft 7in (8.4m) cutter, was sailed there from the East Coast, though it turned out that she’d been built in Cowes, within a mile of the rally, back in 1891 by John White. Not only is she immaculately restored, but the process led to a career change for her owner, who bought her for just £1, and carried out the work pretty much single-handed. She’s Kestrel, owned by James Palmer, and a familiar part of the East Coast Old Gaffers fleet since her relaunch in 2001. Such is the reputation she’s established that she was once described to me as “the flagship of the Deben”. Oddly enough she looks like a smaller version of another recent East Coast restoration, the 40ft (12.2m) gentleman’s racing yacht Leila, built just a year later and now a sail-trainer based at Lowestoft. Both are long, narrow, deep of keel with a plumb bow and an extended counter stern, which is quite a dated design, even for this period. Their similarity even extends to an elliptical stern with an open taffrail to help rid the deck of the seas that will inevitably wash over them. Surprisingly, Kestrel was destined to be sawn up and burned until James was convinced to part with a pound. Her owner at the time was Captain Richard Woodman, yachtsman, author and Trinity House Elder and, having

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

tried unsuccessfully to sell her, he had reached the conclusion she was too rotten to do anything with and disposal was the only option. Then Peter Thomas, a leading light in the East Coast OGA (his term as President ended last November), intervened, offering space beside his barn while they looked around for someone to take her on. “This was in 1996,” explains James. “Four months later they persuaded me that this was just what I wanted and the deal was done.” He recalls the transaction took place in a pub: he became owner of Kestrel and Richard dropped the pound coin into the lifeboat collection box. James then spent the next four-and-a-half years replacing most of the boat. “I knew there wasn’t going to be much to keep. In fact, there was next to nothing to keep.” He started out knowing relatively little of boatbuilding since his background was as an industrial ventilation engineer. “I’d done some restoration previously, but nothing on this scale,” he says. “So I made it up as I went along!” Kestrel had been sheathed in glassfibre, shortly before Richard Woodman acquired her, and not long after she had taken part in the first East Coast OGA race, where she threatened to sink. Such sheathing is now frowned upon in yacht preservation circles, regarded by some as little short of vandalism. But, says James, “it was probably just as well – it was what had kept her going for another 30-odd years.” James’s approach was to peel it off a bit at a time and then deal with what he found. “I’d put new timbers in,


Clockwise from top left: laid up waiting for a kind and passionate new owner; new counter clamped in place; laminating the new timbers; replanking in progress; launch day at Larkman’s; hull primed, complete with new deck and varnished cockpit coaming; new floors going in; who needs a yard when you can remove the cockpit coaming in your back garden!


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Beautiful yachts, beautifully built Rustler 33 Principal Dimensions: LOA: 10.36m Beam: 2.44m Draft: 1.67m Disp: 2695kg Ballast: 1133kg

Tel: 01326 310120 | www.rustleryachts.com Rustler Yachts | Maritime Buildings | Falmouth | Cornwall | TR10 8AD


KESTREL

peTer WILLIS

probably a bit weightier than they need to be, but better stiffen that bit up and then move on. I started on the that than the other way around. “I can now sail her bow, then did quite a lot on the stern. Huge problems quite hard,” he says with evident satisfaction. there – the counter fell off.” The deck, on a ply substrate, uses pine planking in The stem was in no better condition. “It just fell a semi-swept design, tapering off at either end and to dust – I hoovered the whole lot out. I had to following the existing pattern. “I just drew it out on redesign that bit,” says James. the plywood and adjusted it until it “Once you’d chipped the concrete out looked right.” The flash of honeyof the bilges, it was a bit like archaeology gold as Kestrel sweeps past is a really,” he adds. He tried to put in three major element of her elegance. hours every evening, even in the depths BUILT When it came to the cabin, James of winter, and it all added up, he thinks, 1891 by John very sensibly decided against trying to between 3,000 and 4,000 hours. White, Cowes to sneak in an extra few inches of The only original bits to survive were headroom. The coaming and the around two-thirds of the teak planking. LOA cabin sides follow on from each other, A whole new centreline was needed, 27ft 7in (8.4m) and the four corner pieces – two in including a replacement keel – a 24ft (7.3m) LWL the cockpit and two at the forward length of 6in x 7in (152mm x 178mm) end of the cabin are each carved out 25ft (7.6m) opepe. “It was just a question of lifting the of single pieces of solid teak, with no boat on jacks, dropping the old keel out LOS (LengTh Over SpArS) expense spared. Each one cost £50 and sliding the new one in – carefully,” says 37ft (11.3m) and that was 12 years ago, so they’d James. A ballast keel had been crudely fitted probably be £100-plus by now. James at some time prior to the 1930s, so James’s BeAm did compromise slightly on price next job was to sort that out. “She was 8ft 3in (2.5m) when it came to the new planking, built without one originally. I refitted the DrAUghT settling for iroko. same one, but far more soundly.” 3ft 10in (1.2m) The interior is now fitted out very James laminated new timbers where simply. There’s quite a long, stepless needed, building them in situ against the DISpLAcemenT drop from the cockpit into the cabin, hull and using temporary metal straps to 8,818lb (4 tonnes) then a small galley to port, with hold them in place until the glue had set. SAIL AreA a classic Taylors paraffin stove, He also put in massive floors “to try to tie 600sqft (55.7m2) complemented by an antique kettle the whole boat together”, as well as huge and an Italian coffee-maker. Then hanging knees in the mast area. They are

KESTREL

Clockwise from far left: Kestrel in full sail is undeniably elegant; the engraved rudder head stock; her distinctive honey-coloured wood fittings; on deck with owner James Palmer

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

35


KESTREL

Above, left to right: the cabin doors hide the stepless drop into the cabin; the snug interior with pipe cot and rolled-up topsail

36

two low seats/bunks run either side of the cabin, plus a pipe cot before the mast on the starboard side. The sole is plain wood, painted grey and illumination is from two paraffin lamps. The cabin has to work for its living – down one side is the snug fitting rolled-up topsail, and there’s a single oar, with which he can propel the boat from the helm, using the tiller to correct her direction. When Kestrel was first relaunched, however, the interior contained nothing more than a deckchair for the first year. James had carried out the restoration up to this point in his garden in Lawford near Manningtree, Essex, but to put Kestrel into the water, he brought her round to Larkman’s yard in Woodbridge, where she now lives. And, as it turns out, where James now works. Rebuilding Kestrel had, it seems, turned him from a ventilation engineer into a seriously keen boatbuilder. In fact, James had fallen out of love with engineering to the extent that when a vacancy cropped up at Larkman’s, he applied – and after a two-minute interview he had a new career. “That was seven years ago. Technically I’m a carpenter, specialising in woodwork, but there are only three of us in the yard, so I have to turn my hand to pretty much anything.” In all honesty, the career move is not such a dramatic sea change as these bare facts might suggest. Boating and boatbuilding run in the family. “My great-great grandfather built barges in Ipswich and my father, John, had been using Larkman’s since I was 11,” says James. His wooden Twister is tucked up in the yard next door to Kestrel and he provided some help with Kestrel, too. “Dad spent hours holding the dolly when I was riveting. He also did a lot of the painting.” For the most part, James sails Kestrel with the Old Gaffers but despite her basic accommodation, he’s no stranger to long-distance cruising. “I’ve done the Dutch Classics [Hellevoetsluis] four times, winning the gaff class three times.” And he sailed her down to Cowes last summer for the big party. “It was hard work getting there as we had to sail five days to windward, starting

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

from Brightlingsea.” Stopping-off points were Ramsgate, Dover, Eastbourne, Brighton, Chichester and a night in Buckler’s Hard before crossing to Cowes, and with just one crewmember, Louise Perotta, to help. Kestrel is, it seems, an extremely wet boat to sail in such conditions – at one point Louise’s lifejacket went off in the cockpit. As for the anniversary race itself, he took part but didn’t do well. “I couldn’t get her to go in the Solent chop.” But, he adds, the sail home to Woodbridge, on his own, was a sheer delight – “all sea breezes and sunshine”. There’s no doubt that James, who is a very competitive sailor, and Kestrel, which is a very fast boat, have become a force to be reckoned with among the East Coast Old Gaffers. He’s greatly amused by, or rather proud of, the fact that Nigel Waller, owner of Fanny of Cowes, the boat to beat on the East Coast, refers to him as “The Enemy”. It’s friendly rivalry, James emphasises. “It’s nip and tuck out on the water, but we both enjoy a good meal together in the evening.” One might suppose that now boatbuilding is his day job, James concentrates exclusively on sailing for his pleasure and relaxation. Not so. After we’ve concluded our conversation aboard Kestrel, laid-up in Larkman’s yard, he takes me upstairs in the big shed, to show me a part-completed 14ft (4.3m) clinker dinghy. It’s a local class, the Waldringfield Dragonfly (as featured in Classnotes, CB265). His father, whom James describes as the world champion of the class (not too difficult with only around a dozen boats, all in Waldringfield), has already restored two, and there are others that could do with it, but James reasons it would be easier to build one from scratch. If so, then that would be “the first new one since 1963,” he says. As for Kestrel, she’ll be going on another long voyage this summer because James has already signed up for the Dutch OGA’s 10th anniversary “Cross-Country Tour”. Given James’s happy-go-lucky nature and unflinching desire to restore Kestrel to her former glory, this seagoing adventure will be a walk in the park.


NeilThompsonBoats

The Norfolk Smuggler Manor Farm, Glandford, Holt, Norfolk NR25 7JP • +44 (0) 1263 741172 info@neilthompsonboats.co.uk www.neilthompsonboats.co.uk

Norfolk Urchin

Norfolk Oyster

Norfolk Gypsy

Dimensions Length Beam Draft Total sail area Weight

Norfolk Smuggler

25’ ( 7.69m) 8’9” (2.69m) 2’9”/4’11” (0.85m/1.51m) 404 sq ft (38.3 sq m) 4.25 tonnes

Norfolk Trader


I

t was in August 1996 that Adam and Debbie Purser first saw the part-complete Scillonian Pilot Cutter replica, which Luke Powell had started to build ‘on spec’ in Exeter, and decided to buy her. Adam and Debbie originally met on a Tall Ship in Scotland at a time when they had both turned their backs on previous careers – he had run his own dolls’ house business and she had been a landscape architect – and been increasingly and inexorably drawn

to the world of traditional boat sailing. Buying Luke’s Pilot Cutter was the realisation of a dream to run their own adventure-sailing business. They named her Eve of St Mawes – her home port would be the Cornish village in which Adam had grown up – and formed the company Classic Sailing, initially just to run this boat but with the conviction that it would do much more in the future. They knew right away that they wouldn’t be able to manage the marketing and administration side of business on board Eve. “So for the first few seasons

A LIFE LESS ORDINARY

When Adam and Debbie Purser met they had a shared aim: to set up a sailing company giving guests life-changing adventures on board a fleet of classic boats. Find out if they realised their dream… STORY NIGEL SHARP PHOTOGRAPHS CLASSIC SAILING


Debbie and I would alternate with one of us on the boat and the other in the office, and then each winter we would have to learn to live together again!� says Adam. As well as taking charter guests on sailing holidays around the West Country and Brittany, it was always the intention to run RYA practical courses. However, not only did they want to build up their own experience on Eve first, they also had to overcome concerns within the RYA that a traditional Pilot Cutter might not be a suitable boat on which to do so. But in 2002, following

a visit by an RYA inspector (who coincidentally had sailed with Debbie with the Ocean Youth Club some years earlier), official recognition was granted and Eve has been able to offer a range of RYA courses ever since. The following year Classic Sailing moved its office from the Pursers’ home to rented premises in nearby Gerrans, where there was also space for a classroom in which they could run shore-based courses. At about the same time, steps were taken towards expanding the business by arranging sailing holidays

Below: Debbie and Adam in Antarctica, with Europa in the background


Above: Grayhound moored up at St Mawes quay

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on traditional vessels owned by others. The first was a Without doubt, Classic Sailing’s experience is hugely ferro-cement Colin Archer boat called Irene Jack but the valuable in promoting sailing holidays on such a range of real breakthrough came in 2004 when Adam and Debbie vessels. “Because we go to sea ourselves and take people approached the Tall Ships’ Youth Trust with a view to sailing, we understand what it’s all about,” Adam told marketing voyages on the Stavros Niarchos and the me. “We communicate with all the owners and skippers Prince William. “The Trust said ‘yes’,” said Adam, “and regularly, and we let them know how things are going that was a really big step for us.” The steel Pilot Cutter financially and how the economy is affecting us, as we Annabel J was added to the books in have a bigger picture than any “Many people have individual boat can have, and we can 2006 followed by the 184ft (56m) barque Europa the following year. come to us and been provide them with information that The collection continued to increase, they can’t see for themselves.” turned on by the sea and with the addition of three more As Classic Sailing’s business grew, in early 2013 – Grayhound (CB304), clearly Adam and Debbie needed some and that is fantastic Eda Frandsen (CB112) and Luke assistance. Their first employee was a to see as well” Powell’s own Pilot Cutter Agnes part-time accounts clerk who started (CB161/258) – it now numbers 19 about 10 years ago and, for many different vessels. “Right from the beginning we had this years since, that role has been filled by Cath Thomas idea that we could have a fleet of boats,” Adam recalled, who also happens to be the company’s landlady and “and in those wonderful days we dreamed they would neighbour. In 2005 they took on Diggory Rose, mainly all be our own, but the reality is different. We have as a skipper to relieve the two founders of their relentless got our fleet but we just don’t own them.” week-in-week-out routine, but also to help in the office. The degree of Classic Sailing’s involvement in each of Since then various skippers and office staff have come those boats – referred to as ‘Sailing Partners’ – falls into and gone, partly as dictated by the demands of the four tiers. “We own and operate Eve,” Adam explained. business and the state of the economy, but also by their “We handle the bookings for Grayhound and Bessie own ambitions. The Pursers have always given great Ellen exclusively; we do a major amount of marketing encouragement to their other skippers, not only to for vessels such as Eda Frandsen, Agnes, Annabel J, develop voyages in their own styles but also to advance Lizzie May and the Trinity boats; and we act as a sort their own careers. “If they leave us, that isn’t a bad thing of add-on to help with the bigger boats like Europa, Lord as that is them moving forward in their lives, and I love Nelson, Tenacious, Stavros Niarchos and Oosterschelde.” to see them do that,” said Adam. But it isn’t just staff

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014


CLASSIC SAILING

alex arthur

members who have progressed: Clare Wincza, for instance, is now the skipper of the Cirdan Sailing Trust’s Queen Galadriel having first sailed as a guest on Eve. Although the recent renewed interest in Pilot Cutters has been well reported, it is worth mentioning that Luke Powell has built another seven since Eve (in Gweek where he moved to in 1998) and, in the last few years, at least five more have been produced or restored in other parts of the West Country. It is clear that a great deal of this revival is down to Classic Sailing, although Adam generously credits Luke as the “leading light”, and also says that they have a “slightly symbiotic relationship – if he does well it’s good for us and vice versa”. Entirely linked to this (both as a cause and as an effect) is the annual Pilot Cutter Review – a passage race from Fowey followed by a weekend of social events and racing based in St Mawes, which is organised by Classic Sailing and was first held in 2007. The event has gradually grown over the years and in 2013 a record 15 boats (a mixture of old and new, and of privately run and charter boats) took part: a pretty impressive total considering there can’t be any more than two dozen potential entries in the whole country. To see them on the start line just east of the dual iconic landmarks of St Mawes Castle and St Anthony’s Lighthouse is simply spectacular. Adam remains ambitious, however, and is aiming for 20 at some point in the near future. Like many small businesses, Classic Sailing has had its share of ups and downs according to the state of the economy. In 2008, for instance, at the start of the current

alex arthur

Clockwise from above: Eve of St Mawes well reefed; charter guests hard at work; Debbie at the helm of Eda Frandsen

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

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CLASSIC SAILING

recession, they relinquished the classroom and moved into a smaller office. “It can be a struggle sometimes,” explained Adam, “because a sailing holiday isn’t something that people need like heating and clothing. If the country goes into a depression, our business falls off a cliff. And if the country feels that everything is reasonable, it picks up slowly.” The 2013 season started badly with a particularly cold spring and no sign of better economic times, but now, in common with the country’s more optimistic politicians, Adam can see signs of improvement. Throughout the 2013 season, Adam and Debbie shared skippering and office duties with Georgia Witchell. “Swapping it around works well,” said Adam. “It keeps you fresh and interested. You can do a bit of office work and then you go sailing and initially it seems to interrupt the admin, but once you get sailing you forget all about all that, and the variety and the change is actually good for you.” He sailed on Eve for a total of about seven weeks during the course of the season and still, after all these years, managed to find some neap tide anchorages he hadn’t previously visited. The winters are busy too “working our socks off trying to sell voyages” but they still make sure they make time for sailing adventures of their own: a couple of years ago, Adam and Debbie sailed on Europa on a voyage that included visits to Uruguay, the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica; Debbie has just done another trip on the same vessel from Hobart to Auckland; at the time of writing Adam was about to sail on Grayhound from the Cape Verde Islands to the Caribbean; and last winter Georgia also sailed across the Atlantic, on the gaff cutter Chloe May. 42

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

A number of things have changed since Classic Sailing started. “In the early days, sailing traditional boats was very specialist and perhaps the term ‘old gaffer’ gave the impression that it was an ‘old fogie’s’ thing. But the interest has grown and people are more aware of it, and because of that it’s easier for them to understand that they can do it.” He has also noticed that the average age of Eve’s guests has come down: “I went on two voyages in 2013 with 20-year-olds on board, and they were great sailors, and that’s a really good sign for the future.” Adam is rightly proud of Eve’s exemplary safety record. “Right from the start we had proper procedures in place. It had always been clear to Adam and Debbie that, although there were numerous opportunities for teenagers to go sail training and to benefit from it, that was not the case for adults. “We believe that adult sail training is just as valid as youth sail training. No one has the range of vessels that we do. I guess you could say that we are the market leaders.” Adam is also pleased with the fact that Classic Sailing is “enabling many traditional boats to operate commercially, which wouldn’t otherwise happen”. They have a great number of repeat clients – some of which are loyal to one boat and others who take advantage of the great variety the company can offer. But it is heartening to see that Adam and Debbie still get a great deal of satisfaction from sailing Eve, on which well over 1,000 guests have now sailed. “Many people have come to us and been turned on by the sea and that is fantastic to see as well… that’s the really nice thing about working with people on a boat, to see their faces light up in and think ‘wow, yes, I’ve done something for them’.”

