NEWSLETTER March 2021

NEWSLETTER March 2021

Many Vertues are now over 50 years old so it's a pleasure to be able to report on the current project to restore one of the older boats, Grace. She is shown above enjoying a brisk sail. Following on from the somewhat controversial refit of Andrillot recently I can now also report that a real, gaff-rigged Vertue, Fionn, has come onto the market on our own East Coast. We also return to South Africa for the story of 'The Baby Boat', Vertue Carina and her remarkable voyage to Denmark. Finally we visit the…Read more
Andrillot: The first Vertue

Andrillot: The first Vertue

Andrillot as originally drawn When Jack Laurent Giles was commissioned to design the little 5 tonner that was to become Andrillot he had lifted the lines, studied, and raced aboard the old French pilot cutter Jolie Brise. He also knew the British, converted pilot cutters such as Saladin and the old, transom-sterned Dyarchy, owned by his friend Roger Pinkney. By then he had also designed the little 23' Isabella, the first of a small fleet of about 17 'Lymington L' class dayboats, that were found to be ideal for a bit of racing…Read more
VertueYachts-December 2020 Newsletter                      MERRY CHRISTMAS!

VertueYachts-December 2020 Newsletter MERRY CHRISTMAS!

TALE TELLER IN SOUTH AFRICA Here in our Island Kingdom, off the northwest coast of continental Europe, it is the shortest day of the year, amidst the gloom of the pandemic and the uncertaintly of our relationship with neighbouring countries. So what we need is a bit of colour, light and cheerfulness, and where better to look than SOUTH AFRICA! So this Newsletter has become a kind of South African Vertue Feature! We don't get to hear much sailing news from that area of the world and it was only a chance tip-off…Read more
VertueYachts-October 2020 Newsletter

VertueYachts-October 2020 Newsletter

Virtue Fidelis, seen here, is a very special boat. She was commissioned by Stanley Glanfield in 1951 just when a committee of experts were looking for special exhibits for the forthcoming Festival of Britain in London. Her builders, Stebbings, of Burnham on Crouch, must have been delighted when she was chosen to be one of those outstanding exhibits to illustrate the best of British craftsmanship. She was launched as Festival Vertue. Since then, she has had very few owners, and is now based in Dartmouth where she has been racing in Start Bay…Read more
VertueYachts-July 2020 Newsletter

VertueYachts-July 2020 Newsletter

I am delighted to report that WoodenBoat Magazine have just published a completely new article about The Vertues in their July/August 2020 issue Number 275. Their commission last autumn enabled me to spend some serious time going back over my years of archives, and extending them to improve our understanding of how these tough little yachts developed. I have also spent time researching the context of their evolution and putting forward what influences Jack Laurent Giles might have been aware of when the first boats of the class were conceived. I'm tempted to…Read more
VertueYachts-July 2019 Newsletter

VertueYachts-July 2019 Newsletter

Stelda running south towards Barbados. Just about now, half a century ago, when all the razzmatazz and the media sensationalism of the Golden Globe Race was more or less dying away, Peter Woolass was completing final preparations for his own singled-handed voyage.  It was not around the world, nor was it a race, but along with a growing number of competent, determined amateur yachtsmen, Peter wanted to see if he could sail across the Atlantic Ocean himself.  The book that resulted from the experience is described elsewhere on this website, and is a…Read more

VertueYachts-April 2019 Newsletter

Last year’s Newsletters were a bit thin on the ground so this year we are starting with some thoughts on how the famous Vertue design might first have been conceived.  I must apologise to both my readers for the dearth of real ‘news’ last year.   Apart from the modest, ‘vertuous’ thoughts that might occur to me from time to time, I can really only pass on such reports as you care to send me about your boats. So please do send me some more, using speedwelltwo@gmail.com ! Andrillot under full sail It is…Read more

VertueYachts-April 2018 Newsletter

Since taking on VertueYachts a few years ago I have been constantly surprised by the variety and diversity of the distribution of these tough little boats across the globe.  I recently totted up how many of the 250 boats to this design we have been able to trace and find it totals about 82.  The lack of precision here is down to the fact that the eagle eye has, from time to time, spotted a vertue from afar, but has been unable to actually verify either her name or ownership! I know there…Read more
VertueYachts – November 2017 Newsletter

VertueYachts – November 2017 Newsletter

Above: Andrillot Sail Plan as redrawn by Uffa Fox. This little gaff cutter Andrillot was launched at the Swanwick yard of Moody Bros. for Richard Kinnersley in the spring of 1936. Although she was later to become known as the first of the Vertue class, her rig was very similar to that of her first rival, Eric Hiscock’s Wanderer II. When the two boats raced each other, and later sailed in company, Andrillot was found to be slightly faster to windward, with her slightly longer waterline length and fuller sections. Eric also explained…Read more
VertueYachts – July 2017 Newsletter

VertueYachts – July 2017 Newsletter

Above: Northam Vertue in California. Here is a sight to gladden the eye of any Vertue enthusiast! Out of the blue I get an email from Scot Copeland on the West Coast saying that he has just bought this boat. He writes: “Hello Roger, I’m glad you replied so swiftly. So, the story goes like this: I’ve always known and respected the Vertue class, to the extent that as a young boatbuilder I enquired with Giles Ltd. about obtaining plans. Nearly 20 years ago I came across this exact boat. She was slipped…Read more
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