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

... 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.
I'd completely forgotten about that.

Back in Vernon Creek at the end of the first race, I remember the party on board the winning yacht Sayula II as a pretty subdued affair because her Mexican millionaire owner had employed a professional skipper and crew, most of whom had already scarpered ashore. The party on board the third place Grand Louis was still going strong at midnight when I noticed some of her crew acting industriously. When I asked what was happening, I was told they were sailing for Cherbourg within minutes. If I hadn't asked, I think they'd have taken all us party-goers with them.

But for the willing cooperation and hard work of HMS VERNON's waterfront officer and the Portsmouth Craft Group, half the yachts wouldn't have been fit to start the race. Given the the time, I could tell another half dozen dits about the boats and some of the characters sailing them.
 
My father, Neville Wood, was skipper of See Otter in HMS Vernon during the 1960s. We also sailed See Victor and very occasionally a couple of others. I have some cine camera footage of various outings. It's not professional quality but definitely interesting. Wonderful yachts and we were extremely lucky to experience them. See Otter, and others like her provided ordinary sailors with opportunities they may never otherwise have enjoyed..... and/or sometimes endured.
 

Stirlin

War Hero
Was at Dryad 73/4 and cannot remember if the sailing yacht was Capella but they did have one maintained and skippered by a L Seaman RP1 , and I think she was moored near the Sultan harbour training ships.
 
Was at Dryad 73/4 and cannot remember if the sailing yacht was Capella but they did have one maintained and skippered by a L Seaman RP1 , and I think she was moored near the Sultan harbour training ships.
Highly likely, Pat, see NG's #13.

[As an aside - In the '80s & '90s HMS DRYAD's establishment yacht was a Sigma 362: 'Sea Nymph of Southwick'.

That Sigma 362 (which incorporated a mini-wing at the base of the keel) had a slight speed advantage over both HMS COLLINGWOOD's and HMS SULTAN's older Sigma 36's around the cans...

...but not in the 1988 Fastnet though: COLLINGWOOD's Electron romped home ahead of her, & all the other twelve Sigma 36 & 362 starters. :cool: ]

Happy days...
 

Sea Wraith

Newbie
Hi all apologies if I'm a bit green where this forum is concerned. I happened to spot the bit about the Windfall yacht Sea Wraith being inundated after launching in Scotland earlier this year. My boat, originally Sea Wraith, bought new by the navy in 1968/69 was evidently the replacement for the windfall yacht (which was SeeGeist originally- built by B Wilke of Kiel in 1937). I am in the process of filling in the gaps in the early history of my boat, a Kim Holman Northney 34. It appears from the documents I hold, that she was owned by Portsmouth Command RN from 1969 to 1971 as first "Sea Wraith", then Registered Part one as Sea Wraith ll. briefly, she then was Transferred to HMS Mercury as "Meon Maid lll" Part one official no 338605 Sail Number K784 where she remained until 1985 when she was sold. Cmdr Esmond Skene appears to have been registered as the "owner" at the time she was sold. I have now managed to Re register her on part one with the name "Severn Wraith" , Sea Wraith having nbeen taken by some other vessel. We still have the original sail number and part one number tho. I would love to hear from anyone who sailed her in the 1960s or 70s. We know that HRH Princess Anne sailed in her in 1969 as we have some authenticated Beken of Cowes pics
 
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Another place to try would be the Royal Naval Sailing Association

mailto: [email protected]

RNSA Office
  • 10 Haslar Marina
  • Haslar Road
  • Gosport
  • Hampshire, PO12 1NU
  • Tel: +44 (0)23 9252 1100
Best of luck & please let us know (in due course) what you've been able to turn up.


Meantime - Re: ""... where she remained until 1985 when she was sold. Cmdr Esmond Skene appears to have been registered as the "owner" at the time she was sold.>>

Harking back to an earlier Post :

...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....
Possibly related to Esmond, Lt. Cdr Malcolm Skene who was ADVENTURE's Skipper for the Second Leg of that Race. ADVENTURE came first for the Initial Leg but Malcolm's Crew, experiencing nasty rudder problems, still achieved a 2nd Place for his leg, (She went on to end up with overall Second place to the Mexican Millionaire's Sayulla II)

At some time in the early 1980's Malcolm Skene retired from the RN and took up a post with the RYA, where he was to play a major part in instituting & re-vamping their various Sail Training schemes which are recognized and valued both Nationally & Internationally.

Bob L

Edited to alter Date at last paragraph in view of NG's Posting below.
 
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Lt Cdr Edward Malcolm Rubislaw Skene, a Second World War veteran, is reported as having died on 19 July 1999.

1982: HMS DRYAD, Southwick, Fareham, Hants
1981: As above
1980: As above
1979: As above
1978: As above
1977: Director of Naval Recruiting
1976: As above
1975: Directorate of Public Relations (Naval)
1974: HMS DOLPHIN, Gosport, Hants
1973: HMS VICTORY, Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth
1972: HMS VERNON, Portsmouth
1971: As above
1970: As above
1969: As above
1968: As above
1967: As above
1966: As above
I have no record of any Royal Navy officer called Esmond Skene unless he began and ended his service sometime between 1945 and 1966.
 