Above: the unmistakable shape of the Icelandic schooner Hildur anchored among the icebergs in the Scoresby Sound, Greenland – one of the many vessels available for charter from Classic Sailing

For more information, go to classicsailing.co.uk


NeilThompsonBoats

The Norfolk Gypsy Manor Farm, Glandford, Holt, Norfolk NR25 7JP • +44 (0) 1263 741172 info@neilthompsonboats.co.uk www.neilthompsonboats.co.uk

Norfolk Urchin

Norfolk Oyster

Norfolk Gypsy

Dimensions Length Beam Draft Total sail area Weight

Norfolk Smuggler

23’ 8” (7.28m) 7’ 6” (2.31 m) 1’8” (0.51m) 212 sq ft 1300kg

Norfolk Trader


Peggy Bawn

36 ft GL Watson Gaff Cutter 1894

€300,000 Lying Denmark

PEGGY BAWN’s two year restoration, widely regarded as exceptionally authentic, is recognised in the almost unrivalled “Coefficient of Authenticity” in her CIM rating. Cruised and raced in the seven years following, she is noted for her perfect balance and good manners. Moreover easily rigged and sailed by two, this perfect Victorian cruiser racer offers a competent owner the opportunity to step back in time, into the shoes of her illustrious designer, who created her at the very peak of his career - the year after designing BRITANNIA for the Prince of Wales. Apart from her delightful clipper bow, her hull shape displays her as a miniature BRITANNIA.

Nellie

46 ft Herreshoff Gaff Cutter Racer Cruiser 1903

€530,000 VAT unpaid Lying USA

A carefully researched, museum quality, keel-up restoration means NELLIE is today in a condition that befits her status as a rare Herreshoff yacht. The care of the 2010 restoration has seen many of today’s modern sailing aids incorporated without sacrificing the vintage Herreshoff feel. In his biography of his father, L. Francis Herreshoff wrote of the trio of 35 ft waterline sloops, AZOR, TRIVIA and NELLIE: “These three were among the nicest all-around sail boats of their size ever built.” Fast and able she is hard to fault either structurally or cosmetically.

email: info@sandemanyachtcompany.co.uk

33 High Street, Poole BH15 1AB, England. Tel: + 44 (0)1202 330077 www.sandemanyachtcompany.co.uk


New Classics kLAAS WIErSMA, C/O ST

EAGLE 36

Mini J with a modern hull Our reviewer went to Holland this year to sail on the Andre Hoek-designed Eagle 36 (and 44) from Leonardo Yachts. “Make no mistake. These are luxury playthings,” was the verdict; but great playthings, with amazing manoeuverability, speed and huge cockpits for daysailing; and “a dizzying expanse of smooth teak” to please the eye and the sole of the foot. These are billed as ‘mini-Js’ and live up the hype. They are wheel- or tiller-steered, foam core sandwich built, with flat underbodies, bulb keels and electric winches. The 44 is more popular, but we found the 36 more attractive. The formula has been a success, with more than 12 Eagle yachts sold. A 54 is in the works. LOA 35ft 1in (10.7m) BeAm 8ft 6in (2.6m) DrAught 3ft 11in (1.2m) Tel: +31 515 230 003, leonardoyachts.com

PEbbLEs 4.2

Unique powerboat

C/O rIVErS And TIdES

LOA 13ft 9in (4.2m) BeAm 5ft 7in (1.7m) DispLAcement 187lb (85kg) uk hscboats.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)1491 578870 roW riversandtides.de Tel: +49 (0)6021 439 5177

C/O VIVIEr

Here’s a unique concept boat, hand-built in lightweight ply/foam sandwich. What you end up with is a speedboat that will seat four but can be carried on a car roof and is capable of 30 knots with just a 30hp outboard motor. We tried out the baby of the range, the 3.4, in CB295 and were seriously impressed by the style, price and utility. “Fast as a jet ski, light as a beach ball, but cooler than either” was our conclusion. This one, the Pebbles 4.2, sounds even better with a bit more space inside, but still weighing in at under 220lb (100kg).

KOALEN 17

Micro yacht in Breton style This is the latest boat from naval architect François Vivier (CB303 and 304), and at just 16ft 9in (5.1m), it’s his smallest cabin yacht yet. The first one was launched this summer by the boatyard run by his son – Icarai in Cherbourg – but the boat is available built or as plans for homebuild. She’s a slightly stretched version of his Ebihen 16, with a long keel and lead ballast. Below there are two full-length berths and stowage for a Porta-Potti. The hull is cold-moulded in plywood planks over a ply lattice. LOA 16ft 9in (5.1m) BeAm 6ft 7in (2m) DrAught 2ft 4in (0.7m) DispLAcement 1,587lb (720kg inc rig and motor) sAiL AreA 194sqft (18m²) BuiLt BOAt €30,500 (£25,500) fuLL kit €15,000 (£12,500) icarai.fr Tel: +33 (0)2 3341 3891. Plans from vivierboats.com CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

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Th e Nottage Institute

BACk TO The fuTure In a quaint corner of Essex overlooking the River Colne, stands a beacon of boatbuilding tradition dating back to 1896. Join us as we step inside the Nottage Maritime Institute WORDS JULIA JONES PhOtOgRaPhS EMILY HARRIS

M tOP: C/O NOttagE INStItUtE

ike Downes, recently retired after 20 years as warden of the Nottage Maritime Institute in Wivenhoe, Essex, hasn’t moved very far away. He’d just finished working on his Folkboat when I came to visit – and she was moored about 20 metres from the Institute’s entrance. Mike owns Saga, one of half a dozen Folkboats built further down the River Colne at St Osyth, Essex, in the late 1940s. There’s a daunting amount of restoration to be done by one man and a pension, but Wivenhoe Quay on a sunny Sunday afternoon seemed a near ideal spot for a long-running project. The Rose & Crown pub was dispensing refreshment to a distinctly mellow clientele.

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“It’s easy to find some people here when you need a bit of a hand,” said Mike. And, as the silting of the river continues, the Colne mud is piled so high that if he had decided to down tools and set off for a sail, there would only have been a couple of hours either side of High Water when he could succumb to temptation and extricate Saga from her berth. Best of all the quay’s amenities is the Nottage itself, both for research facilities and practical expertise. As a result, Saga now flaunts a beautiful new set of spars made by Fabian Bush of Rowhedge, senior tutor on the Institute’s traditional boatbuilding course. The Nottage Maritime Institute was established in 1896 using a legacy from Captain Charles Nottage, an enthusiastic amateur yachtsman who admired the

professionals who crewed for him and wished to help them “improve themselves in navigation primarily or make up their skills generally”. This may have included coaching in mathematics and literacy. Many of the men who crewed for the captain on his yachts, Foxhound and Deerhound, were from the rivers Colne and Blackwater and the “old Nottage” ran for 50 years in the attractively named Lucy Dee, until it transferred into its current location in a former sail loft in 1947. The middle of the 20th century was crisis time for the Nottage. The semi-educated professional sailormen for whom it had been set up no longer existed as a class and, fairly or not, the Institute had begun to give the impression that its talks and courses were only for the “invited few”. The trustees doled out an annual

Above: the Institute boasts an impressive array of photos, half models and numerous display cases. Top left: Captain Charles Nottage

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Specialist Tools & Supplies for Traditional Boats

Join us onboard world’s largest two-mast topsail schooner for Tall Ship Racing, Milemakers & Adventure Cruising! More info: www.wyldeswan.com t: +31515231712

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CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

Francis searchlights cover from 1953 to 1973. Completely renovated with new reflectors upgraded to Halogen bulbs. 9inch polished brass £1065 plus delivery and VAT. 9inch chrome £1275 plus delivery and VAT 11inch chrome £1350 plus delivery and VAT.

www.tradboats.com

Call for details 31 Ravensmere, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 9DX Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1502 712311 • John@tradboats.com


NOTTAGE MARITIME INSTITUTE

THE NOTTAGE IN NUMBERS Founded

1896 Books

2,000+ photographs

4,800

documents (including ship plans, charts and maps)

550+

halF models

130

paintings

40

ship models

32

allowance: all courses were free and people either extent that, at one particularly popular talk, the floor attended or, increasingly, they didn’t. “All I ever heard of the sail loft gave way under the weight of attendees. was exploits of their sailing trips and I thought, ‘I’m not They also (as I was glad to learn before I gave a talk learning anything’, so I never went any more,” recalled there myself) upgraded the fire escape procedures from one disappointed ex-attendee. Even when a League of the previous evacuation system, which had involved Friends was set up, potential members were vetted for sliding one by one down a rope. their social suitability. “You were either part of the very The Nottage is now financially self-supporting. small upper Wivenhoe squirearchy… or you weren’t!” It receives no grants of public money. Courses are Since 1963 Wivenhoe has been the proximal town charged at a reasonable rate and entrance to the museum to Essex University – the UK’s is free – though a donation is leading institution for the study appreciated. It has benefited from of oral history. Professor Paul an impressive number of material “The jewel in the Nottage Thompson was appointed donations, including thousands crown continues to be the sociology lecturer in 1964 and of photographs and an excellent is still there. Thompson’s local library. Archivist John Collins traditional boatbuilding history project, Sea Change: estimates that they own Wivenhoe Remembered, is still approximately 2,500 volumes class tutored by Fabian there and it contains a section and is considering ways to make Bush and John Lane” on the Nottage, which gives a this part of their collection more vivid sense of the squabbles and widely known and used. RYA crises of the time. “Unless you courses are held every winter old fuddy-duddies progress, you’re all going to die,” as well as other more individual classes, such as declared Commander Peter Hunnaball RN at what must The Nottage Decorative Ropework Course, for instance, have been a particularly heated meeting. Fortunately, or The Nottage Thames Estuary Cruising Course. Hunnaball got his way and began running RYA and The jewel in the Nottage crown continues to be the similar courses on a semi-commercial basis. traditional boatbuilding class currently tutored by Fabian Newly appointed secretary and treasurer Bill Ellis Bush and John Lane. This takes about five years and put the Institute’s accounting procedures on a proper there is a lengthy waiting list. Students spend alternate footing and, together with his wife Georgina, he Saturdays throughout the winter months building the energised the Friends of the Nottage to such an Nottage dinghy, a 9ft 8in (3m) clinker-built dinghy,

Above: clinker dinghies under construction by students attending the sought-after boatbuilding course

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NOTTAGE MARITIME INSTITUTE

suitable to row or to sail and designed to teach all of the 1961, the binnacle was donated to the Nottage and now traditional skills. “Most of the tools and methods would stands in the corner like a genial spectator from Dr Who. be understood by a 15th-century boatbuilder if he visited If it were not for the classes and the dinghy builders in a time machine,” runs the description – and John and the summer art exhibitions, the Nottage Maritime Collins assures me that plenty of women and young Institute might have the melancholy feel of a place people have also built the Nottage dinghies. There are existing in a time warp. Its wealth of exhibits has come, about 1,000 roved copper nails in every boat and almost entirely, from individuals who have died (Captain clenching them is said to be a very noisy process. The Nottage was only 42 when he succumbed to chronic larch planks and other curved pieces are steamed in a illness) or from businesses that have ceased to trade. box that is fuelled by a not-very-15th-century tea urn My Sunday afternoon visit to the Nottage was and sub-tropical hardwood is frequently used in place unplanned, yet there I naturally found local historian of oak. My main impression was the variousness of the John Collins and artist James Dodds, the co-authors of half-dozen boats currently River Colne Shipbuilders: a under construction. No matter Portrait of Shipbuilding 1786that they were all being built to 1988 – a fascinating book, which “Most of the tools an identical design using a evokes the days that vessels of all standard set of instructions, sorts left the River Colne to work and methods would be already they were developing or play across the globe. (River understood by a 15ththeir own individualities – the Colne Shipbuilders was reviewed beauty of building in wood. in CB261, March 2010.) century boatbuilder if he On the wall above the James Dodds’s mother, steamer hangs an upended photographer Wendy Thomas, visited in a time machine” scrieve board displaying a was also present that afternoon. glorious set of shipwrights’ She was curating Waterlines, tools – all of them from Wivenhoe shipyards and one or a family exhibition of work by Andrew, James and two carrying the names of their former owners. Upstairs Catherine Dodds, herself and architect Bryan Thomas. there is an array of working half models, the oldest of Catherine Dodds, a potter, was the designer for River which, the Jan Henrick, dates from 1844 and exhibits Colne Shipbuilders, and is a committee member of the the Dutch “basket-style” design, which was also used by Nottage. “You can’t get away from it,” she said. the Brightlingsea Aldous yard, established in 1831. I’m glad that’s true. Captain Charles Nottage was a There are plating models, ship portraits, full models, businessman, a photographer and writer, as well as a blocks, sextants, seamans’ ducks, masters’ certificates, yachtsman. I like to think that he would approve the mix brass plates and a splendid binnacle. This was delivered of art and the relics of industry together with traditional to the Wivenhoe Shipyard for use in a wooden boatbuilding and contemporary RYA training that gives minesweeper of the mid-1950s and then left unused his Institute its continuing vitality. when a MOD spending review cut the production of minesweepers. After the Wivenhoe Shipyard closed in nottagemaritimeinstitute.org.uk Tel: +44 (0)1206 824142 50

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

Above: the wonderfully evocative display of traditional boatbuilding tools


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Saleroom HENRY ALDRIDGE & SON

BY DAVE SELBY An unplayable, factory-made violin missing two strings has became the most valuable Titanic artefact ever sold at auction, fetching £1.1 million. As the Titanic foundered in the ice on 14 April 1912, bandleader Wallace Hartley played his way into eternal memory, striking up the hymn ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ to calm the passengers in a heroic effort of self-sacrifice. That poignant moment has since been immortalised in the movies of the disaster. This is that very violin, recovered in a leather case found attached to his body when that was recovered on 25 April 1912. Following the tragedy,

which claimed 1,500 lives, the violin was returned to his fiancée Maria Robinson, who had given it to him, dedicating it with a silver plaque inscribed: “For Wallace on the occasion of our engagement.” She never married. Discovered in an attic in north Yorkshire in 2006, the German violin was subjected to an extensive historical investigation to confirm its provenance by Henry Aldridge & Son. The Wiltshire auction house, the world’s leading auctioneer of Titanic collectibles, also commissioned forensic tests by the Home Office Forensic Science Service and other independent bodies. Trace analysis confirmed the residues were

C/0 HENRY ALDRIDGE & SON

Instrument of courage

Above left: Hartley’s violin set a new record for a Titanic artefact sold at auction

consistent with the water of the North Atlantic and other matter recovered from Titanic victims. This ultimate Titanic trophy was bought by a UK-based collector. In the sale, Hartley’s bag, which contained the violin, fetched £30,000.

