The race winning schooner America


‘The schooner, fittingly named America, was modeled on the highly successful pilot boats that navigated New York’s busy harbor. A stark contrast to the “cod’s head and mackerel tail” shape that typified British yachts, America had a long, sharp bow and a blunted stern.

‘Her masts were sharply raked and rigged with taut cotton duck sailcloth, which stretched less than the flax sails used by the British, providing more power in varying wind conditions.

‘Upon crossing the Atlantic, America’s unusual appearance made an immediate impression, with one British sailor declaring, “If she’s all right, then we’re all wrong.”‘

The story of America is a great tale and a dire warning to anyone who might be just a little too comfortable in their nice cosy paradigm. It is told at the SFO Museum website.

Lovely Youtube video of classic Troy racing yachts off Fowey

There’s a high definition version featuring different music here. The film was taken by Troy class racing yacht skipper John Forsyth, who captured his material by strapping a camera to various parts of his boat.

We’re glad he did. My thanks to Fowey traditional boat builder Marcus Lewis for pointing out this one!

PSMax, who writes the Bursledon Blog has a post on the Troys, and a few nice photos.

22 square metre Caritana returns to sailing following repairs at Stirling and Son


In mid-May the 22 square metre Caritana left the Stirling and Son yard near Tavistock in Devon, following repairs carried out following an accident in which she was involved in a collision during a race at  Cowes last summer.

Here’s what Will Stirling has to say about the project:

‘The repair work took two months to complete and included new timbers, a new sheer plank, deck beam, mast partners, covering boards and re-canvassing of the deck.

‘When we took off the old canvas deck we found a piece of newspaper under it dated 1946. It was only after replacing the canvas (which had to be done in a single piece) that it occurred to us that we should have put the piece of newspaper back with another piece from this year.’

Caritana is number 131 in the Mälar 22 square metre class drawn by the designer Gustav Estlander, and was built in Erik Eriksson’s yard in Strängnäs in 1946.

She is one of a fleet of 22s based at Cremyll, opposite Plymouth.

The fleet is run by Cremyll Keelboats who are organising a regatta to race the boats in Plymouth Sound on the weekend of Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of June. Boat spaces are available for charter. For more information see the Cremyll Keelboats website.