Seabreeze

Newbie
Hello out there,

I own the 50 sqm Seebrise, in Royal Navy times named Seabreeze or Seebrize.
Bought her in Brittany/France from english owner.
She is undergoing a real full rebuilt, exchanging all the backbone, frames, floors, deck and rebuilding all the original interior which was lost completely.
She was build in 1937 at A&R with Sailnumber V98, in Navy times she belonged to H.M.S. CALEDONIA in 1965.
I have the original sail plan made for her by crew members of this ship.
Furthermore I have the last document of Lloyds register which shows she was renamed sometime before 1978 to "Flent" or she belonged to a ship H.M.S. Flent. The document was made in Inverness.
Another document shows she was sold by the navy to private hands on 21st Sep.1978.

I wonder if someone can tell me more about her as I do not have any more information or even photos of her.
Of course I have Micheal Cudmores Book, she is mentioned there twice. Also she is mentioned in Yachtmans Annual and Yachting World Annual several times but without regatta success.

I am really keen to have some photos of her and would give quite some money for any effort one may have of it.
Please inform me in advance.

Best regards
 

Seabreeze

Newbie
My father, Neville Wood, was skipper of See Otter in HMS Vernon during the 1960s. We also sailed See Victor and very occasionally a couple of others. I have some cine camera footage of various outings. It's not professional quality but definitely interesting. Wonderful yachts and we were extremely lucky to experience them. See Otter, and others like her provided ordinary sailors with opportunities they may never otherwise have enjoyed..... and/or sometimes endured.
Hello,
i would really like to see that film if ever possible.
Do you have it digitized already?
If not could you get it done? I am member of the german association for classic yachts "Freundeskreis klassischer Yachten". Even if my Seebrize is not on that film this would be an real good advantage for our digital archive, open for everyone. If you don't want it published in the archive I understand this, a personal copy would be great, with guarantee never to be online will be given.
Any other photos or films not published yet in Michael Cudmores Book are also heartly welcome...
Efforts will be payed.

That would be really great.
 
A rare opportunity to own an ex-German war prize 'Windfall' yacht in good condition for a reasonable sum:


Windfall SUNA med.jpg
SUNA
30sqm “Seefahrtkreuzer” yacht built 1936 by Abeking and Rasmussen, Bremen by commission from the German state. Used 1936-1939 on the Baltic for matched class racing under the ‘Squere Metre Rule” from the Keil Canal yacht harbour. Originally there were around 30 of this size, 20 at 50sqm and 12 100sqm. These larger vessels took part in international races such as the fastnet race before the onset of WWII​
They were laid up for WWII and then seized by the British Navy in 1946 under reparation rights agreed in the armistice. They were used as a sail training vessels by UK Forces all across Europe with Suna and 30 other matched vessels ending up in Malta and Gibraltar until the late 1960s. As so many members of the forces got to use these vessels for R and R they became known as the “Windfall Yachts”.​
By the 1970s most of these vessels were retired and offered for public sale. Suna ended up ashore on the UK south coast in the 1980s where it was bought by a syndicate who also owned a 50sqm and a 100sqm vessel which they chartered out of Portsmouth. At that time she needed a comprehensive rebuild of the topsides and a full internal fit out. She was returned to active use as part of the charter fleet in the 1990s.​
Bought by current owner in Fleetwood Sept 2008. Relocated to Hartlepool until 2010 when brought ashore for restoration in Goole. Launched Goole May 2013 and sailed to Scarborough. Dried out on the hard and antifouled 3 times, last one August 2018...(more)

Sadly, I am not in the running.
 

Wightsparker

War Hero
A rare opportunity to own an ex-German war prize 'Windfall' yacht in good condition for a reasonable sum:


SUNA
30sqm “Seefahrtkreuzer” yacht built 1936 by Abeking and Rasmussen, Bremen by commission from the German state. Used 1936-1939 on the Baltic for matched class racing under the ‘Squere Metre Rule” from the Keil Canal yacht harbour. Originally there were around 30 of this size, 20 at 50sqm and 12 100sqm. These larger vessels took part in international races such as the fastnet race before the onset of WWII​
They were laid up for WWII and then seized by the British Navy in 1946 under reparation rights agreed in the armistice. They were used as a sail training vessels by UK Forces all across Europe with Suna and 30 other matched vessels ending up in Malta and Gibraltar until the late 1960s. As so many members of the forces got to use these vessels for R and R they became known as the “Windfall Yachts”.​
By the 1970s most of these vessels were retired and offered for public sale. Suna ended up ashore on the UK south coast in the 1980s where it was bought by a syndicate who also owned a 50sqm and a 100sqm vessel which they chartered out of Portsmouth. At that time she needed a comprehensive rebuild of the topsides and a full internal fit out. She was returned to active use as part of the charter fleet in the 1990s.​
Bought by current owner in Fleetwood Sept 2008. Relocated to Hartlepool until 2010 when brought ashore for restoration in Goole. Launched Goole May 2013 and sailed to Scarborough. Dried out on the hard and antifouled 3 times, last one August 2018...(more)

Sadly, I am not in the running.
Is that @Stirlin I can see on the bridge in the background, taking a picture of the hotel for a different thread?
 
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