CHRISTIE’S

RM AUCTIONS, USA

Gar Wood would, wouldn’t he? If American industrialist and sportsman Garfield ‘Gar’ Wood were alive today he’d no doubt employ current production techniques, as does this 1990 recreation of his legendary Baby Gar, originally built from 1922 to 1929. The modern evocation of the 33ft (10.1m) classic by Turcotte Brothers, holders of the Gar Wood trademarks, uses cold-moulded epoxy construction to encapsulate the mahogany planking. Instead of a marinised Liberty V12 aero engine, this one is powered by a Chevrolet-based, 425hp, 502 cubic-inch V8. Not sure if Gar would have installed a bow-thruster, as fitted in this re-creation. Baby Gars are rare, with just 67 originals built. The drive was always passion, not profit, and when he retired in 1945, company directors closed down the boatbuilding division. This modern tribute could fetch up to $225,000 (c£138,000) when it goes on sale at RM Auctions’ 16-17 January sale in Arizona, USA. www.clas sicbo salero at.co.uk/ for extra om stories

See Salermooorme online

These two images demonstrate the range of the market in classic posters. The 1927 lithograph for Rotterdam-Zuid Amerikalijn (top right) is considered an exemplar of the art form and was selected for a 1936 Cubism and Abstract Art exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It fetched £25,000 at Christie’s Graphic Masterworks auction. A few weeks later the 1930 image of Villefranche sur Mer (bottom right), which CB readers will enjoy, sold for £2,750 at Christie’s regular poster sale in London, where maritime posters could be had for as little as £500.

C/O CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD, 2013

C/0 RM AUCITONS

Prized posters

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Objects of desire A world of your own These bespoke 13in (33cm)-diameter table globes are a stylish and original way to commemorate a great voyage. These ones are handmade on the Isle of Wight by making a papier mâché ball skimmed with plaster for a smooth finish, then covered with printed paper gores and sealed and varnished. The globe sits within a stainless steel meridian arm tilted at 23.5 degrees to replicate the axis of the Earth to the sun. The spun wooden base and spindles are also made by independent artisans. This globe can be personalised with any number of routes by land, air or sea. There is a lead time of three weeks. £375 inc p&p to mainland UK (enquire for RoW). landerandmay.com Tel: +44 (0)7855 731419

A print of your boat While this giclée print of Alastair Garrod’s fine art rendering of an XOD design will, ah, only appeal to XOD owners and sailors, or fans of its designer Alfred Westmacott, we certainly like it. The idea is that it can be personalised to your boat with your boat’s name, hull colouring and the sail number, and so it has both an individual and wider appeal. The PPL agency has offered this as an online service producing bespoke prints on fine art paper, available in various sizes from 20in x 16in (51cm x 41cm) to 60in x 40in (152cm x 102cm). These are for the owner to frame, but PPL also offers a bespoke framing service when required. From £264 including VAT tinyurl.com/pqmyyub Tel: +44 (0)1243 555561

Steaming ahead This exquisite 1:8 scale model of the historic steam launch Bat is no mere static exhibit, but a fully working piece with a jewel-like compound steam engine. The full-sized Bat was built by Brockbank of Windermere in 1891 and was used to conduct experiments in early radio control. As for this 41in (104cm)-long, radio-controlled model, it was built in 1986 by renowned model maker Keith Townsend, but this example, complete with display case, tools and charger, is coming up for sale on 28-29 January at Bonhams’ Gentleman’s Library auction in London where it’s expected to fetch between £10,000-£12,000. bonhams.com Tel: +44 (0)207 447 7447 54

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ScIence

Of Speed

Nigel Irens is best known for his radical, world-beating multihull racers. So what’s he doing launching a tiny wooden motorboat? Read on to find out story and photographs william stanton

F

from carbon-rigged, wave-piercing, strippedout racing multihulls to genteel gaffers and luggers, Nigel Irens’ yachting design portfolio is as varied as it is impressive. So it might come as something of a surprise to learn that the 26ft (7.9m) canoe-style motorboat designed for weekend river and estuary trips pictured above is, in fact, another standout Irens creation. But as well as being a family boat, it is also a “proof of concept” project whose origins reach back years. Rewind to the 1968 Golden Globe race and two of the nine entrants, Nigel Tetley and Donald Crowhurst, raced 40ft (12.2m) Arthur Piver trimarans that were designed for people to build in their backyards. Like James Wharram’s catamarans, developed at the same time, the designs used plywood. Tetley’s Victress broke up and sank and Crowhurst ended his life, leaving Teignmouth Electron drifting in the Atlantic. The fact was that

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box-boats like Victress went badly to windward because they weren’t structured to withstand the rigging loads required to achieve upwind performance. Only Wharram’s catamarans stayed close to the Melanesian origin of the multihull: a double canoe with a low-stress rig. In terms of speed, however, these rigs cannot be powered-up for windward sailing. All innovation consists of interplay between research and development, practical experience and inspiration. Throughout the 1970s, all manner of strange and wacky craft appeared. Some boats broke up and others never fulfilled their promise, but there were innovations too, like wing masts, foils, windsurfers and the radical development of catamarans. We should note that in 1972 Clifton Flasher, a proa with a solid multi-element wing rig, was fielded by a team that included the young Nigel Irens. Seagoing multihulls after Victress were developed by designer-builders like Dick Newick and Derek Kelsall.


GRETA GRETA LOA

26ft 2in (8m) beAm

6ft 6in (2m) DrAught

1ft 8in (0.6m)

DispLAcement

1,764lb (0.8 tonnes) engine

Beta 14 buiLDer

Rodney Hallam, Baltic Wharf, Totnes

Left: proud as punch – Nigel Irens watches as Greta is named. Below: out on the river with the family

Apricot represented a new kind of trimaran, and its composite construction had an enormous impact on the growth of ocean racing. Times were changing. Sailing had become professional, attracting big sponsorship and yards were dedicated to the highly sophisticated technology needed to realise designs. The day of the sailor-builder was over and Irens became a consultant designer; the focal point of a team embracing all aspects of concept realisation. Working between the UK and France, he developed a series of world-beating multihulls for the stars of grand prix ocean racing: the 72ft (22m) Fleury Michon VIII; the 60ft (18.3m) Fujicolour and Fujicolour II, Laiterie Mont St-Michel, Region Haute Normandie, Biscuits La Trinitaine and Banque Populaire; the 75ft (23m) B&Q/ Castorama for Ellen MacArthur and the 97ft (29.6m) IDEC for Francis Joyon. Irens tells of an experience in Senegal when, in 1988, he took a trip in a pirogue with a 15hp outboard and was struck by the fact that this simple canoe could hit 14 knots. That turn of speed inspired the creation of iLan Voyager (iLan is shorthand for incredible long and narrow), a 70ft (21.3m) powered trimaran that was quick, circumnavigating the British Isles in 72 hours. That aforementioned “proof of concept” theory came to the fore on iLan Voyager through the use of low displacement to length ratio, or LDL. As Irens says of his work with LDL, he is “improving displacement hulls and making them slender enough to minimise wave-making drag.” His work with sailing monohulls like Fararer, Roxane and Romilly is related, involving narrow waterlines, but it is different from LDL, which applies only to displacement power vessels. iLan Voyager proved the LDL concept for a powered trimaran, and this was further developed in the 1998 113ft (34.4m) Cable and Wireless Adventurer, which circumnavigated the world in 74 days, including 15 stops. Irens’ first LDL-powered monohull was the Range Boat 39, built in 2003 of wood-epoxy construction with classic looks reminiscent of pre-war racing motor launches and New England lobster boats. This led to the 62ft (18.9m) Molly Bán (pronounced ‘Bawn’), a motor yacht that will cruise at 17 knots on her single 300hp

Their trimarans were stiffer, beams and floats became discrete structures and they went faster, consistently beating conventional yachts, though also gaining a reputation for instability. In 1978 Nigel Irens and Mark Pridie had won their class in the Round Britain Race in Jan of Santa Cruz. She’d been capsized in the Atlantic by her original owner then rebuilt by Irens and Mike Birch, a project typical of a period when many racing sailors were also boatbuilders – and in Irens’ case, designers too. Based outside Bristol, he developed three innovative projects, starting with the 40ft (12.2m) trimaran Gordano Goose, in which he won a 24-hour singlehanded race; the 60ft (18.3m) trimaran Apricot in 1985, in which he won the Round Britain and Ireland race with Tony Bullimore; and finally the 70ft (21.3m) powered trimaran iLan Voyager. Irens believed that Gordano Goose had taken one set of ideas as far as they would go in the pursuit of speed. CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

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GRETA

Clockwise from top left: bronze anchor chain guide; planked up; the simple and spartan interior; engine beds

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diesel engine, but is optimised for around 14 knots on half that power. The success of these boats has led to others, all employing LDL concepts and thus all achieving stable, economic cruising with relatively small engines. The latest project in this long line of ground-breaking, elegant craft is Greta (pronounced ‘Greeta’). When he took me out on her on the River Dart, Nigel explained that he’d wanted to build a motor launch to use for family days out. She is built in wood and will also provide data for the development of two larger designs currently on the drawing board. With her fine bow and flattened aft sections, Greta is certainly efficient, going at nearly 11 knots with her Beta 14 at 3,400 revs driving a three-bladed 14-inch propeller. Throttled back to about 2,000 revs she still does a little under eight knots. Greta is light, her hull built of 9mm BS 1088 marine ply, glued, epoxied and painted. The core of the frames is also 9mm ply, cut by water-jet. Nigel showed me a test cut-out and the edge is immaculate, as though cut and planed in one pass. Each frame was laminated up with timber ‘futtocks’ on either face to give a proper bearing for the ply planks – four a side – and the process helped a quick build, less than six months for one man, and that included the quality of joinery and finish for which Irens boats are renowned. Nigel explained how Greta not only shows that LDL works on smaller monohulls, but that the build experience was vital in preparing the two bigger projects. The elegant little motor launch had another chance to show off, however, one morning in August when Nigel, his wife Alison, daughter Katie and I set off from Dartmouth to deliver her to Fowey for a family holiday. It was misty at first and there was a 4ft (1.2m) swell left over from a southwesterly blow two days previously.

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

That didn’t trouble Greta, though, and off we went, her bow parting the chop and her hull lifting comfortably to the waves. After the start we encountered areas of overfalls confusing the basic swell, but Greta sliced her way through and we spread out lunch on the engine box, which is so well lined with acoustic material that we could comfortably talk while we ate. An inflatable was stowed upside down forward, and four-year-old Katie watched a DVD underneath it, then snoozed. The sun came out as we finished lunch, sweeping down to Fowey against a touch of foul tide and arriving five hours and 40 minutes after we left Dartmouth. That was an average of about nine knots, with the engine at a steady 3,000 revs, using 13 litres of fuel for the passage. What more could you ask of a boat? At one point we were passed by a twin-screw 40-footer (12.2m) and Nigel quickly calculated that, up on the plane and going nearly flat-out, she was using £250-worth of diesel an hour. It isn’t just the cost of the fuel though, or the fact that for years Irens has been developing boats that move through the water using the wind or fossil fuel with maximum economy. The real benefit, as I’ve heard him say many times, lies in the simple enjoyment of travelling effortlessly in an easily driven hull – and this is most familiar to those of us who are used to a sailing culture. IDEC, Francis Joyon’s trimaran designed by Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret, has taken three world records: a solo circumnavigation in 57 days, six hours, a 24-hour run of 666 miles and a solo transatlantic in five days, two hours. The IDEC website says that Nigel’s name is synonymous with an “armada of conquerors”. From Clifton Flasher to IDEC and now Greta, his “proofs of concept” and the elegance of his designs have indeed created world beaters.


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cLASSIcAL

PUCCINI

cOLLecTIOn

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Strolling along Fifth Avenue, he caught sight of a small but expensive speedboat displayed in a shop window. Called Ricochet, it was one of the world’s very first stepped hydroplanes. By adding a step on the bottom of the hull, it could skim across the surface since less water was in contact with the boat, thus attaining far higher speeds than previously thought capable. No wonder they were nicknamed ‘skimmers’ or ‘fast-steppers’. Ricochet was invented and patented by Parisian boatbuilder Paul Bonnemaison, and boats of this type had been regular race winners. At the Monaco Regatta of 1908, Ricochet XVII was entered. Built at the Deschamps-Blondeau yard, she was fitted with a two-cylinder V-type motorcycle engine built by Alessandro Anzani of Courbevoie. Light and fast, boats like this were obviously so much fun that one had made it all the way to New York. Puccini simply had to have this aquatic toy! Once acquired, it was shipped back to Italy and very soon her new owner was having a lot of fun getting her to plane across Lake Massaciuccoli. Puccini’s next opera was also influenced by his American visit. It was called La Fanciulla del West (The Girl from the West) and it was first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on 10 December 1910. By this time, Puccini has also acquired a sizeable steam yacht, the first of four, each of which he called Cio-Cio San after the heroine in Madam Butterfly. He registered these with the then Royal Yacht Club of Italy. In 1912, the death of Giulio Ricordi, Puccini’s editor and publisher, ended a productive period of his career. And when times became harder and his later operas less popular, Puccini had to sell Cio-Cio San IV and resort to smaller skiffs, some with the latest outboard motors. Sadly, Puccini’s downfall was not his love of speed – either on road or water – but his penchant for chainsmoking Tosca cigars, and at the end of 1923 he was diagnosed with throat cancer. Despite surgery, he died a year later of a heart attack, aged 65. Although his boats and cars were destroyed by Allied bombings during World War II, Puccini’s decadent lifestyle lives on at the majestic Villa Puccini, which is now a museum owned by Simonetta Puccini, the artist’s granddaughter and only heir. It’s well worth a visit.

Clockwise from top: Cio-Cio San, one of Puccini’s steam yachts; working at his piano; Puccini piloting Ricochet; his first car – a De Dion-Bouton

AUtoMoBILE AssoCIAtIoN, MUsEo pUCCINI

A

s with the Russian pianist-composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, the name of Giacomo Puccini is normally associated with immortal operas such as La Bohème, Tosca, Madam Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West, La Rondine and Turandot. He was described by fellow Italian composer Roman Vlad as “The last great poet of the Italian opera, the best composer of operas Italy and the whole world had in our century.” Yet it is not generally known that Puccini was also a lover of fast automobiles, speedboats and steam yachts. Born in 1858 in Lucca, Tuscany, Puccini was descended from four generations of composers and organists. His father, Michele, a music teacher and unsuccessful opera composer, died when Giacomo was just five years old, but his mother was determined that the boy carry on the family tradition. At only 14, he was organist to the two churches in Lucca and he began to study music at 16, after completing his education. In 1880, with the help of a relative and a grant, Puccini enrolled in the Milan Conservatory to study composition. The same year, aged just 22, he composed his already mature Messa di Gloria. He also he came into contact with a group of Milanese artists called the Scapigliati, who lived a bohemian lifestyle. From 1891, as one highly successful opera followed the next – Manon Lescaut, La Bohème, Tosca and Madam Butterfly – Puccini used his accruing wealth to build a villa near Torre del Lago, just south of Viareggio. Here, Puccini often took time out to go for a blast in one of his collection of fast cars – the first of which was a 1901 De Dion-Bouton. Fast, yes, but safety left a lot to be desired and Puccini’s hobby almost cost him his life. In 1903, while enjoying a night-time drive in his latest acquisition, the car overturned and luckily Puccini escaped with just a broken leg. Undeterred, more cars were acquired, either French or Italian: Fiat, Isotta Fraschini, Sizaire-Naudin, Itala and Lancia. In 1909, Puccini went to New York for an American premiere of one of his works. He loved the hurly-burly of the big city and, with his childlike passion for anything mechanical, he found America a paradise of high-tech gadgets and machines – and it was here where his passion for speedboats took hold.

