The former Nazi-era 'Wind-fall yacht', Sea Wraith.

#1
Are there any off-shore sailors here (of a certain age... :eek:... ) who recall Sea Wraith, possibly either HMS Dryad or Vernon's Establishment Yacht?

Whist I never sailed in here I vaguely remember it still racing on the Portsmouth RNSA/JOG Offshore circuits in the '60s/'70.

Where is it now? A good illustrated account here of a long restoration project:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...cht-OAP-spent-five-years-renovating-SANK.html

PS Likely answered here* but that book is out of print... Perhaps @Seaweed or @Naval_Gazer might remember?

*http://www.windfallyachts.com/Windfalls.html

 
#3
I remember the 'Windfalls'. I sailed on a couple in the 70s and I'm pretty sure I did a Tall Ship's Race which ended up in London on one of them. As I was a dabber RP at the time, it may well have been Sea Wraith. All I can really remember is the march through London and St Katherine dock and trapping a WREN in the forepeak!
 
#4
^Trapping eh, C**** F*****s told me a dit at an RNSA reception where she had just sacked a French delivery crew between Caribbean islands. They had insisted on sailing naked - no prude our lass but they ignored her repeated concerns of one of 'em trapping their dangly bits whilst winch-grinding...ugh!
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#5
I don't recall anything about these in Portsmouth but there were five at Dartmouth - collared in Hamburg in 1945 I was led to believe - there was one called Harpy that 'belonged' to the Special Entry. I only got an afternoon outing in her as I wasn't one of the mad keen sailing types from Pangbourne so in my ten weeks there only qualified under sail in whaler, cutter and RNSA dinghy. Yo ho ho and a bottle of Campari.
 
#6
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1401817/Commander-Peter-Richardson.html

The link provides the obituary in the Telegraph of the late Cdr Peter Richardson.
An interesting read in itself, but the relevant bit for this thread is as follows:

"Richardson's great love was sailing. In 1946 he had been sent to Kiel and made responsible for a fleet of 180 "prizes", mostly abandoned yachts. He picked which ones were to be taken as reparations for war damage, and sailed them home to Britain, all without engines and safely under sail, the largest yacht being the 150-square metre Orion.

"These yachts became known as "windfalls", and were so well chosen that for nearly 30 years they were used for adventure training and provided the opportunity for serving men and women to participate in major races. Later in life Richardson bought one from the Navy for himself, Sea Otter, which is now being restored in his garden by his two sons."
 
#7
BZ & thanks for that, @Wightsparker.

I was unaware of his back history but I recall Peter as friendly, unassuming character. Nevertheless one of those key RNSA figures who kept RN sailing very much alive when those at the top scornfully treated it 'as merely a fringe sport for jolly-boating'.

The first RNSA/Whitbread RTW Race (now VOLVO's) in '73/74 shifted the focus somewhat (with the RN crewed Nicholson 55 ADVENTURE's 1st to Capetown & 2nd overall) but never enough to alter that ingrained misconception, IMHO.
 

joel

Midshipman
#8
Are there any off-shore sailors here (of a certain age... :eek:... ) who recall Sea Wraith, possibly either HMS Dryad or Vernon's Establishment Yacht?

Whist I never sailed in here I vaguely remember it still racing on the Portsmouth RNSA/JOG Offshore circuits in the '60s/'70.

Where is it now? A good illustrated account here of a long restoration project:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...cht-OAP-spent-five-years-renovating-SANK.html

PS Likely answered here* but that book is out of print... Perhaps @Seaweed or @Naval_Gazer might remember?

*http://www.windfallyachts.com/Windfalls.html

Are there any off-shore sailors here (of a certain age... :eek:... ) who recall Sea Wraith, possibly either HMS Dryad or Vernon's Establishment Yacht?

Whist I never sailed in here I vaguely remember it still racing on the Portsmouth RNSA/JOG Offshore circuits in the '60s/'70.

Where is it now? A good illustrated account here of a long restoration project:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...cht-OAP-spent-five-years-renovating-SANK.html

PS Likely answered here* but that book is out of print... Perhaps @Seaweed or @Naval_Gazer might remember?

*http://www.windfallyachts.com/Windfalls.html

 
#11
Not wrong, Senior airmen & soldiers grabbed a fistful, too.

The number of ermm, 'Regimental/Squadron-type Offshore Yachts' often put the RN to shame.

