Tuesday, November 4, 2008

King George V's Yacht 'BRITANNIA'

King George the Fifth loved his yacht and yacht racing, hardly ever missing a race, the regatta's were held at the main resorts along the south coast and Royal Cowes, the home of English big yacht racing, but occasionally the east coast and Southend would be venue's. Britannia was a very successful competitor in the twenties and thirties people would turn out in there hundreds to watch the stars of the show the 40 metre class which is what the Kings yacht was until she was altered to conform with J-Class specifications the the king could now compete against the other J-Class yachts. An interesting point is that the king would not have a J on his sail denoting his class he insisted on having a K he argued because that is what I am King, the Royal Yacht Squadron allowed the K on his sail and read K1.
Above is a picture from my collection King George V at the helm of his beloved yacht and opposite the nearest yacht is Britannia, you will perhaps note that at this time she is Gaff rigged later she converted to Bermudan rig a much more efficient sail plan when racing.

J-Class News, REBUILD.

In 1962 Shamrock V was sold to Italian yachtsman Piero Scanu who, in 1967, had the yacht taken back to Camper and Nicholsons in Gosport, England for a complete, three-year rebuild. The hull was stripped back to bare steel frames which were sandblasted, repaired and painted. After this Shamrock V was entirely replanked in 2 inch teak and refastened with bronze. New systems, engines and rig were also installed. During the next twenty years she had a number of owners, and never fell into disrepair, like the other J's. In 1986 the Lipton Tea Company purchased Shamrock V from Scanu and donated her to The Museum of Yachting in Newport, Rhode Island. In 1989 classic yacht restorer Elizabeth Meyer undertook another extensive refit. In 1995 the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) of Newport , Rhode Island purchased Shamrock V as part of their classic yacht collection. In 1998, the IYRS sold Shamrock V to the Newport Shamrock V Corporation in order to help finance the restoration of 'Coronet'. The Newport Shamrock V Corporation intends to continue chartering in New England but will extend her season to include Winter months in the Caribbean.Following a remarkable and successful regatta in Antigua against Velsheda and Endeavour in 1999, Shamrock V returned to UK waters and has just completed a one year refit at the Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth, England, by her new owners. This comprehensive refit hasl improved ballast ratio and with the addition of a new rig and sails, performance is dramatically enhanced. Shamrock V is now ready to give many more years of service as one of yachting's great queens and as one of just three remaining original J's from the 1930's.

Two Fabulous J-Class.

A beautiful painting of two J-Class yachts racing off the Isle of Wight, to me there is not a more pleasurable sight than to see if only in picture these sedate opulent masters of the wind jostling for position and as they are in the picture close hauled, and the angle which the artist has portrayed these craft is again classic and to my mind the best viewpoint to be had,

A Yachting Monthly WILD DUCK.

This is a Yachting Monthly "Wild Duck" designed by, Alan H. Buchanan a 20ft, 3 ton Sloop designed for two people, a very user friendly little craft and one of my favourite sailing cruisers I owned one of these in the early 70's, her name "TINALOA" a boat local to the River Medway in Kent, UK. She was designed as an inshore cruising yacht and is very adept at handling heavy weather should you be caught out, and once over on her chine she is very reluctant to go any further a very comforting thought, In the five years I owned her I made numerous trips up the East Coast one trip to Holland and a couple to France.
Picture is by kind permission of the Eventide Owners Club, they can also supply plans for this and other classic craft.