CorBIs

story kevin desmond

MUsEo pUCCINI

Few would argue that Giacomo Puccini is a musical genius. But away from the opera stage, he lived life on the edge with a collection of fast cars and speedboats


Onboard SAILING TO ST KILDA

CRUISING . SEAMANSHIP . EQUIPMENT

Wylde

BORN TO BE

There are many ways to travel to the remotest part of the British Isles, but few more memorable or majestic than aboard a Tall Ship. Join us on Wylde Swan for a trip to St Kilda STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS ADRIAN MORGAN


A

voyage to St Kilda, which travel writers consistently and lazily call either The Isles of Mystery, or Islands at the Edge of the World, is a rite of passage for anyone sailing the coast of the North West Highlands. St Kilda is the remotest part of the British Isles and more has been written about this isolated archipelago than most. Much of the mystery has been uncovered, albeit more has yet to be unearthed. Ever since the first settlers arrived in the Bronze Age, building materials were scarce, stone was recycled again and again, and little remains on the surface of any of the houses that must have existed through the millennia that the main

island Hirta was inhabited. Therein lies the mystery: how on earth could anyone endure life on such an isolated group of islands, surviving on sea birds and their eggs, potatoes, barley and whatever else could be raised behind the drystone walls that enclosed the precious patches of fertile land and protected the crops from Atlantic gales? The answer to a large extent lies in the many books written about the inhabitants who were forced to leave in 1930 when the plummeting birth rate – infant mortality was tragically high partly due to the practice of rubbing the umbilical cord in bacteria-infested gannet grease and of lead pollution in the soil – made life unsupportable. All yachts from Loch Broom capable of making the 45-mile voyage across the Minch and out through the


ONBOARD SAILING TO ST KILDA

Previous page: Wylde Swan’s impressive masts and bowsprit picked out in the early afternoon sunshine. Clockwise from top left: all hands on deck; ruins of Village Bay on St Kilda with Wylde Swan at anchor; furling the mainsail. Far right: Wylde Swan under full sail

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Sound of Harris and the further 40 or so miles to St Kilda attempt it at some point, and more often than not are forced to turn tail in the face of deteriorating conditions, for the islands are extremely exposed and the once safe anchorage in Village Bay off Hirta, the only inhabited island, is untenable in all but settled conditions. To sail to St Kilda on a 203ft 4in (62m) topsail schooner is definitely the way to go, rather than slogging into a southwesterly in a small yacht, or even bouncing there in a RIB. And Wylde Swan is no ordinary topsail schooner: she’s a perennial winner on the Tall Ships Races circuit; in fact, she’s yet to lose a race, thanks to a handicap that’s enhanced by the fact that she is classed as being a conversion, not a new build. So there was no question that we would make it safely, and also no question I would need to lift a finger to help. Others might care to haul on the confusing array of clewlines and halyards, and in fact are encouraged to do so, for the 12 crew cannot hope to handle every one of the lines that snake upwards from the pin rails without help either from the trainees – her primary role is as a sail-training ship – or guests, such as my contingent from Loch Broom. I figured that there were quite enough of those to go round. Wylde Swan made steady progress that afternoon, stretching out from Ullapool under sail, aside from the intimidatingly large mainsail, and the steady and all-but-silent throb of the diesel engine. She needs a

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

good strong blow to crack on and we were on a particularly tight schedule: the Sound by nightfall, and St Kilda by daybreak the following morning. Under a full moon, the islands rose from the sea at dawn like a scene from a Tolkien fantasy. A long summer’s day on Hirta is just enough to climb its highest point, or peer into sheer oblivion as the cliffs plunge vertically to the seas below – a ceaseless crashing of wave on rock; a welter of white fringing green and brown. To be honest a sense of mystery does inhabit the place, spoilt only by the sight of a huge radome at Hirta’s peak, whose connecting cables snake down the green pastures to a row of utilitarian prefabs by the shoreline.

ATLANTIC OCEAN Stornoway St Kilda

Ullapool

Isle of Skye

SCOTLAND


ONBOARD SAILING TO ST KILDA

MAx

Defence contractors QinetiQ run the island now, tending the missile-tracking station, the only other residents being summer scientists, in our case a party of young students here to study the behaviour of the 700 or so rare, and rather peculiar Soay sheep, which, as direct descendants of Neolithic sheep, have surely earned the right to defy behavioural studies. In light oilskins we walked the warm slopes while a gentle, cooling Atlantic breeze blew softly. Below us Wylde Swan lay at anchor under the clear sky. By late afternoon after a lunch of soup and sandwiches, brought out by tender to the landing steps, we were under sail again, threading between Stac an Armin and Boreray, white with sea birds and guano, and setting a course easterly for the Sound of Harris, where we anchored for the night off Rodel. By morning the lighthouse at Rubha Cadail was abeam, and under full sail this time, reefed main included, Wylde Swan made her dramatic arrival off Ullapool’s pier, sails dropping at a run as the skipper executed what can only be described as a topsail schooner’s equivalent to an emergency stop. This trip was a rite of passage, certainly, though hardly character building: fed and watered equally well and with no trace of a rope burn or calloused hands, we all stepped ashore from what they are proud to call the world’s largest, and certainly in my view prettiest, topsail schooner in existence.

Past tim es Wylde Swan was launched as the humble steam trawler Blomberg on 11 May 1920, grossing 227 tons and measuring 119ft 3in (36.4m). Blomberg was initially powered by a three-cylinder, 50hp steam engine and worked as a herring chaser. A herring chaser’s function was not, as the name suggests, to chase herring, but rather to shadow the herring fleet and race the fish home to market before they spoiled. This accounts for her long, lean dimensions: 24ft 3in (7.4m) breadth, or a beam/length ratio of nearly 5:1 – a ratio that increased to nearly 8:1 by the time of her conversion to sail, more than 80 years and several name changes later. Her career would not have been unusual for a vessel of her type. She was not only unceremoniously renamed by subsequent owners, but altered and re-engined to fulfil different roles – from fish chaser and lowly sand barge, to a torpedo transporter for the German Navy. In 1925, renamed Ursula, she was lengthened to 133ft 9in (40.8m), her GRT now up to 256 tons. Fifteen years later and with Europe on the brink of war, the old Blomberg was destined for the breakers – a not untypical lifespan for a working vessel. Perhaps it was this feature that persuaded then owner Walter Michaelis in 1940 to save her from the

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ONBOARD SAILING TO ST KILDA

Cb arChIveS

Wylde Swan makes an impressive sight

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WYLDE SWAN LOS

203ft 4in (62m) beam

24ft (7.3m) Draught

11ft 5in (3.5m)

wyldeswan.eu tel +31 (0)515 231 712

maSt heIght

141ft 1in (43m) SaIL area

12,163sqft 1,130m2 Right: Wylde Swan in her former life as the sand carrier Jemo

Cb arChIveS

scrapyard and re-engine her with a new four-cycle, sixcylinder 300hp maN diesel, good for 9 knots – one reason why the german Navy used her in its arsenal. after germany fell the Nazi torpedo carrier, now laid up in haugesund in Norway, became the responsibility of the Norwegian government and the department responsible for disposing enemy assets. Four years later she found a buyer for Nkr165,000 in Knut and hilmar helgesen, who had her modernised with a new wheelhouse and interior. records show a number of further changes in name and ownership: in 1952, she sailed as gaupøy out of bergen. In 1965 she was re-engined, this time with a 400hp diesel, and by 1974 she was operating under the name Jemo, but now working as a sand carrier. as Jemo, under several more owners, she sailed until 1999 when she caught the eye of Captain Willem Slichting. his intention, before his untimely death, was to convert her to sail under the name Wylde Swan. Why some vessels survive and others are broken up can be put down to many factors: strength of build, historical importance, beauty and luck – the latter being the most important. Wylde Swan, née blomberg, clearly had very good luck, as well as a visionary owner. her present skipper and co-owner Jurgens hanekom, who oversaw the transformation from tramp to lady, explained how they stripped and rebuilt her, replacing rivets, chipping out concrete ballast, grit-blasting rusty plates, ultrasound testing and renewing them where necessary, like for like.

and how, with a long bowsprit that brings her length over spars to 203ft 4in (62m), strengthened for sail and equipped with a ballast keel, plus a rig that is more than adequate, it is no surprise that a Dutch surveyor remarked: “a handkerchief will do for speed.” Fast she most certainly is, winning her class in the 2013 tall Ships race. recently she had the word “Ciao” painted below her waterline amidships, just where the bow wave dips before the stern wave rises. a subtle two-fingered salute to those she passes. appearances above and below are starkly contrasted. the conversion to Lloyd’s register involved a huge amount of calculation on stability, systems and strength. a deeper ballast keel and concreted bilges make for a stiff ship, with a stability curve that kicks back up when, and if, the deck houses were ever to become immersed. Over 10 miles of cabling went into her electrical systems, which include automatic watertight doors and the highest level of safety equipment. the Dutch are the best in the world for this sort of work and Wylde Swan exudes calm efficiency. In the spartan, clean, bright and modern interior – classic schooner above, space ship below – Jurgens will set up a screen and give a short talk about how it came about; the hard labour involved, costs and setbacks. he will not mention her wartime service for Nazi germany, nor the fierce opposition voiced by some who saw the transformation of a rare 1920s motor ship into a schooner as a tragedy. he will instead show photographs of youngsters hauling on buntlines and halyards with smiles on their faces and dancing in the saloon. he will reveal shots of Wylde Swan in the 2011 tall Ships races, which she won, and looking magnificent in lights, anchored off a quayside or under full canvas, drifting up a highland sea loch. that’s how I first saw her, berthing alongside the fish pier with her dramatic plumb bow and magnificent counter stern on full display. and later when the word went out in the local press that the world’s largest topsail schooner was taking bookings for a three-day voyage to the remote island of St Kilda for just £200, including all meals (but excluding alcohol), it was absolutely no surprise to me to find out that her 36 berths, including eight hammocks, and three cabins, were snapped up within days. What a privilege to bag two of them.


ONBOARD

VISIT Sailing Equipmen t cla

Lazarette

ssicboat

.c

o.uk For many product re more views

Sailing gilet A good gilet is an essential bit of core winter kit and here’s a great one from a new player – Isle of Wight-based Hudson Wight. With a waterrepellent, two-layer OceanVent fabric developed in-house, it breathes well and is light and tough. Good value too we think, roughly half that of the competition. £60 inc p&p

Caulking mallets

hudsonwight.com Tel: +44 (0)1983 300144

Traditional Boat Supplies has been one of the staple suppliers of tools for classic boat enthusiasts for years mostly due to John Greenaway’s 60 years of dedication to classic boats. Here’s a selection of its caulking mallets for both cotton and oakum, made from lignum vitae with AB-2 nickel bronze bands. The heavier ones have darts cut either side of the head to take the sting out of the whack. The range varies in price from £99 to £150 (for an ebony head). As always from Traditional Boat Supplies the quality is top-notch. tradboats.com Tel: +44 (0)1502 712311

VHF radio Recently launched at the METS trade show, the IC-M506 is packed full of features, including integrated AIS receiver, NMEA2000 connectivity, ‘Last Call’ voice recording function, Active Noise Cancelling technology plus Icom’s new menu-driven user interface and large dot matrix display making it really easy to use. It’s the first Icom VHF model to have an integrated AIS receiver, allowing you to bring up vessel traffic information on the display. Price TBC icomuk.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)1227 741741

Warm socks Nobody does merino like the New Zealanders and Hike Trek Crew socks from Icebreaker are some of the best of the best. By combining Lycra with wool they’ve made a thick, very tough sock with a well-cushioned foot that stays up well in a boot and takes an awful lot of use before it gets stinky. We tested them for a year and have found nothing better. £20 inc p&p icebreaker.com Tel: 0800 6127 312 68

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

Portable fuel cell Self-reliant electrical energy can be a lifesaver when you need instant charge for a GPS, phone or radio. Enter the new PowerTrekk Fuel Cell. The power comes from sodium silicide-filled pucks that, when mixed with any water (including salt), produce hydrogen that’s then converted into electricity. The only by-product is a little water vapour. With one puck and a little bit of water you will get 1200 mAh (4 Wh). The internal battery contains 1500 (5 Wh) mAh, which you can choose to charge either via the fuel cell or an electrical outlet, when you’re close to one. From £167, including three pucks and p&p powertrekk.com, info@myfc.se


ONBOARD

Books Sea-boats, Oars and Sails by Conor O’Brien This is another bookshelf classic newly repackaged from the Lodestar imprint. And one might question, as does Sam Llewellyn in his foreword, the wisdom of releasing a book with chapters on gear and gadgets, construction and materials, which was first published in 1941. But of course for the classic boater this is reasonably contemporary stuff! And it’s told in O’Brien’s knowledgeable, easy style, imparting pearls of wisdom: “Small blocks are a false economy, for they are ruinous to ropes”, then proceeding to describe how to make your own. The book is illustrated with a Vivier Ilur design An Suire (Sea Nymph) creating some dreamy backdrops of basic boating under sail and oar. But it is quite light on other illustrations, with a few pages at the back to complement notes in the text. This is a book to read for O’Brien’s wide-ranging knowledge of the subject, more than a reference work. And you’re sure to learn something! DH RRP £12, 2013, 176pp, lodestarbooks.

The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons by Sophie Neville The film Swallows & Amazons is 40 years old, but thanks to its careful period evocation, its respect for Arthur Ransome’s original book and the performances of its child actors, it’s become a timeless classic. One of those children was Sophie Neville, who played Titty, and who kept a diary during filming. That diary, with her adult recollections, is this book. It’s a fascinating insight into filming on location in the Lake District, including “danger money” for a scene where Swallow nearly crashes into the lake steamer. But there’s more than that. For a child of 12, it was a wondrous experience to play one of the Walker children. And there are secrets. The press has made much of revelations of Ronald Frazer (Captain Flint) getting drunk a lot, and of a lowly production assistant who pretended he was the producer to pick up local women. But more intriguingly, who could have guessed that Kit Seymour, who invested the role of Nancy Blackett with such tomboyish allure, had to have her voice dubbed, by a nine-year-old boy? PW RRP £2.56, Kindle ebook, 309pp, amazon.co.uk

THREE DISC BOX SET DVD

Somewhere at Sea Starring Timothy Spall This is the three DVD set of all 11 episodes of Spall’s 2010–2012 BBC series where he navigates around Britain in his Dutch steel barge Princess Matilda with wife Shane. Spall, a nervous mariner who is disarmingly honest about his fears and abilities, meets a quirky bunch of folk as he visits some of the UK’s prettiest ports. DH RRP £19.99, 319 min, amazon.co.uk

SUNDOWNERS WITH GUY VENABLES

Perfect pairing Apart from perhaps being a poison tester to the mafia, the area involved in pairing wine with food is one of the most perilous areas of drinking. In the company of pub wine snobs I sometimes just roar through it and order good beer – especially if you’re eating traditionally meaty British food, which lends itself far better to real ales and stouts. The absolute rules for wine are patchy at best and can be fairly well observed thus: if your meat is red, drink red wine, and if white, try it with white. If you’re a vegetarian then you can’t be trusted to make good decisions and if you’re eating in the dark then choice of wine is probably not your first concern. The best thing sometimes to go with wine, is more wine. Wine and beer are not the only thing you can pair with food, however. Holland gin works with pickled herrings, wheat beer complements sauerkraut, and with kippers, a strong cup of Ceylon tea. I have been served rum with burning Danish cheese and horseradish vodka with Russian horse steak. The best example of pairing wine with food, however, was demonstrated to me by a sailor friend of mine. He tends to visit my wife and me every couple of months or so and, coming from London to Brighton, where I live, he insisted on bringing the starter for supper. The first time he brought scallops and a bottle of cold Picpoul de Pinet white wine. He cooked the scallops with chorizo sausage and it was a great start to the meal. So much so, I imagine, that he brought the same meal the next visit. Once he’d turned up for the fifth time with scallops and a cold bottle of Picpoul de Pinet I felt obliged to ask him why he always brought the same. The reason he gave me was far more deliberate than I’d initially thought. The scallops he bought in London were frozen. He packed them around the wine, which was warm. By the time he’d been travelling from his house to mine (approximately two hours) the scallops were defrosted and the cold had neatly transferred to the wine so it was perfectly chilled. Thus a tradition was born, and we have eaten his recipe well into double figures and I never again will question the genius of such an expert wine pairer.

