Tuesday, 18 September 2012

More Mystery Yachts

Another intriguing image has come my way, courtesy of David Bradshaw, who has been going through old family albums. 

David believes that the above image was taken at Helensburgh and I'm inclined to agree, as we can see a Clyde steamer at the pier to the left and the distant landscape opposite looks about right. It's obviously been regatta day, as the Firth is littered with the little livery boats beloved by generations of Scots Doon the Watter, many turned out by the Bute Fyfes.

As to the date and the design of the two interesting little yachts in the foreground I've got some ideas but don't want to spoil the fun.

To date we've had a 100% success rate in finding the mystery yachts (see She's a Herreshoff  and  She's a Fife  ) so let's see how it goes this time.


  1. looks a lot like a memsahib-era 19/24

  2. What a great scene.

    The steamer is not at the Helensburgh pier – the photographer is. That’s Rosneath Point above the rowing boats to the right, with the Gourock hills behind the steamer.

    The smaller of the two foreground vessels, to the left with the partly fully-battened mainsail, is one the five 18ft Linton Hope designed “Seamew” dinghies built by R. McAlister & Son of Dumbarton for £33 ex sails in 1895 for members of the newly formed Clyde Sailing Club of Helensburgh. They seem to have raced as a class only in that season; rumour has it that at least some were eventually shipped to Bombay to found the Tomtit Class there. Helensburgh Sailing Club owns a beautiful, fully detailed model.

    So the photo can be dated as no earlier than 1895, otherwise “mid 1890’s”.

    The yacht to her right is most probably an early 1890’s vintage Clyde 17/19 Footer, converted (probably) from lugsail to gaff rig.

  3. Wonderful detective work Leggy, once again you get the prize. The Bombay connection is interesting too, the Royal Bombay Yacht Club seems to have been populated by Scottish civil servants and businessmen. Later they turned to Alfred Mylne for their new ODs and the The Scottish Islanders are in fact RBYC one designs, but Bermudian rigged instead of the gunter for the Indian boats.


The Wherrymen

The Wherrymen
Two old friends on the water