Will Stirling and crew sail Integrity to the North of Iceland

Stirling & Son-built Victorian gentleman’s racing yacht Integrity sailing from Plymouth to the North of Iceland.

Will Stirling writes:

‘We have sailed Integrity from Plymouth to the North of Iceland.The videos show her:

  • on the W Coast of Ireland under full sail; topmast up, jack yard topsail, bowsprit at no. 1 fid position, no. 1 jib and flying jib.
  • rounding the most northerly point of Iceland under square sail. Topmast and bowsprit housed. She travels at a slower speed under square sail but it is comfortable and safe when it is downwind and windy.

Most interestingly, when we doubled this cape and had to harden up in order to meet the head marks for the ancient Viking anchorage of Leirhofn, we braced the square sail round, set the no. 2 jib and she sailed to windward.

When we decided that we would have to beat into the anchorage, we dipped the square sail onto the deck, left the no. 2 jib up and set the staysail and double reefed main (which gives an indication of the wind strength and how comfortably the square sail sets).’

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Montagu whaler Swan and whaler no. 124/1964

Montagu whaler 124/1964

Bristol charity Rocking the Boat Bristol member Steve Evans is rebuilding a 1964 Montagu whaler named Swan, but are short of oars, mast and sailing kit. If anyone has these they can offer, Rocking the Boat would be most grateful for your help. Email me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the message along.

In addition, Rocking the Boat has another Montagu whaler (built:  Portsmouth 1964, no 124) that we would like to give to someone who wants to finish its rebuild. It’s basically sound but needs a new home, and is at present lying in Bristol.

Steve has this to say about the story of Swan and whaler no. 124/1964:

‘She was reputedly built in Malta and was once owned by Berni Bruen, who wrote the Song of the Montagu Whaler (scroll down this page to find it), and later by Graham Brown in Falmouth .

‘After Graham passed away, Jonny Mills from Falmouth Marine School took her under his wing and completed some major repairs with students.

‘The story then shifts to Bristol where she now lies and is being further renovated with a possible showing at the Semaine du Golfe, Brittany next May.

‘There is much work to be done and either fabrication or sourcing of the two masts and oars to complete the project by retired chaps under the aegis of All-Aboard Watersports and Rocking the Boat Bristol.

‘The Beagle Project , based in Devonport, have been most encouraging in our project and gave us the second whaler, which sadly bwe find we cannot find the resources to complete. We are therefore looking to a group or individual who would be interested in taking her on before we have to cut her up. She was built at Portsmouth in 1964 and is numbered 124.

‘If you are interested in the boat or have any oars / sailing kit for our boat Swan, I would very much appreciate contact from you.
There will be more to follow on Swan’s Story in later writings.’

Thanks Steve! Please contact him either via Rocking the Boat Bristol (link above) or email me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the message along.

Ann Davison’s 23ft Atlantic crossing boat Felicity Ann sails again

I was chuffed to read this story on the Classic Sailor website. I greatly enjoyed Ann Davison’s book My Ship is so Small about crossing the Atlantic solo in a 23ft boat some years ago, and it still sits on a shelf above my computer.

Dating as it does from the mid 1950s, it’s the sort of thing you might still find in the sailing section of a good second-hand bookstore.

Felicity Ann sails again