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Discover more at www.tnielsen.co.uk +44 (0)1452 301117 New engine room installation on Kaskelot. www.tnielsen.co.uk 70

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014


ONBOARD

Classnotes The Troy One-Design BY VANESSA BIRD

F

owey, and the deep, narrow river that runs past it to Lostwithiel, has long been a haven for traditional boats. There’s been a port at Fowey since the 12th century, and for many years it was a major boatbuilding centre, which culminated in 1346 when it provided 47 ships and nearly 800 crew for the Siege of Calais. It is still regularly visited by coastal ships loading china clay, but today it is best known for its dinghy and keelboat classes – in particular the Troy One-Design, an 18ft (5.5m) bermudan-rigged keelboat. The class is unique to Fowey, and has sailed these waters since 1929, when Sir Charles Hanson, a former Mayor of London, approached boatbuilder Archie Watty of Amity Court, Fowey, and asked him to build him a small, economical boat for river sailing. Watty’s response was a carvel-built keelboat with a plumb stem, near-vertical transom and a gunter sloop rig. Even before construction of Jocelyn had been completed, she had caught the eye of other local sailors, and later that year Mr Strong, the bank manager at Lloyds in Fowey, commissioned Watty to build him one to the same design. Anemone (No2) was launched alongside Jocelyn in 1929, and by the end of the year Watty had been commissioned to build two more. Alongside these, Watty built a further two on spec, tweaking the design slightly by running the foredeck further aft and increasing the ballast in the keel from 1,560lb to 1,792lb (711kg-813kg). Interest in forming a one-design class with regular racing had gathered pace, and so as to make Jocelyn and Anemone competitive, both boats were tweaked to match their younger siblings. By 1939, there were 11 Troys on the water, and of these only two were not based at Fowey. Building

M SUTHERLAND

continued on spec following the Second World War, with construction being taken over by former apprentice and later yard owner Jim Turpin after Archie Watty’s death in 1949. By the yard’s closure in 1970, 19 had been built, and although building ceased at this time, the class did not. The class association, which had been set up in 1930, bought the moulds and patterns with the view that new boats could be built in the future for a small fee, on the proviso that builders were local to Fowey. It was a good move, because since then another nine have been built, the last four of which by Marcus Lewis, and today the class is very popular, with as many as 22 racing each season. Both boats that left the class in the 1930s have since returned, and only two – Anemone and Maid of Foye III [sic] – have been irretrievably lost. The Troys have changed little since 1929, apart from the rig, which was altered to bermudan in 1934. A larger jib and the use of spinnakers were also introduced later, and although decks may now be sheathed in GRP, construction remains essentially the same. To sail, the Troys are hardy little keelboats, well suited to the waters off the entrance to Fowey. Although wet at times – even with the extended foredeck – they provide very competitive sailing, and it is this and the fairly regular injection of new boats, as well as the maintenance of the old ones, that has kept enthusiasm for the class alive.

Above: the bermudan-rigged Fowey Troy

THE NAME The 18ft (5.5m) one-designs were named Troy after a book called Troy Town, which Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch wrote in 1888 about a fictional town that was based on Fowey.

FAMOUS OWNER One famous owner is the yacht designer Ed Dubois, who in 1990 commissioned the 21st boat of the class. Construction of Brilliant, built by Maurice Hunkin at Bodinnick-byFowey, was started to coincide with the class’s diamond jubilee in 1988.

CONSTRUCTION

SPECIFICATIONS

LOS

22ft (6.7m) LOS

18ft (5.5m) LWL

17ft 6in (5.4m) BEAM

5ft 9in (1.8m) DRAUGHT

3ft 9in (1.2m) SAIL AREA

297sqft (27.6m²)

The Troy One-Designs are carvel built of 5/8in x 8in (16mm x 203mm) Oregon pine on 1 1/4in x 3/4in (32mm x 19mm) steamed American white oak timbers spaced at 6in (152mm) centres.

BY ROYAL RECOMMENDATION In 1934 the sailing master of the royal yacht Britannia – Sir Philip Hunloke – sailed a Troy One-Design and suggested that windward performance would be improved and weatherhelm reduced if the boom was shortened in length. The suggestions were adopted and a marked difference in handling was noted.

CONTACTS Marcus Lewis woodenboatbuilder.co.uk Vanessa’s book, Classic Classes, is a must-buy. For more details, go to www.classicboat.co.uk CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

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Richard Johnstone-Bryden

Building Boatbuilders Conserving Historic Vessels 01502 569663 info@ibtc.co.uk

Shipshape East Anglia Hub

“Rainbow” 3rd in class at the Fife Regatta 2013

e e n ad id ai M pr Brit th t wi rea G in

International Boatbuilding Training College. www.ibtc.co.uk

JAMES LAWRENCE SAILMAKERS LTD BESPOKE SAILMAKERS

22-28 Tower Street, Brightlingsea, Essex CO7 0AL Tel: 01206 302863 • Fax: 01206 305858 Email: mark@gaffguru.com or lawrencesails@btconnect.com

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16/12/2013 16:58:37


ONBOARD

Getting afloat WHIRLAWAY TYPE

deep, modern cockpit, the possibility for self-tailing winches and jammers; good beam to stand up to her canvas (she’s 11ft 6in/3.5m wide); generous side decks; and a handy yawl rig for two-handed sailing. Peter says the build of the boat is “immaculate” – the result of a time-served boatbuilder lavishing lots of hours and attention on what was to have been his retirement project. “About £300,000” would see the

C/O ED BURNET

Here is a unique and ambitious project to marry the best of traditional hull design with a modern gaff rig. Fifteen years ago, old-time Falmouth boatbuilder Barry Cass bought a set of Kim Holman plans for a 43ft (13.1m) yacht – in essence, a stretched ‘Whirlaway’ design – and built the hull. Broker Peter Gregson, who has a respect for 1960s Holman designs, commissioned Ed Burnett to draw a modern gaff rig for her, in an attempt to conceive an exciting, different yacht in this size category. “It’s an escape from the all-pervasive cult of the Pilot Cutter,” said Peter. “By marrying the apogee of traditional hull design, before fin and skeg came along, with a fast, powerful and lightweight gaff rig, you could have a really unusual, fast and handy boat. The design is a commodious one, too, with a full mid-section giving a wide sole.” Her other great advantages are a

T

A chance to finish a classic

Above: Ed Burnett’s gaff rig sail plan. Inset: the complete hull awaiting new instruction

boat finished and rigged either with the Burnett gaff rig, or the original Holman bermudan rig. This is a very rare project for someone to end up with what could be an extraordinarily versatile, attractive and powerful yacht. Call Peter Gregson on the number below for more details. woodenships.co.uk Tel: (0)1803 833899

TIDEWAY

TWISTER

Kim Holman’s classic

The 27ft 8in (8.5m) bermudan sloop Twister was Holman’s big design hit of the 1960s, named after the Beatle’s hit ‘Twist and Shout’. They were designed for racing but are very seaworthy: to prove it, a few years ago, sailor Trevor Clifton took one around Cape Horn. More than 200 were built in wood and GRP. This is a 1968 GRP hull with an 18hp Yanmar. Lying Kent, £17,500.

What could be more traditional than sailing on a lake in the north on a wooden Tideway, as per this photo? The Good Wood Boat Company builds them in riveted clinker construction for between £10,000 and £15,000 depending on finish. Pure Swallows and Amazons… goodwoodboat.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)1900 821236

C/O GOOD WOOD BOAT COMPANY

C/O CATHERINE DINES

Venerable dinghy

mjlewisboatsales.com Tel: +44 (0)1621 859373 CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

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BOATS FOR SALE

Boats for sale Looking to sell your boat? Reach over 50,000 readers each month

To advertise call Edward Mannering +44 (0) 20 7349 3747 Edward.Mannering@chelseamagazines.com Copy Deadline for next issue is 21/01/2014

Farne Islander 26

Designed by Ian Oughtred . Traditional gaff rigged cutter, 21ft loa with 5ft retractable bowsprit, lifting keel and 10hp diesel engine. Three berths in one cabin. Beautiful sailing boat in excellent order, comprehensively equipped for river/coastal cruising. She was expertly constructed using stripped plank Western Red Cedar and double diagonal mahogany veneers by McNulty’s using the West epoxy system to a very high standard of craftsmanship, with teak laid decks, launched in 2000. Ashore, South Devon £13,450. Contact 01803 840136 or prof.ajchadwick@gmail.com

Gabrielle ii

Restoration project for a beautiful classic 51’ sloop - standing in Boatyard, under cover, Scotland. £24,000. Further details 07443 119740 or jane.maufe@gmail.com

AK BAlflour ex fifes, HoneyBee

Onward Of ItO

1923 Itchen Ferry Gaff Cutter. 24ft plus 12ft bowsprit. Complete refit by top class yard 1999-2001. Yanmar 2GM, Bowthruster, Eberspacher Heating. Nexus Nav. Instruments. Furler/ reefing on jib and staysail. Continuous upgrading of this beautiful boat by current owner over sixteen year ownership. Too many extras to list. Lying Lymington Yacht Haven. £28,000. Contact: itoboat@yahoo.co.uk Mob. 07812008785

MUDJEKEEWIS was built in 1964 at Largs by W T Boag of Mahogany on Oak frames and raced extensively in the Clyde and Ireland. She was fully renovated 3 years ago with a new Beta 20hp engine, 2 new plastic fuel tanks, new keel bolts, new Sikta Spruce mast and rigging, new sails by the original maker WB Leitch of Tarbet, new Rotostay furling headgear, new Lewmar windlass and 60 metres of chain as well as complete renovation of the 2x4 berth cabins in teak. All standard electronics included. L 28ft,B 8ft, D 5ft 6ins. £19,500. Call 07791254833 or email koreacatty@yahoo.com

RELUCTANTLY FOR SALE “TINTAGEL”

Classic ex Police Boat 9.1 x 2.5 x 0.8. Perkins P6 diese. Sleeps 4-5 in 2 cabins. Galley, head & shower, hot & cold running water. Hydraulic Steering. New Engine Beds. New Engine Stringers. Stainless steel Fuel Tank 200 litres. Stainless Steel holding tank 50 litres. Fresh water tank 37 litres. Shore Power wiring 240 Volt. D.C. Power Wiring 12 Volts. £16,500. Tel. 07891 608 672

DiamonD

SEABIRD

Design by WILLIAM FIFE III in 1889. Built in 2003 by STAGNOL in France. Hull Strip Planking 8,22m, AOL 10,85m. Beam 2,08m. 5 sails + Spi + Covers. Motor YANMAR 9 H.P. Sailing in Costa Brava, Gerona, SPAIN. €65,000. Contact: Louis +34 609 28 08 38 l.mulliez@verdecora.es

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CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

A recreation of a Charles Sibbick 1897 fin-and-bulb keel ‘skimming dish’ Half Rater. Compete in classic regattas with this new unique hand built boat. 21 foot long, built in strip plank with yellow cedar deck, mahogany coamings and bronze fittings. £28,000 For more information about Diamond contact: Martin Nott, 07831 328212, martinnott@mac.com www.martinnott.com

EssEx OystEr smack William & mary ck32 Circa 1860. Totally rebuilt and in immaculate condition. Laid deck. Bronze fastenings throughout Nanni diesel twin hydraulic drives 3no berths £60,000 Tel: Ian Barker 07736816116 Email: Ian_barker@btconnect.com


BOATS FOR SALE

Mist ral

 

24,98/19,35/4,60/2,50

Have a first look at: www.Mistral-yacht.com

41*056734436,- 7 365!*7 )%5+27 7"(7)4522.7)4-2,3467

Comet Organisation www.yachts-classiques.com ,-2-7#157 43563477(10,2"5+$.$3

Looking to sell your boat? Reach over 50,000 readers each month There are two styles of Boats for Sales ad to choose from and with our special offer, if you buy two months, your third month will be free. Pick the style which suits your requirements and email: Edward.Mannering@ chelseamagazines.com with your text and image or call +44 (0) 20 7349 3747. The deadline for the next issue is 21/01/2014

SAMPLE STYLE A GoLAnT GAffEr

No. 8. Excellent 2 berth coastal cruiser, built 1999. Length 18’ 9� Beam 7’ Draft 2’ 9� long keel, designed by Roger Dongray. Yanmar GM 10 regularly serviced. Very attractive boat lovingly maintained, Lying Fowey. £12,000 ono. Email: name@classicboat.co.uk 0000 11111111

STYLE A. 5cm x 2 columns. Either 160 words or 80 words plus colour photograph. ÂŁ275 inc VAT and Internet

SAMPLE STYLE B

STYLE B. 5cm x 1 colums. Either 55 words or 30 words plus colour photograph. ÂŁ155 inc VAT and Internet

cuTTEr

Built 1991, mahogany & epoxy hull similar to GRP, 1930’s spars & fittings, beautifully maintained. Visit www.idclark.force9.co.uk for photos and specification. £25,750 Contact 00000 111111

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

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BROKERAGE

Brokerage

To advertise Call Patricia Hubbard +44 (0) 207 349 3748 Patricia.hubbard@chelseamagazines.com Copy Deadline for next issue is 21/01/2014

33 High Street, Poole BH15 1AB, England. Tel: + 44 (0)1202 330077

62 ft J M Soper, Philip & Son Cutter 1929 Soper is best remembered for the legendary fast cutter SATANITA and a “fair turn of speed” is noted by the yachting press of 1929 for this creation by Philip and Son from another of his designs. As an able sea going cruiser and 62 foot on deck ZEPHYR is the perfect size for a family yacht of this vintage. In impressive condition and a real beauty, her forte is in the sheer practicality of her layout, rig and accommodation – to which her ownership by the same family for more than 40 years is testament enough. €950,000

Lying Italy

60 ft Sparkman & Stephens Sloop 1939 S&S aficionados enthuse about the period between 1930-39 from the board of Olin Stephens – the quantum leaps of DORADE and STORMY WEATHER for offshore work, but with the purity of lines that later box rules diluted. KHAYYAM ex ZWERVER has cruised extensively as well and sailed classic regattas – a careful regime of maintenance has allowed this yacht to sail more miles than her more delicate sisters – an exciting prospect aficionado or not. €380,000

Lying France

47 ft Laurent Giles Yawl 1951 As with Jack Laurent Giles’ Vertue design ISMANA displays that purposeful charm blending style with function as only he knew how - a style that has the onlooker captivated; more subtle than the very long overhangs that seduce so easily and far more seaworthy as a result - her current owner has fully restored her with the help of Hubert Stagnol and he seems to have known exactly what he wanted to achieve. Her structure is impressive enough but it’s in the simple detailing and original fittings on deck and below that make this boat very special. €235,000 Lying France

68 ft Charles E Nicholson Cutter 1937 As FIREBIRD X This yacht was a design inspired by the 12M R class but liveable enough for offshore races and fast cruising. John Leather observed “OISEAU DE FEU is, among middle size yachts, the most convenient and elegant boat a sailor could dream of”. She won many inshore and offshore races in her early post war life. In 1989 a two year full restoration was to bring her back to her original splendour. Since then, she has taken part in the Mediterranean classic races with great results – OISEAU DE FEU rarely finishes out of the top three in the prestigious vintage class. €750,000 Lying France

46 ft John Alden Ketch 1939 Attributed to John Alden DELFINO was built by an Italian yard on the eve of WW II - this yacht exhibits many of the characteristics of John Alden’s designs, well known for their beauty as well as their ability offshore. There is a shortage of well restored yachts of this size that can be cruised extensively as well as exhibited and raced in classic regattas. The current ownership are lucky enough to own a fleet of classic vessels so with their knowledge and passion DELFINO has been optimised for Med cruising, with generator, air conditioning as well as new Hood sails. Thus wonderfully set up she is ready. €450,000 Lying Spain

55 ft Bill Tripp Abeking & Rasmussen Cutter 1965 In her current ownership for over 27 years – in that time DANCER has sailed about 100,000 miles, recently enjoying the remote reaches of the Pacific. All these miles have been done with just two people aboard, and whether ghosting along, or shortened down in a gale, DANCER has been an easy, forgiving yacht to sail. She is long enough to comfortably knock off 200 mile days, but easy enough for one person on watch to handle and is demonstrably a superb blue water cruiser. €375,000 Lying New Zealand

43 ft Stirling & Son Gentlemans Cutter 2012 A breathtakingly beautiful yacht from a present day builder with a sensibility not just for yacht design from the late 19th Century – special as that was - but the vision to create a vessel for a sailor useful enough to enjoy with his family in 2012 and that can genuinely excite when the conditions and mindset of the crew determine - with the capability bravely to explore blue water and beyond. A gentleman’s cutter – Gentlemen let’s broaden our horizons!

