Seaview Sailing Club

December 14, 2021
The Slipway, Seaview Sailing

There have already been Mermaids in Seaview for over a hundred years, today's design being the fourth of the title. All being generally comparable open keelboats; the initial gaff rigged boats becoming built-in 1907. They were superseded in 1922 by a Bermudan rigged Class designed for the Club by the popular Alfred Westmacott. The story goes that Itchenor Sailing Club desired to develop a lot more of these Mermaids but Sea View declined permission! Itchenor then commissioned Westmacott to design a “bigger and better” version, in addition to Solent Sunbeams are quite definitely alive. Numerous photographs of the previous Mermaids tend to be hung in Club and two restored survivors of every of these designs are now and again to be noticed afloat at Seaview.

All of the 1907 and 1922 ships were initially independently had. In 1945, after the war, Colonel Tony Somers recommended the Club should buy the ten Mermaids (set up since 1939) from their owners so they really is readily available for all Members to sail. He also arranged for his Regiment to charter them due to their annual regatta. Hence the custom of Club owned ships and chartering has been doing presence for over sixty years.

In 1962 the fleet had been replaced by ten brand-new boats, created by Arthur Robb and built by Souters of Cowes especially for the SVYC. The Club could be the only Class Authority, which provides us the huge advantage of to be able to introduce modifications at might and make certain the boats are treated exactly alike. Rushing results are consequently dependant on skill rather than how big the owner’s wallet!

The 1962 hulls were manufactured from cool moulded Makore plywood, more advanced than the fibreglass of these days, but alternatively brittle. By the very early 1990s all of the hulls appeared to be patchwork quilts beneath their particular coloured paintwork. The fittings had never ever already been updated and spinnaker handling included packing the sail in a bucket which in turn must be clipped into the bow fairlead – a thrilling chore which usually lead to bucket and all becoming hoisted! After some experiments, people had been asked to test 1st “modernised” watercraft during Easter 1993. Because of this it was consented to upgrade the residual nine.

Expert advice was desired through the yacht fashion designer David Thomas who believed one of several old hulls, making use of their characteristic Arthur Robb “chicken breast” bow, whenever suitably faired and completed, would provide acceptably as a plug. Scuttle No. ended up being selected as minimum battered. Actually whenever stripped straight back she ended up being as full of patches as the woman siblings. Thirty many years early in the day Barry Stobart-Hook had been the very first individual hole a Mermaid by hitting the Warner Channel Buoy. Despite every effort, minor traces of this level, in port bow, had been utilized in the mould and afterwards to every new hull.

It absolutely was agreed that a fleet of twelve ships was a far greater quantity than ten and ten wooden hulls will be changed progressively. The old wood Scuttle, rebranded Naomi, ended up being kept as a spare Club motorboat, two were offered off into personal ownership and remainder cannibalised to provide keels, masts and accessories for the brand-new boats. The old hulls had been then break up and auctioned to offer much needed funds. The stern of Cynthia may be seen these days, adorning the outside wall associated with the neighbouring Old Fort Pub.

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