Despite 'Joint Services Sailing', trying to charter one of the other's yachts was akin to the crime of stealing nutty from a toddler the way they squealed 'but, but, but..No!'

Hope it has changed recently?
 
#13
A sad tale.

Yes, I remember the 50 m² windfall Sea Wraith in her prime; See Otter too.

Sea Wraith.jpg
Sea Wraith

I own a copy of Michael Cudmore's 'The Windfall Yachts - A Legacy of Goodwill'. Other copies are still available.

I sailed the 90 m² windfall Capella at Dartmouth.

I was based at HMS VERNON for the start and finish of the first Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race (1973-74), in which Adventure, the Royal Navy's Nicholson 55, came 2nd overall out of 19 starters. I was also present for the start and finish of the second competition (1977-78) in which Adventure came 7th out of 15. Exciting times and there were some wonderful parties. The RN wasn't allowed to host the start and finish of the third race because it had a South African competitor and the Government had introduced a sterner policy towards apartheid. The organisers had to resort to using Camper & Nicholson instead.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the RAF had a load of these as well......
The Windfalls were distributed among all three services. Michael Cudmore's book contains several entertaining stories about abortive attempts to sail them to the UK, especially by the RAF, as nearly all the yachts lacked any form of engine propulsion.
 
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#14
^and those bringing them over after VE Day soon discovered how unseaworthy they were, having been neglected for a considerable part of the hostilities.

Accounts I've read explained ATT it was a case of grab what you could (all correctly authorised & recorded :Wink: Wink:) and move it away before some later 'claimant' arrived.
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#18
Pull up a bollard ..

Re the RTW,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11780284/Rear-Admiral-Charles-Williams-obituary.html

I served with him in HMS London.

Re sailing at Dartmouth, the special entry had 3 DOs, of whom the engineer was Dickie Hewitt. He had been sailing master to the D of E and in 1954 brought Bluebottle up the Dart to show her to the College - and ran her ground in Mill Creek.

Re Michael Cudmore, I'm wondering if he was the Mick Cudmore who was a Mid(E) in Maidstone with me in 1956. Mick and another Mid(E) (?Ebdon?) were sent to a destroyer for small ship time. They brought their motorbike inboard to their shared cabin and proceeded to do engineering type things to it. I believe there was a bill for the carpet. He also features in the picture credit at

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id...AEINzAC#v=onepage&q=cudmore falklands&f=false


Apologies for thread drift.
 
#19
...Re Michael Cudmore, I'm wondering if he was the Mick Cudmore who was a Mid(E) in Maidstone with me in 1956. Mick and another Mid(E) (?Ebdon?) were sent to a destroyer for small ship time. They brought their motorbike inboard to their shared cabin and proceeded to do engineering type things to it. I believe there was a bill for the carpet. He also features in the picture credit at

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CwLSAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA326&lpg=PA326&dq=cudmore+falklands&source=bl&ots=6a7kucAjiX&sig=NXb9nT3SqckKvnL4fnwsoLCzrSc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi918ze3PvUAhUqCsAKHYgPCQUQ6AEINzAC#v=onepage&q=cudmore falklands&f=false
Thanks for the link to the informative obit of Admiral Willams.

W.r.t. Michael Cudmore:
Michael Cudmore.jpg
According to his entry on the Navy List Research website, Cdr Michael Cudmore OBE CEng MRAeS RN (E AE psc(m)) died in October 2008. The 1st Edition of his book about the Windfalls had been published exactly one year previously.

Cdr Michael John Ebdon (E) RN left the RN circa 1977 with a seniority of 30 June 1973.
 
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#20
BZ & thanks for that, @Wightsparker.

I recall Peter as friendly, unassuming character.

IMHO.
Completely agree re Peter Richardson.

Incidentally, Peter skippered See Otter (although off camera) in an episode of the BBC Warship series in the 70s. The scenario involved HMS Hero going to the rescue of an elderly yachtsman who had basically sailed off to die.

You also mentioned the first RNSA/Whitbread RTW Race and RN crewed Nicholson 55 ADVENTURE.

There were emotional scenes in Vernon when Adventure arrived home. Indeed, as I recall, "tired and emotional". One of the last leg crew members, embracing one of the bevy of yachty totty hanging around the jetty, promptly announced their engagement, which stimulated more alcohol.

It also prompted, when the story appeared in Navy News, a sense of humour failure in his real fiancee.
 

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