48 ft Sparkman & Stephens Yawl 1964 A typical cruising boat from Sparkman and Stephens from this period; her dimensions would make her pretty effective also as a classic racer but her layout on deck and volume below make her extremely comfortable – what’s more it seems to be very fashionable to be dressed in an S&S classic yawl these days...

33 ft Albert Strange Gaff yawl 1937 This yacht’s flowing lines, strong sheer and elegant counter are typical of her designer Albert Strange. As a well known artist he had transformed his skills into designing small yachts at a time when there were a lot of large ones - and he was demonstrably capable of converting an excellent sense of shape and form into really practical boats. SEA HARMONY is a beautiful name and is so relevant for both yacht and rig.

€160,000

email: info@sandemanyachtcompany.co.uk 76

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

Lying Belgium

£297,500 VAT unpaid

£25,000

Lying UK

Lying USA

www.sandemanyachtcompany.co.uk


2 Southford Road, Dartmouth, South Devon TQ6 9QS Tel/Fax: (01803) 833899 – info@woodenships.co.uk – www.woodenships.co.uk

42’ Looe Lugger built in 1904 as one of the last sailing fishing boats, and she was only retired from fishing in the late 1970’s. Pitch pine hull on sawn oak frames. Powerful 2 mast standing lug rig, twin 55hp diesels new in 2011. 8 berths in 3 cabins. A beautiful working boat in very nice condition. Devon £80,000

26’ Plymouth Hooker built by Pearce of Looe in 1908 as a typical West Country working boat, her graceful and eye catching lines are second to none. Completely rebuilt in recent years, hardwood centreline with larch planking all bronze fastened. An absolutely stunning little gem. Devon £25,000

10’ new build clinker dinghy from Cornish boat builder James Baker. Larch on oak hull all copper fastened. Two rowing positions with the facility to fit a small rig. Very pretty dinghy in a nice manageable size, there is unlikely to be a better value new dinghy in the country. Cornwall £4,750

36’ twin engine motor yacht designed by Alan Pape and built for the present owner in 1971. Double diagonal Iroko hull, all copper fastened. New Beta engines 2009 have not been run. 6 berths with large wheelhouse and spacious aft deck. Ill health forces a sale. Cornwall £15,000

26’ Gaff cutter designed by MG Duff and built in Birdham in 1948. Honduras mahogany hull above the waterline, pitch pine below all bronze fastened. 4 berths with heads and galley. New sails and standing rigging in present ownership. Lovely little boat in smart condition Hants £19,500

43’ Robert Clark sloop one of four built by Berthon in 1962. Honduras mahogany hull, lead keel, solid teak deck and coachroof, new alloy mast, 5 berths. A very elegant and fast yacht with real pedigree Scotland £59,950

49’ Laurent Giles Dorus Mohr Class ketch. 26TM Built 1961. One of 4 built, a fine big comfortable cruising boat regularly sailed by 2. Cumins diesel. Two twin berth sleeping cabins + pilot berth + saloon. 2 heads, shower. Executor sale hence a very reasonable Devon £75,000

18’ Warrington Smythe bermudan cutter built in Falmouth in 1930’s. Absolutely stunning little yacht with the perfect sheer line that few designers manage to capture. Pitch pine copper fastened to oak frames. Recent mast with good rig and sails. 2 berths in a cosy interior.A really eye catching yacht that sails like a witch! IOW £8,500

30’ Laurent Giles Wanderer, built by Colne Marine in 1965 for the famous Capt. Guthrie. Iroko hull, solid teak deck and coamings, lead keel, bronze fittings. Alloy mast. 2005 Bukh diesel. 4 berths. Separate heads. A nice example of this famous design. Sussex £19,500

30’ Cold Moulded Race Yacht designed and built by Adrian Thompson in 1982. Very successful yacht on the short handed racing circuit in last 25 years. Cold moulded mahogany construction built on the space frame principle. Recent major refit. Beta 13.5hp, New Selden spars and deck hardware, ready for the next adventure Devon £34,000

30’ Percy Mitchell motor yacht built in 1962. Mahogany planking on oak frames. BMC Commander diesel. 4 berth accommodation with heads and galley. Nice little coastal or river cruiser that has had a recent refit. Sensibly priced fun. Wales £7,500

30’ McGruers centreboard sloop built in 1966 to a design inspired by the Loch Fyne skiffs. Varnished larch hull on mahogany frames. Bermudan sloop rig on new spruce mast. New Beta diesel. 4 berths with large cockpit. Very eye catching yacht in tidy condition Scotland £18,750

42’ Trawler yacht built by Weatherheads 1938. Absolute classic Scottish fishing boat lines and construction but built as a yacht from new. Russell Newberry diesel + Perkins wing engine. Almost totally original with 6 berths in 3 cabins. Very rare. Cornwall £28,500

37’ Robert Clark sloop built by Thornycroft in 1950 to Lloyds 100A1. Honduras mahogany hull on Rock Elm timbers. Large refit in present ownership with new Yanmar diesel and much hull work carried out. A very fast boat with a successful offshore race history in the 50’s and 60’s, Clark at his best. IOW £33,000


BROKERAGE

www.TallShipsforSale.co.uk www.ClassicYachtsforSale.com

42m on deck, Classic Brig two-masted square rigged sailing ship built Steel 1958. Rebuilt to current form, 2005. Can seat 60 for Dinner! World-wide classification. e3,900,000 - Location Netherlands

10m (33ft) Fairey Marine Swordsman, fast cruiser.

Up to six berths, two heads, excellent galley, Twin Volvo Penta TAMPD41P-A 200bhp diesels installed 2000. Superbly maintained. One Owner from new. 2010 Survey £59,500 Offers Invited! - Location River Colne, Essex

38m (124ft) Steel Brigantine Sail Training Ship

Air conditioned accommodation for up to 36 in 17 cabins plus 12 crew berths in six cabins; Bar and lounge. Well-equipped comfortable. e3,000,000 - Location Valencia, Spain

12m (40ft) Cornu Class Ketch.

Built Iroko and Mahogany, Van der Notte, Nantes, in 1966. Recent sails and Engine (Vetus 42hp) up to 9 berths. e50,000 - Location Brittany, France

24.7m (81ft) (on deck) Brigantine Sail Training Ship.

15m (49ft) on deck, Brigantine rigged Motor sailer.

Built Oak on Oak in 1957. Up to 20 berths, Excellent galley - bar. Scania diesel, Survey available. £375,000 - Location Edinburgh

Built Oak on Oak 1970. 6 berths, Perkins Sabre M115T 114hp diesel. A real eye catcher! e197,500 - Location Netherlands

8.9m Hallberg Rassy 29, built 1986.

10.7m (36ft) Maldon Fishing Smack, Built Howards, 1889, Larch on Oak.

5 Berths in two cabins Luxury, High class fit out. Volvo Penta diesel on saildrive, very well equipped including Dinghy, Outboard and launching trolley. £31,000 - Location River Colne, Essex

Professionally sheathed in 1991, re-decked in 1995. 4 Berths BMC diesel. Great fun! 2007 Survey available, please ask! £15,000 - Location River Colne, Essex

www.EasternYachts.com See Website for Photos, Specifications & Surveys 19 Colne Road, Brightlingsea, Essex, CO7 0DL • Tel: +44 (0) 1206 305996. Planning to sell: Please call Adrian Espin for details.

Anglia Yacht Brokerage New 12’ Dinghy available with either larch or Mahogany planking. Class celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2013. Prices from £8,500 Inc VAT

New 18’ Deben Lugger day/ camping dayboat. Prices from £13,500 Inc VAT

New 10’ GRP clinker lug sail dinghy. Prices from £2,950 Inc VAT

Come and see us at the London Boat Show

1979 Drascombe Lugger Mk2 in original gelcoat with 2005 Yamaha 4HP 4-stroke outboard, 2010 Easylaunch road trailer, 2010 overall cover. £4,950

Brand new Cygnus 15’ rowing/motor boat with three rowing stations. She also makes an ideal family picnic boat with a small outboard of 3-4HP. £3,950

1991 Cornish Coble in lovely condition with covers, oars, road trailer etc. (No engine included) £3,950

See full listings at www.anglia-yacht.co.uk Tel. +44 (0)1359 27 17 47 www.anglia-yacht.co.uk Email. sales@anglia-yacht.co.uk 78

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014


BROKERAGE

Asterisk - a rare 45ft Bates Starcraft with flying bridge and aft cockpit. Two double cabins with separate heads, modern galley, wood floors throughout, twin Perkins engines, lying Thames

Fantasy II - Built by Toughs of Teddington in 1958 this 40ft gentleman’s motor cruiser with a flying bridge and loads of entertaining space is ideal for extended sea work. She has been sympathetically redesigned aft of the wheelhouse to have a a large open space incorporating galley, dining for 10 and of course the ship’s bar. Lying Thames afloat

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

Passat - Built in Bavaria a century ago and headed for the Nile as a houseboat for two German engineers, Passat (meaning Trade wind) became marooned at the outbreak of the first world war in Switzerland as the train passed the border. She never reached her destination and is now for sale in a boathouse on Lake Luzern. A charming 30 foot gentleman’s launch for lake or river use with an amazing history

CMY

K

Inviting entries - Motor boats, ephemera, fishing tackle for the inaugural Classic Boat Auction at Beale Park, near Reading, June 7th 2014

For more information about any of these boats call 01491 578870 mobile 07813 917730 email sales@hscboats.co.uk www.hscboats.co.uk

For model boats, dockside clothing and boaty curios visit www.boatique.co.uk

M.J.LEWIS & SON (Boat Sales) LTD DOWNS ROAD BOATYARD, MALDON, ESSEX. CM9 5HG

Tel: 01621 859373 • Mob: 07736 553487

Brockerage of Classic Vessels, Traditional Yachts and Working Boats

28ft East Anglian Sloop, 1970 Buchanan. Wooden long keel. Extra head room. Extensive sails. Rig 2012. Ashore. N. Essex £14,950

53ft ex Admirality Steam Pinnace, 1943 D/d wooden hull. A home in the sun. Ford eng, genny, crew & guest accom. Turkey £45,000

12.8m Sailing Lugger, 1904 1990’s refit, Traditional Lug rig 7 berths, twin engs, 55hp. Charters. Cornwall £85,000

40ft Converted MFV, 1963 Weatherheads, a Gaff Ketch, Larch on Oak, Gardner 6LXB. Accom 6. East Scotland £49,750

12m Gaff Yawl, 1905 French built. Pitch pine, new engine. 6ft plus headroom. 6 berths. Essex £42,000

28ft Twister, 1968 Holman by Uphams. Composite hull, Yanmar eng. Ashore. Kent £17,500

33ft Arnside Prawner, 1900 Gaff cutter, restored, Pitch pine on Oak.3ft 3ins draft, eng. Crew accom. Essex £19,500

9m Offshore J Francis Jones Cruiser, 1963 Percy See built. Modified for comfort. All found. New Beta. Good headroom. Ashore. N.Ireland. £29,950

28ft Friendship Sloop, replica, 1978 American design. Strip plank construction. Volvo Penta new eng, Gaff Cutter Rig. Ashore. Kent £18,500

8m Falmouth Work Boat, 1978 Traditional design, Gaff Cutter rig 2008 Beta. Long keel. Ashore. Essex £18,500

30ft 9 ton Hillyard, 1937 Undergoing refit. Bermudan Cutter. Yanmar GM3 eng. Survey 2010 Ashore, Cornwall £16,500

34ft Hillyard 10ton Cutter, 1971 Centre cockpit, Perkins eng. 1000’s of sea miles. MCA partI. Dorset £24,000

37ft Hillyard 12ton Sloop, 1970 Centre cockpit, Aft cabin. Extensively refitted. 6 berths. Ford Mermaid eng. Afloat. E.Scotland. £29,000

22ft Saunders Roe Service Launch, 1930 Complete restoration, new 3 cyl Beta eng, Road trailer, BSS cert. Accom cabin, 2 berths, galley. Essex £24,000

7.92m Wooden Motor Launch, 1960 Perkins 65hp. Enclosed wheelhouse. Forward accom. Large deep open cockpit. Essex £12,950

16ft Westray, 1998 Gaff. Rig. Essex £3,950

www.heritage-marine.com Email: info@mjlewisboatsales.com

10ft McNaulty, 1985 Lug. Rig. Devon £3,000

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

79


Craftsmanship Yard News

Edited by Steffan Meyric Hughes: +44 (0)207 349 3758 Email: steffan@classicboat.co.uk

COWES, iSlE Of Wight

Moreton Marine sold its big restoration project, the 58ft 6in (17.9m) 1927 Mylne ketch Fedoa, to a private buyer in June. Before, it had been the self-funded ‘yard boat’. A steady income from the new owner has meant Patrick Moreton has been able to employ two full-time shipwrights for the project, as well as a local apprentice and an IBTC graduate. Since June the team has been working on making good the hull. This has included a new oak stem, nearly all the bottom futtocks of the frames with local oak, and laminated iroko timbers from the stem to the stern, where there had been major deterioration from water ingress and rusting iron floors. The sternpost itself was

C/O PATRICK MORETON

Moreton Marine sells restoration project

replaced, at which point the lines of the boat were pulled back to Mylne’s original design. New bronze floors have been cast throughout and the original keel repaired. Substantial refastening has set things back a bit, but as we went to press the team

Above, left to right: new frames and sternpost for Fedoa

were still hoping to have the hull closed ready for a new deck as original in cedar and oak in the new year. Engine and fit-out will start in the spring. You can follow the progress at moretonnmarine.co.uk.

TURKEY

C/O HENWOOD AND DEAN

Museum yard Istanbul’s Rahmi M Koç Museum has a restoration yard in nearby Tuzla on the other side of the Bosphorus. On a recent visit CB saw several vessels being restored for the museum, including Hiawatha, the US Embassy boat that has served diplomats since 1932, including Eleanor Roosevelt. The museum now largely looks after the 50ft (15.2m), 10-tonne vessel in joint custody with the embassy. The museum is also restoring a Fife seaplane tug, Falca. The boat was known as a Kelvin Class because of her 50hp Kelvin engine, according to repair and maintenance manager Özgür Numan, but she will have a 1950s Gardner and a Thornycroft gearbox when she’s finished for use as a regatta support launch. Dan Houston

HENLEY ON THAMES

Renowned boatbuilder Colin Henwood has a big project on. The 44ft (13.4m) Lady Charlotte (pictured above), launched in the last year of peace before World War I, is a steel-riveted, clipper-bowed, counter-sterned boat built at the Crichton’s yard on the River Dee in Chester. Not much is known about her, but it’s Colin’s hunch that she would have been an open day-tripper. He has restored the hull, with help from metal engineers, and is now engaged in a project of what he calls “exceptional detail” to convert the boat into a smart saloon launch befitting the year of her build. Colin’s usual design collaborator, Andrew Wolstenholme, has drawn the saloon house and she should be all finished and launched in early summer, with an 8kW motor. “It’s an unusual project for us,” Colin said. “Our wooden boats are faired and finished to such a high degree, but the owner wanted to preserve the authenticity of the hull on this one, so this looks very much like what it is, with the rivets visible.” 80

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

.

