The 1882 Nicholson racing yacht Germaine has been relaunched following a long restoration at the International Boatbuilding Training Centre at Lowestoft.
Once she is fully rigged and has her new suit of sails she will sail to her new home in Brittany.
Germaine was designed by Ben Nicholson for a prominent racer, Mr FW Leybourne Popham.
After being photographed by Beken, she sailed to the Med in December 1882 and returned in the spring of 1883, passed to Mr Harvey A Dixon, who rigged her as a cutter. She was later made into a yawl again, and passed through further changes of ownership – later owners were Major Middleton Robinson and Mr HW Whittingham of Goodmayes, Essex. In the early 60s she was found on the banks of the Blackwater by Ann and Peter Christgau, who refloated and cleaned her, and sold her in the mid-1960s.
Eventually she returned to the Camper and Nicholson yard, where she was to be repaired ready for the yard’s bicentenary celebrations. Sadly the yard got into financial difficulties and the project had to be abandoned.
Germaine’s cause was then taken up by Patrick Bigand, who acquired her and transported her to the IBTC in 1997 for restoration.
The restoration took quite some time, and I gather that she leaves quite a space in the College’s premises, having been there for two decades, but it must be wonderful for the staff and students to see her back on the water.
PS – Donan Raven points out that there’s some good material about Germaine here – and that it includes a set of lines, two Beken photos and some shots of the IBTC restoration. Thanks Donan!
A free berth for a youngster aged 15-25 years aboard the Victorian racing cutter Leila is up for grabs in this year’s Tall Ships Race, which takes place in the Baltic this summer.
The Leila Sailing Trust has been helped in getting Leila through her last stages of MCA coding by the National Lottery, which has provided nearly £15k in support.
Built in Greenwich in 1892, Leila is the fifth oldest yacht in the UK, and the last time she raced, she won the Round Britain in 1904.
The draw for a free berth on the July race from Denmark to Finland will close on May 1st.
The Suffolk-based trust is just completing a £176,000 five-year restoration. In March, Awards for All, part of the Big Lottery, granted almost £10k for the safety gear needed for her Category 2 MCA safety coding.
The Heritage Lottery fund who contributed nearly £50k four years ago, have also given another £5k to help with fit out and sails.
Leila will move from Southwold to Lowestoft after Easter, and will then get ready for her first weekend charter on May bank holiday. She plans to visit London, Ipswich and The Suffolk Yacht Harbour Classics before going to the Baltic for the Tall Ships in July.
French pierhead painter Dominique Perotin has produced this portrait of the newly-built Victorian gentleman’s racing yacht Integrity – and it seems to me that she has joined the wonderful yacht’s growing legion of admirers. (Click on the link to see her website.)
Integrity was designed and built by traditional yacht builders and wooden boat repairers Stirling and Son of Tavistock, Devon and is listed for sale via the company website. There are also quite a few posts about her here at intheboatshed.net – click on this link and follow the trail of ‘older posts’ links to find them.
Integrity in flight
On the subject of Stirlings, boat builders sometimes get some funny commissions. Will Stirling and his colleagues have recently been building a pair of dinghy seats for a pub. I guess if a drinker feels wobbly some time, they can put it down to sitting in a boat, rather than blame the beer and wine…