Category Archives: Racing yacht

The astonishing tale of Troy number 12

Down at Fowey, boatbuilder Marcus Lewis has started work bringing Barbara, Troy 12, back to life. As he says, hers is an epic story…

Troy 12, the first to be built after the war in 1946, raced very succesfully in Fowey for a few years, and was then sold to someone who took her to Padstow, fitted a Stuart Turner engine, and had her sitting on the mud with legs when the tide was out.

‘Perhaps inevitably she eventually fell over and stoved-in her side.

‘While she was in the boatyard being repaired, her owner died and his nephew took her on. He was in the army and intended to set up an adventure school in the Hebrides once he was out of uniform, so over a couple years he hopped along the coast with Barbara when he could: from Padstow he sailed round Lands End, along south coast up the East Coast, shipped overland across Scotland, and then sailed out to the Outer Hebrides.

‘He had the boat there for a few years until a bad gale sank her. A mate with a fishing boat pulled her onto the beach, but in doing so pulled her stem out, and she sat on the beach for 15 years or so until till we tracked her down late eighties.

‘A friend and I already had a Troy to look after (number 3, which we tracked down to Gateshead, and subsequently bought – and that’s another epic tale!) so left the owner to try and retrieve number 12.

‘After a few years he gave up so we tried.

‘After an incredible amount of help from the Army and RAF, and from Benbecula Airport, we got the the boat back to Fowey,
on an army supply ship – though sadly on three pallets rather than as a boat-shaped collection of manky wood!

‘The plan was always to rebuild her, but it has taken longer to get round to it than I ever imagined.

‘Realistically, the only useable bit is the lead keel, so that’s where I started a couple months ago, just doing a bit when I can, but she is now set up, with the moulds framed up and work is getting in the way! She probably wont be ready for next season, but I will work away steadily when time permits.’

Thanks Marcus! Check out Marcus’s recent weblog posts (bottom left of his home page) for boats for sale. They include a Heard 28, and various dinghies and a sweet double-ended 18ft daysailer.

 

Uffa Fox designed Flying 30 Huff of Arklow relaunch in September

Huff of Arklow

The latest Shipshape Network newsletter brings happy news that the restoration of the Uffa Fox designed Flying 30, Huff of Arklow, is progressing rapidly and is to be relaunched on the 7th September.

An enlarged version of Fox’s wonderfully elegant Flying 15 design, Huff was was built in 1951 in Arklow by John Tyrrell & Sons (see list of Tyrell-built craft) for the well known yachtsman Douglas Heard. She’s an important boat in several ways – she was the first masthead rigged sloop designed to plane and the first ocean-going yacht designed to plane. And she is fast, certainly – she recorded a speed of 23 knots on a trip to Iceland in 1960.

Read about Huff of Arklow and her restoration here and here. Oh, and there are a Facebook page and a Twitter account to follow too!

PS – Martha’s Vineyard sailor and boat surveyor Ginny Jones wrote to tell me about this YouTube video about Huff, complete with Uffa Fox singing a stage sea song, some modern pop stuff with photos of kid’s and their models of Huff, and finally photos of her pre-restoration interior, with someone (I don’t know who) singing a proper sea song, the Sailor’s ABC.

Chesapeake Bay log canoe sailing on video

Mighty stuff filmed by Seth Jones – just look at the huge rigs on those slender Chesapeake Bay log canoe hulls, the youngest of which are still old boats in anyone’s terms.

And the choice of music is so much preferable to the techy-synthy-guitary rock so often used to accompany these things. Surely old boats deserve something at least a little apt? Here we have a graceful old boat treated to a little graceful old music…

Watermen – oyster dredging and racing on the Chesapeake in the 1960s

Watermen racing and fishing on the Chesapeake Bay

‘In 1965, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, there was the last operating fleet of sailing work boats in the United States. Forty-odd “Skipjacks” were still used by Maryland watermen to dredge up oysters from the Bay. At that time, the fleet had survived because of a Maryland conservation law which prohibits the use of motor power for oyster dredging. The watermen traditionally marked the opening of each oystering season with a skipjack race which the Maryland State Tourist Board incorporated into its annual “Chesapeake Bay Appreciation Day”.’

Read about skipjacks here and oystering on the Chesapeake here and here.

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Yarmouth Old Gaffer Festival – Pete Bromwich takes a harbour stroll

My pal Pete Bromwich caught the sailing and boat building bug some time ago – and has kindly sent me some photos of the the boats attending the Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival (YOGAFF) last weekend.

I think it’s a particular pleasure to learn that old pals you haven’t seen for a while have taken up one’s own interests, and that’s certainly the case with Pete.

Here’s what he says:

‘Unfortunately the wind was not with us this Saturday and I did not see any of the gaffer actually moving, but here are some in Yarmouth, hope they are of some use to you.

‘Yarmouth Harbour was full; I did not count, but there must have been well over 100 gaffers of all shapes and sizes crammed into the harbour over the weekend.

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It was lovely to see a friend I had met at Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy, Jeremy, a few years ago with Margherita, his Willow Bay Boats Shilling. She was rafted with Marjory, the first one built by Phil Swift in 1998. The Shilling has a cedar hull which is then sheathed, making her virtually maintenance free.

The build quality and thought that has gone into carefully making all use of the available space is quite stunning. She’s a lovely looking small gaff rigged yacht that sails well, according to her owner.

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Pilgrim was a big attraction at Yarmouth, seen here with Princess of Caithness rafted to her. She is the oldest surviving Brixham built and rigged sailing trawler. She is run by a trust who offer sailing experiences from ½ day to 9 day cruises. Definitely one of the many things on my to-do list. She is now completely restored and members of the public where invited on board to view her, which was greatly appreciated.

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‘Hope this is of some use to you. Pete’

It certainly is! Many thanks for some very nice shots. We had better winds to play with on the North Kent Coast last weekend, but I can’t pretend we had a fraction of the number of pretty boats to look at!

Cameraman Dylan Winter captures the lovely Swallow Class keelboats

This film in Dylan Winter’s Keep Turning Left series captures these 25ft lovelies (and Sunbeams and XoDs, I’m reminded to point out – see the comments) rather beautifully.

To know more about them click here and if you want to know about Swallow racing at Itchenor Sailing Club, click here.

Designed in 1946 by Tom Thorneycroft as a possible successor to the Star, the Swallow class was used as a two-man keelboat class in the 1948 Olympics, they are now raced three-up. Stars, of course, are still around, but they aren’t quite as graceful on the water…

1930s race winning gaff cutter Wanda for sale

The 37ft LOA 1930 Berthon-built race winning gaff cutter Wanda is for sale. She’s rigged as a gaff cutter.

In her earlier life was a well known RORC racer, and won the Channel race in the late 1930s. More recently, in the centenary RORC Cowes to Dinard race she came 5th in her class, and in the 2008 Round The Island race she came 4th in the gaff rig class.

For more information, click here.