DAN HOUSTON

River launch returns


CRAFTSMANSHIP

eSSex

Bringing boatbuilding home again C/O ROB MALONEY

survive, although around six need restoration. Both types are heavy, wooden, clinker, three-quarter-decked bermudan centreboarders. The 15ft 3in (4.7m) WOD was drawn in 1935 by Walter Radcliffe and the 18ft (5.5m) WOD in 1925 by Robbie Stone. The BOD was unveiled in a new GRP incarnation recently, but no new WOD has been built since 1945. Rob’s ambition is therefore to build the first WOD in nearly 70 years – in wood. “Since the last of Wivenhoe’s boatbuilders have closed or retired, there has been virtually no boatbuilding in this century apart from restorations by Malcolm Goodwin. I like to think that I have brought boatbuilding back to Wivenhoe.” This follows the good news last month of fellow IBTC graduate Ben Jackson, setting up shop in Suffolk to build a Dark Harbor 17.5.

TED AXELROD

BEN MENDLOWITZ

A young boatbuilder is on a mission to bring boatbuilding back to Wivenhoe, after taking over the workshop of well-known local boatbuilder Malcolm Goodwin on the River Colne. Rob Maloney (pictured above) studied at IBTC and has worked at the Pioneer Sailing Trust and Harker's Yard on boats including John Constable, the historic Stour Lighter, and the smack yacht Volante. Like Malcolm, he is concentrating on the local one-design boats – the Brightlingsea One-Design (BOD) and the less known Wivenhoe One-Design (WOD). At the moment, he is rebuilding a 1937 WOD and a 1925 BOD. “Both classes are going through a revival,” says Rob. “Of the 19 WODs, 16 remain, half of them active locally, with a few more set to join in 2014.” Most of the BODs

C/O ARTISAN

MAINE

MAINE

The slim R-Class yacht Penobscot, named after a Maine river and built in 1923 by Hodgdon Brothers in Boothbay, Maine, to a Charles Mower design, was restored in her 90th year by DN Hylan & Associates of Brooklin. The slim 37-footer (11.3m) was ready in time for the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta last August and though only 85 per cent original materially, she was back looking true to her design, with all the hog removed from her subtle sheer. “All of this was accomplished without the benefit of plans,” said the yard’s Ellery Brown. “Instead the details of the deck, rig, and interior were all recreated with the photos, memories and intimate knowledge of former owners – Maynard and Anne Bray.”

Artisan Boatworks launched a new Watch Hill 15 and a Buzzards Bay 18 this summer. They are now stuck into the classic 36ft (11m) mahoganyplanked lobster boat Vim, built at Newbert & Wallace in 1957. After 60 new, laminated frames, new tanks, interior, systems and a complete refinish, she is nearly ready to go. There won’t be much time to relax though, with three more restorations lined up: a 24ft (7.3m) Fishers Island OD designed by Charles Mower; a 28ft 6in (8.7m) Alden-designed Triangle-Class cabin sloop (similar to a Sound Interclub OD); and a 16ft (4.9m) clinker runabout of early 1960s vintage – the last one involving adapting a 1960s Evinrude outboard cover to hide the guts of a modern Yamaha.

R-Class yacht restored Sleepless Artisans

UPSTATE NEW YORK

When and If is now! After almost one year, thousands of man hours of labour and nearly $500,000, the fabled When and If, originally built for General George Patton of World War II fame, is once again seaworthy, reports Morton Hochstein. The yacht, built to Patton’s specifications to a George Alden design, has been completely overhauled at Cayuga Wooden Boatworks. Doug Hazlitt, a hands-on owner, has worked with a team to refurbish the 63ft 5in (19.3m) schooner, which has had a tumultuous history since being launched in 1939. She’s Hazlitt’s second Alden yacht: in 1998 he bought Malabar X and had her rebuilt at Dennis Montgomery’s Cayuga Wooden Boatworks.

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

81


CRAFTSMANSHIP

1

Switch panel

Ellad’s electrical systems are controlled from this panel – port, aft – built into a saloon cupboard, outboard of her galley. Wires enter from above preventing any damage by water

2

Wiring to switch panel

The radio, switches and circuit breakers are normally hidden behind locker doors while in port. This was all part of Didier’s drive to hide anything that was either modern or technical

ELLAD’S RESTORATION PART 4

Minimalising the modernities

In part four of our series on how work was done on Ellad, we look at how her modern systems of electrics, plumbing and engine were installed STORY NIGEL PERT PHOTOGRAPHS DIDIER GRIFFITHS

82

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014


CRAFTSMANSHIP

3

Battery locker

The electricity locker, accessed from the cockpit with charger/ regulator. There is a general circuit breaker on the negative side and individual breakers for each battery on the positive

5

Electric h eads battery

One of the three 100 Amp batteries is under the forward double bunk so the anchor windlass only has a short cable, reducing power loss. It also supplies the electric heads

A

pproximately €5,000 (£4,180) was needed to restore Ellad’s engine and gearbox, so a new unit, at around €9,000 (£7,500), was bought. An approved mechanic fitted and tested the 29hp, 3-cylinder Yanmar to validate the guarantee. Boatbuilder Olivier Cyrille made new oak engine mounts, rather than adapt the original beds. Once positioned, the engine was covered, awaiting installation. As the central propeller and shaft were in good condition, no changes were made. To grease the stern gland a filler was sited in the cockpit technical locker (more next month) to avoid inaccessibility issues. A plywood cradle for the diesel tank was made under the cockpit sole. To minimise risk of water condensation contaminating fuel, a standard 60-litre plastic tank was chosen. Its high central position helps boat balance and reduces diesel pump effort. Didier rethought the entire

4

Water and waste reservoir

Waste from the sink and the washbasin collects in this reservoir, with its integral submersible pump, before being evacuated aft via the “clarinet” and a single skin fitting (see photo, below)

6

Waste water exit

All grey water waste and any bilge water exit the boat via a single hull fitting, after passing through the “clarinet”, designed by Didier and fabricated by his plumber

TOP TIP Electrics

electrical installation to avoid running “To avoid electrolytic cables in the bilges, as had been the case damage to metallic fittings, do before. Since most appliances are high, not put wires run, out of sight, in wooden cables, batteries or joins (even conduits at deck level. Ellad could waterproof) in the bil ges.” have a metre of water aboard before Didier Griffiths wetting the electrics. Any unavoidable joins were sealed in waterproof boxes, preferably soldered but also made with block connectors. Elsewhere, single, continuous cables connect appliances to the main control panel. All cable ends were soldered, and multi-strand, marine grade copper cable – resistant to fuel and water damage – was used throughout. The circuit box and control panel, high up on the rear starboard saloon bulkhead, is behind locker doors; all cables enter from above and behind to minimise water infiltration. CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

83


CRAFTSMANSHIP

7

Skin fittings – stern

The engine exhaust passes through the stainless steel port skin fitting, just above the waterline, while liquid wastes from several sources are pumped out through the starboard one

9

Siting th e diesel tank

Plywood sub-cockpit supports installed for the standard plastic, 60-litre diesel tank prohibit movement, although straps were also fitted to comply with French regulations

The bilge pump required a junction box, despite its relatively long cable (1.5m), which was placed a metre above the keel. The sink is below sea level, so a reservoir of a litre or so, with integral submersible pump, was installed. This is on the same circuit as the domestic water pump – installed high up in the engine compartment. The 150-litre water tank under the saloon sole, which holds water for the galley sink and forward basin, is easily removed for maintenance. Navigation lights, VHF aerial and windvane are at the masthead. Their wires – with 33ft (10m) extra length enabling direct connection to the control box – were taped together and fed through a hole near the base of the hollow 79ft 4in (24.2m) mast. In the bilge these are protected from abrasion, and are enclosed in reinforced water hose, in sections, avoiding any area of water stagnation. Three 100 amp hour batteries provide power: one forward for the electric anchor winch and electric heads 84

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

8

Engine beds –oak

New engine beds of solid oak were made to accommodate the new 29hp, 3-cylinder Yanmar motor, installed when restoration of her existing (but not original) engine was deemed uneconomic

10

Fu el tank position

The position of the diesel fuel tank under the cockpit sole, yet above the engine, eases strain on the injector pump, and, by being on the centreline, helps balance the yacht

with a short cable reducing power loss; the other two in the port and starboard forward cockpit lockers, one for the engine and the other for services. This slight raising of the centre of gravity is a small price for keeping batteries dry. In a locker under the control panel a charger and regulator assure recharging at the quayside. Also in this locker, a general circuit breaker on the negative side and individual breakers for each battery on the positive provide a simple mechanical method to interchange battery use if needed. The Baby Blake was replaced with a lighter, compact electric heads, forward on the centreline. In total, Ellad has five skin fittings: two for the toilet, one for the engine cooling water intake, one for the sink, washbasin and bilge pumps (hand and electric) and another for the exhaust. These effluents are collected together in a device of Didier’s he calls the “clarinet” (see picture 6). Next month: part five – redesigning the cockpit

ELLAD CB305 Built in 1957 to a William Fife III design, she’s a stylish teak-onoak-framed 34ft 6in (10.5m) double-ender


Precision provides an accurate, high Precision barometer provides an accurate, resolution Precision barometer barometer provides an high accurate, high resolution resolution Precisionrecording barometerinprovides anfive accurate, high resolution excess of days data barographbarograph recording in excess of five days data of barograph recording in excess of five days data of of barograph recording in excess of five days data of barometricbarometric pressure pressure barometric pressure barometric pressure Precision barometer provides an accurate, high resolution

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CRAFTSMANSHIP

Boatbuilder’s Notes Diy DebRief

Replacing a deck beam STORY AND phOTOGRAphS will stiRlinG Unlike the restoration series on Ellad (CB305, 306 and 307), there is another way of replacing a deck beam without pulling the entire boat to bits. The covering boards and hatch had to come up anyway as we were also replacing the canvas deck covering. To keep costs down, we didn’t want to pull up the entire deck as well, so this way we could access the beam from the side of the boat (pictured top right). The broken beam was removed and templated in oak. To improve strength, the template was cut into two sections (pictured opposite) with a long scarph. The next challenge to overcome was attending to the beam-end dovetails. A deck beam dovetailed into a beamshelf needs to be dropped down from above, but since we hadn’t

removed the deck we obviously couldn’t do that. By the nature of the dovetail, the male outboard end of the beam is wider than the female hole in the inboard side of the beamshelf. We cut a male dovetail in the beam end whose outboard end was the same width as the female hole on the inboard side of the beamshelf. The beam could then be pushed into the beamshelf. The two faying faces of the scarph were then glued and bolted together. Once fully cleaned up and varnished the joint turned out to be jolly neat (phew!) and the beam looked as unified and full length as all its neighbours. however, the dovetail was now slack and had no holding power. In order to turn it back into a functioning dovetail, a parallel wedge (which by definition is not actually a wedge) was fitted from above into the gap.

Top to bottom: dovetail and wedge; oak templates; clamps are attached while the glue in the scarph joint cures

how to… make a stRonG base

expeRt aDvice

ROBIN GATES

Anchor winch stiffening

know-how

Dealing with dust Robin Gates Airborne wood dust is likely to irritate the eyes and can also be inhaled, perhaps causing asthma or nasal cancer. The very fine dust thrown out by high-speed machinery poses the greatest risk, but even the small amounts of coarse dust generated by hand tools can also leave you sneezing if you succumb to the temptation of leaning close and blowing it away by mouth. To play safe, keep an old paintbrush to hand and use it at arm’s length to flick away the dust that builds up around the cut. Better still, use a vacuum cleaner to suck up excess dust and shavings, or wear a protective mask, which you can buy very cheaply from any DIY store, until the job is complete. 86

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

boatbuilding advice from naval architect John perryman


CRAFTSMANSHIP

Traditional Tool roBIn GatEs

Gripping stuff: the bench vice Boatbuilders muse lyrically on the hang of their tenon saws and the precision of their smoothing planes, yet rarely spare a thought for the bench vice, variously known as an engineer’s or mechanic’s vice. Unlike a face-mounted woodwork vice, this heavyweight, designed primarily for metalwork, is bolted on top of the bench where it stands like a baby elephant – which is no idle simile. Mass and stature are two key advantages: mass to absorb the punishment typically rained upon it, and stature to bring the work to a more comfortable height. The jaws of this vintage Record 84 (pictured above), for example, position the work at elbow height, which is ideal for using a file or hacksaw. Between her rudder straps and stem band an old wooden boat is bristling with metal fittings, which were often fabricated or at least fine-tuned in the boatyard. Here, the precursor of the bench vice was the blacksmith’s leg vice with pivoting jaws, standing against the bench like a giant pair of tweezers. Its height made it useful for holding oars and spars, too, while shaping with the draw knife. The key improvement of

the bench vice was that its front jaw was not pivoted but part of a sliding beam, adjusted by a threaded shaft, so that it remained parallel to the rear jaw. The Tommy bar turning the shaft develops considerable leverage, so the user must always beware of overtightening. In the 1930s this arrangement gained a quick-release mechanism enabling the front jaw to slide free of the thread. A spring-mounted lever activates a long flat bar, thence a rod attached to a hefty half nut, which engages with the underside of the

Clockwise from main image: the Record 84 lifts work to a comfortable height; lever for quick-release mechanism; parallel jaws with reversible plates

threaded shaft. A buttress thread cut with a slope on one side enables the half nut to slide over it in one direction. Variations include reversible jaw plates, smooth on one side and with a diamond pattern on the other, and sometimes a small anvil behind the rear jaw. When gripping wood or soft metals the jaws are usually fitted with rubber or aluminium covers. The Record tool company has been bought and sold several times since this vice was made in Sheffield, and today’s Irwin Record equivalent, made in China, costs around £500.

ADVICE

Split saw nuts If you own a vintage backsaw you may find that the wooden handle loosens from the steel saw plate with a change in humidity and requires tightening. these old saws were typically assembled with split saw nuts taking a special forked screw bit; it is important to use a well-fitting bit as the cast-brass nuts are easily mangled and hard to replace. original forked bits are often discarded because people don’t know what they are for, so you may be lucky and find one but another option is to grind the end of an old chisel or screwdriver to shape.

roBIn GatEs

story and photoGraphs ROBIN GATES

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

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10 to 150 hp - 14 very smooth, multi-cylinder, heat exchanger cooled engines

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Engineered in the UK, at Beta Marine in Gloucestershire, we welcome your visit

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88

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

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11/23/10 2:13:11 PM 11/23/10 2:13:11 PM


CRAFTSMANSHIP

SPECIAL REPORT

Applying paint safely

Stripping, sanding, antifouling, varnishing… Don’t start before reading our essential guide to paint restoration sTory MIKE TAYLOR c/0 mike TAylor

U

nlike their toxic ancestors, modern paints don’t give off the same levels of dangerous fumes. However, protection for skin, and especially eyes, is still vitally important. Boat restoration and painting, like many DIY tasks, always attracts a certain number of people who never read the instructions, and when it goes wrong and the finish doesn’t match up to their expectations, it’s always the product that’s at fault! When it comes to restoring a classic craft the watch words are think, read and digest the information available first. Before donning dungarees, there is a mountain of data available on the internet from paint manufacturers. For example, the website from marine paint manufacturer Teamac features many ‘how to’ videos, which set the tone for a complete strip and repaint job. Geoff MacKrill, Teamac’s co-director, says: “Treat any old boat restoration job as the professionals would: approach it using COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) principles.” When it comes to removing old coverings, it’s best to assume the worst. Mackrill wryly recalls the story of someone restoring a classic craft and spending hours lying underneath the hull with no protection. Later, eyes running and a red face, he couldn’t understand what was wrong! International Paint has developed the ‘Echo Program’ as part of its commitment to environmental issues (echoprogram.com). Significantly, this encompasses all the environmental values surrounding the company’s actions. By ranking their products against a baseline, customers can choose which product best suits their needs and environmental concerns. Sales manager, Chris Jones, says: “Causing biocides and potentially harmful dust to become airborne when preparing the surface, even in open spaces like a boatyard, should be avoided. It’s always better to wet-sand old surfaces of antifoul, rather than using electric sanders or discs. Your box of protective clothing should include goggles, overalls, face mask and gloves.”

Hempel’s sales manager, Darren Gittins, highlights the ‘read it first’ approach. “As European directives become ever more demanding we are constantly having to put more information onto our products. We also publish a range of ‘back pocket’ manuals that give a step-by-step guide to all issues of painting, varnishing and antifouling.” Hugh Williams, technical manager for the British Coatings Federation, adds: “Gone are the days when lead (and indeed other heavy metal substances) was added to paint to strengthen colour pigments.” And while heavy metals have long since been banned from paint, Hugh also stresses the need for care when removing old paint, varnish and antifoul from classic craft. Significantly, social media has played its part in changing expectations over DIY product performance. While some still accept the need for four coats of primer followed by three coats of undercoat as preparation for the final layers of topcoat, companies such as Hempel have seen a major shift in customer expectations, highlighting lack of time, money (and perhaps even interest) in the established techniques. Gittins says: “People want ‘quick fix’ solutions. Today, it’s about buy the tin, flip the lid, stir and apply.” In stark contrast, professionals still advocate eight coats of varnish for that perfect mirror finish. With the reducing numbers of chandleries in high streets and marinas, boat painting products are often now bought through DIY outlets and online where local friendly experience, which once gave ready advice on tools, techniques and products is no longer available. So it’s doubly important to read the label before starting. Finally, once the application has been completed disposal of unused paint, varnish and other coverings should be handled responsibly. Hugh Williams advises: “Small amounts of paint can be safely stored if the lid is securely sealed.” Shaking the tin reduces the chance of a skin forming on the paint. And Chris Jones reminds that paint can also be recycled, using in the paint recycling skip at your local community waste centre.

“Today it’s more about buy the tin, flip the lid, stir and apply”

Above: whether you’re painting a small panel or an entire boat, protective clothing should be worn at all times

Useful contacts hse.gov.uk/coshh Tel: +44 (0)300 003 1747 coatings.org.uk Tel: +44 (0)1372 365989 Find out more on specific products from the following paint manufacturers: yachtpaint.com Tel: +44 (0)1489 775050 teamac.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)1482 320194 hempel.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)1633 874024

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

89


MARINE DIRECTORY

Marine Directory

To advertise Call Patricia Hubbard +44 (0) 207 349 3748 Patricia.hubbard@chelseamagazines.com

BOATBUILDERS

IBTC Heritage

Copy Deadline for next issue is 21/01/2014

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Traditional Wooden Boatbuilding

Boats plans to make the sea more beautiful

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Harbour Marine Services Ltd incorporating Southwold Boat Yard

photo: Stephen Wolfenden

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Wooden Boatbuilder

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A range of simple small craft plans for very easy home building in plywood

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Marine Directory BOATBUILDERS

BOATBUILDERS

DAVID MOSS BOATBUILDERS

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Repairs - Restorations

A fine selection of classic launches for sale Moorings available Est 300 years

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New for 2014 is the Classic Boat Market Place. To advertise your products and services on line please contact Patricia Hubbard

patricia.hubbard@chelseamagazines.com or 0207 3493748.

If you are a regular Marine Directory/Classified advertiser in Classic Boat please contact me for a bespoke package rate. Wishing all our customers new and old a peaceful and prosperous New Year

Tel: 01359 251414 Fax: 01359 250103 Sales@anglia-stainless.co.uk Shepherds Grove Ind Estate, Stanton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP31 2AR


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Tug on the heartstrings New life for Dunkirk veteran

18/03/2013 10:01

We put X-Yachts' new XP 33 through her paces

CHELSEA M A R I NEES MAGAZIN

09

VOYAGE TO THE GREAT LAKES

Aboard a Tall Ship

SUFFOLK SPLENDOUR

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Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta 27 January, Auckland, New Zealand This is the culmination of four fabulous days of sailing starting with a night race (24 Jan), then the Mahurangi Classic Yacht Regatta (25 Jan) and the Mahurangi to Auckland race (26 Jan). classicyacht.org.nz Tel: +64 (0)9 836 4747

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15-23 February Rye, East Sussex Everything to do with this fantastic locally caught delicacy, including a cookery school, recipes, demonstrations, quiz nights, live music and, of course, plenty of eating opportunities. scallop.org.uk

5 March Cruising Association, London Tony Montgomery-Smith with a list of great anchorages in Spain, the Balearics, Sardinia and more. Starts 7pm, £7 (£4 members). cruising.org.uk Tel: +44 (0)207 537 2828

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Festival of sails 21-27 January Geelong, Australia Formerly known as Geelong Week, this is the largest sailing regatta in the southern hemisphere and includes a classic yacht class. It’s been running since 1844, making it older than the America’s Cup. festivalofsails.com.au Tel: +61 (0)3 5229 3705

Seven yachts were built with the name of Runa, all by the same designer. And now there is a move to restore them all to sail. Meet Runa VI

95


Letters Letter of the month supported by oLd puLteney Whisky

In your December issue (CB306) you write on page five that there is a question mark over the use of stainless steel in keel bolts as they can corrode away quicker than mild steel if water gets behind them and they are starved of air. I thought you might find these pictures of interest. My 1955 cruiser/racer has 15 1in (25mm)diameter keel bolts, originally of galvanised steel. In the late 90s a previous owner replaced eight of them with 316 stainless steel. The boat came out of the water in 2006 and, as you can see, in that decade or so the stainless bolts suffered crevice

C/o guy WiLLiAms

Material gains

Above: Guy’s image shows the extent of the corrosion

corrosion where they passed through the oak keel, and none where they passed through the lead keel. I have not polished the bolts, just wiped them with a cloth and soapy water, which revealed a shiny, smooth but deeply pitted surface. The diameter of one bolt in particular has been reduced by approx 1/5th and, therefore, is considerably weakened.

kAthy mAnsfieLd

Make mine a Martini

Thanks for the memories each issue of Classic boat somehow crosses my life. in the november issue (Cb305) there is a photo of the 1935 s&s sonny, built here on City island, new york, for Albert d phelps sr. We owned that boat as Akka in my family for 37 years. due to a fortuitous meeting, mr phelps’s son bert and i have enjoyed a long friendship. bert has had many “sonnys” built over the years, and just now has taken delivery of the third – a 70ft (21.3m) cold-moulded sloop built for him by the brooklin boatyard. on a different note, i remember Chinook (pictured above) when she sailed from manhasset bay, ny, a few years ago. it is great news that she has been restored and my wife and i have sailed on her sister marilee. now that two ny40s have been restored to their original rig will they be racing as a class? Len Smith by email 96

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

Guy Venables’ comments about the great Martini debate reminded me of a story dating from, I believe, the 1950s. The United States Navy were reviewing the survival equipment issued to aircrew. Some bright spark suggested a cocktail shaker, gin etc. This was rejected due to constraints on weight and space and the dehydrating effect on the user. The bright spark then said that this equipment would guarantee rescue, because whenever you start to mix a Martini someone will always appear to tell you that you are doing it wrong. Mark O’Ferrall by email

The bolts that corroded the most were at the aft end of the keel, and you can see the galvanised one sheared through on extraction. In the article on page 85 the author implies that an improvement could be gained by replacing the steel bolts with ones made from stainless steel, but I disagree. I think a subsequent, possibly ill-informed owner might be lulled into a false sense of security by stainless-steel bolts and not check their integrity. I replaced my bolts with ones made from nickel aluminium bronze, which is a vast improvement. I hope that we do not see future cases of stainless-steel keel bolt failure due to crevice corrosion and, ultimately, ignorance or a lack of education. Guy Williams, Milford haven

NMM or NAHV? it was good to see so many articles in the January issue (Cb307) on historic vessel-related matters. however, in the article on george hogg and the national small boat register there is a serious mistake. reference is made to the “long-established register run by the national maritime museum for vessels over 33ft”. this register – the national register of historic Vessels (nrhV) – is not run by the nmm but by us, along with the national Archive of historic Vessels (nAhV); the overseas Watch List (oWL) and the recently set up uk replica List. our remit is independent of nmm (royal museums greenwich) and the registers are accessed through our website (nationalhistoricships.org.uk) not the rmg website. i will appreciate your making this clear. Martyn Heighton, Director, NHS UK, Greenwich

Missing details While it was good to see the coverage of the W-37 in Cb306, and Chris’s writing made good mention of my name as an individual, we were disappointed that there was no mention of our firm’s name in the piece. should someone want to learn more about us, or seek a boat design, he would be challenged to find us. Bob Stephens, designer, Stephens Waring Yacht Design

ed – apologies. We make every attempt to include as much information as possible but we didn’t get quite there this time. so, to make up for it, here is the company’s contact details in full: stephenswaring.com tel: 001 207 338 6636


LETTERS Send your letters (and also any replies please) to: Classic Boat, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TQ email: cb@classicboat.co.uk

Science Museum shock I want to send this informal note to you about my shock after visiting the Science Museum in London. The whole maritime collection has now been removed to a warehouse and possibly will never be seen again. I always regarded the Science Museum as the depository of our true maritime past, as well as its future. Yes, it wasn’t funded properly and grew old and dusty along with its possible curator, but it did contain many aspects of Great Britain’s important contributions to trade, technology and the evolution of our past key industry that made Britain great. The Greenwich Maritime Museum seems to disavow our past and to have a love affair with Nelson, but as far as I can tell not the common man! The Falmouth section is marginally better, but it is tucked away in Falmouth. For such an important part of our history it is not acknowledged enough. Maritime engineering is still big business and using fab materials, just look at the America’s Cup. London’s wealth has also benefited so much from our maritime commerce. The trauma continued as, in the same week, I discovered that Volante in Brightlingsea has been dismantled by the Pioneer Sailing Trust. This seems to be a further nail in the demise of boatbuilding on the East Coast of England as described by Peter Willis in your December edition. Mervyn Maggs, UK East Coast

Help for High Speed Launch I am currently one of the students on the boatbuilding course at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis and hope you will be able to throw some light on a build project that I am involved with. One of the students has commissioned the build of a 1945 Vosper Ltd 19ft (5.8m) High Speed Launch and we are trying to collect as much information and pictures of the boat as we can but it’s proving difficult. So far, all we have been able to find out is the following: ● She is a Vosper 19ft Speed Launch ● The plans are stamped VT Shipbuilding, Vosper Ltd ● Dated 17 December 1945 ● Drawn by R Bailey ● She has a Ford Flathead V8 marine engine We think at some stage she was a tender to the 213ft (65m) superyacht Shamira now owned by Charles

Don’t look back in anger

TIM HALL, MARITIME FESTIVAL – MOUSEHOLE

Going out of their way In CB307 (p56) you say Christiania sailed from Corpach to Oban via the Sound of Mull. This must have been some feat. Did this involve turning right at Corpach, sailing up Loch Eil, then 12 miles overland, sailing down the West Coast and around Ardnamurchan Point? The easy way would be to sail down Loch Linnhe. I know, I’ve done it twice. Maurice Jones by email Ed – It’s Loch Linnhe that connects Corpach to Oban. But Christiania also went up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory, before heading back to Oban. It did get slightly jumbled in the telling.

Dunstone, founder of Carphone Warehouse. The boat we have has now rotted away in a garden and therefore is nearly unrecognisable. However, we do have all of the plans and fittings, as well as the two V8 engines, one of which is now in full working order. Our intention is to rebuild the hull from the original plans and install all the fittings and engines from the original boat. Any further information would be greatly appreciated and especially where we might be able to obtain some pictures of the boat. Will Brogden, Lyme Regis

Boat spotting Your December issue has literally winged its way across the Atlantic to a quiet corner of the Caribbean here in Belize. And this note is just to say thanks for including the Axe One-Design article in the magazine (p18), and also the note in Letters concerning East Devon fishing vessels. By a strange coincidence the runner up in the RSMA competition (p33) ‘Maritime Festival – Mousehole’ features my old Beer Lugger (the cream-hulled clinker boat). So I have the honour of both my boats (AOD Whimbrel and the Lugger Gannet) pictured in the same issue! Thanks and congratulations. Captain Nigel Daniel, Belize

I’ve just managed to locate the September 1989 issue of Classic Boat to view a fascinating article on my own boat, Alice Pellow, a Cornish Crabber Pilot Cutter (GRP) built in 1989. I was surprised at how good all the articles were in this old magazine. It had 144 pages of very good articles, peppered with all types of classic boat – large and small, new and old – and every type of construction. While I love reading Classic Boat and always look forward to its arrival on the doormat each month, I wonder what’s happened to the format and what I would call “normal classic boats”? My guess is that the majority of your readers can’t afford a £500,000 Charles E Nicholson cutter but we all love to look. How about replacing the 50 missing pages with some insight into the thousands of affordable, beautiful classics that are dotted all over the country? We can all dream about these big yachts but can we get some perspective? Perhaps you could re-title the current magazine “Wooden Superyachts For The Rich And Famous” and perhaps give us back Classic Boat in a spin-off publication. Just a thought! Dave Percival by email Ed – Thanks Dave. Despite the “love to look” factor, which has always been part of CB, we cover all sorts of old boats, small or large. But I agree, we’d love a few more pages! CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

97


illustration: guy venables

Sternpost

The racing riddle

satisfaction, nor does it seem probable that this much-to-bedesired end will ever be attained… when a handicap has turned out good it has generally been more down to luck than anything else.” In August 1904 the same magazine’s editor commented that “handicapping at its best is far from satisfactory and it is seldom that one does not find a grumbler”. Yachting Monthly didn’t waste any time in getting on the bandwagon. In the very first issue, in May 1906, the correspondent known as M.I.N.A. wrote that “the question of rating yachts for racing purposes is probably one of the most perplexing problems ever encountered in the history of any sport. It would appear to be incapable of solution, and certainly an ideal state has not yet been reached. Theoretically the problem has been solved times without number, but a solution capable of practical application has not so far been devised. As a matter of fact, handicap racing is irksome and impossible to the keen sportsman. The very nature of it leaves the impression that there must be unfairness somewhere.” Three years later Percy Cotton wrote in the same magazine that the definitions of a handicap allowance was the “half bottle of whisky, which should be allowed to each member of the handicap committee”, and that a handicapper was “a clovenhoofed mammal, distinguished for the thickness of his skin… a being without friends”. In the September 1920 issue, in a letter entitled “Futile Handicapping”, Douglas Harrison asked “can your readers assist me? I am looking for the limit in futility. Barring the war, the best I can manage at present is the system of handicapping.” A perfect handicapping system would, of course, deal with all the differences between competing boats so that the best crew wins on corrected time. The NHC performance-based system is not attempting to do that and, of course, there can never be a perfect system. “We must realise that no system of handicapping can be infallible,” Douglas H C Birt wrote in the Winter 1950 issue of The Yachtsman. “The best to be hoped for is that a fair chance will be given to all boats over the period of a season.” Those of us who take part in handicap racing have to accept all the drawbacks but if we can’t, there are plenty of opportunities for one-design racing everywhere.

Nigel Sharp debates the RYA’s new cruising handicap system

T

he RYA is in the process of introducing the National Handicap for Cruisers (NHC) as a consequence of the diminishing amount of data, essential for the continuation of the traditional Portsmouth Yardstick scheme, being returned to the Association by the clubs. Wherever the new scheme is operated, each boat will initially be allocated a measurement-based handicap number from the RYA’s “Base List”, but that number will then be adjusted according to the boat’s subsequent racing performance. If the boat then moves to another club it will return to the base number and the adjustments will start again. I’m sure we all wish the RYA well with its new scheme but it could be that the instigators are not aware of the comments made on the subject in the yachting press over the past century or more, starting in the second ever issue of The Yachtsman in May 1891. They said: “Probably nothing connected with yacht racing has puzzled the brains of yachtsmen more than the problem of how to deal with cruising yachts when racing.” “Many theories have been suggested, and numerous schemes have been tried, but so far none has given

98

CLASSIC BOAT FEBRUARY 2014

“Handicap racing is irksome and impossible to the keen sportsman”


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