Sailing Yarns

Detailed below are some contributions from members of the association about their escapades.

Lady Corinne in Tropics  Folly Rally 2009 Corsaro Message Sancha 18/09/08 Sancha 10/10/08 Sancha 17/10/08 Corsaro Postscript Buying and selling a Hillyard 1927 9-ton Hillyard Poole to Littlehampton (nearly) Tales from Southampton Water


Hi there Guy - Do you remember I put out a plea of help to find Windsong ? (Hillyard Auxillary Ketch 1931 Dunkirk little ship  My late Father Peter Whitfield was the proud owner for 15 years from 1969 to 1984.

Windsong (1)

Windsong held so many fond memories for all our Family through those years. But she seemed to have disappeared for many years after Dad sold her and Windsong was taken off somewhere down in Cyprus and my search has gone on for half a decade after my Father died in 2009.
 I had a small team of Hillyard fans via Facebook helping to look for her but sadly with no luck, until yesterday (01/07/2016) I stumbled across an article written by a sailing enthusiast back in 2007 reporting that Windsong had caught his eye and that she had gone into disrepair and needing a little tlc! >>

Windsong (2)

I managed to text this fella on the off chance via Facebook whether he knew of Windsong's whereabouts and it so happens that Windsong is still there! - Larnaca Marina -Cyprus!! 

Windsong (3)
He has sent me updated photos from this morning whilst taking a short stroll down the road from where he lives:) Although she's in a bit of a state I'm happy to report that she's still afloat! :) 

Attached are some of those photos.

Windsong (4)

I was hoping that you could add this information to your website as an interesting read?

Kind regards,

 Christopher Whitfield

Dear Hillyard Owners Association

My father Hugh Byatt owned Sollya in 1967-70 when he was working in Lisbon, Portugal and the boat was kept at Setubal, south of Lisbon. As children we had great fun with the boat. The boat had been abandoned by a Dutch owner who ran out of money, and my father found her in a fishing boat yard at Setubal. There was endless trouble with a badly behaved Stuart-Turner petrol engine, but otherwise I have very happy memories of sailing with my father in the estuary near Setubal, a good sailing area. We never braved the Atlantic! 

I wonder if you have any record of the boat’s history after my father sold her somewhere near the Solent in 1970-71 (she was shipped back deck-cargo from Portugal). It would be great to know if the boat still is being looked after somewhere. I see from your list of Hillyard boats that she was built in 1950. 

I look forward to hearing from you. 


Lorne Byatt

Pukaki 1938/1948

Sailing away ... to pastures new
Last month we asked "Which Middleton landmark will be sailing away soon?" Most of you recognised the clue and guessed it is the sailing boat on the side of the road by Whitehead's joinery workshop.
John Whitehead has sold the boat so it is only a matter of time before it is loaded onto a trailer and driven to its new home (more about that later). It will be missed as a local curiosity - there aren't that many yachts around here, so far from the sea - and for those around here who use it when giving directions; if you tell someone to take the first left after the boat they are hardly likely to miss it!
Many local people have nicknamed it "the ark" because without its mast it does indeed look like a miniature Noah's Ark.
The six tonne cutter-rigged sloop was built by the well-known boatyard David Hillyard of Littlehampton, which sadly ceased trading in 2009. It was commissioned by Rear Admiral Fischer Burges Watson CBE DSO & bar (1884-1960) and although the keel was laid in 1938 the Second World War got in the way and the construction was not completed until 1947, with official registration the following year.
By that time Rear Admiral Watson, veteran of two World Wars, and himself the son of a Rear Admiral may have felt he was too old and it was only two years before he sold the boat on to yet another fellow Rear Admiral.
Watson called his boat "Pukaki" - although according to the Hillyard Owners Association it may at one time have been called Mahala. Pukaki was a Maori chief in the 1700s who gave his name to a lake in New Zealand and who appeared on their 20 cent coins. There have also been a number of ships named Pukaki in the Royal New Zealand Navy.
It is not hard to establish the connection: Watson had been Commander-in-Chief of the New Zealand Division from 1932 to 1935, after which he retired. He was called up at the outbreak of war in 1939 and had several posts before he retired for the second time in 1945.
In its time the yacht has been sailed to Norway and to the Azores and to who knows where else. Originally it would have had two cabins, sleeping up to four people. The Stuart Turner petrol engine has been replaced with a Yanmar diesel
John Whitehead bought the boat from the son of the man who had owned and sailed it throughout the 1960s. He has had the boat for about 13 years and in that time he has recaulked it, replaced all the keel bolts and gutted the interior, which was necessary to establish what condition the hull was in. Although it is now sound and water-tight it is unlikely that the boat will see the sea again any time soon.
It has been bought by Herefordshire gardener Ben George and his wife Flick who owns the lighting shop (Felicity Mackenzie Lighting Solutions) opposite the Feathers in Ludlow. Ben and Flick, from Pencombestone near Shobdon, already have a quirky holiday let called "The Mosaic Cabin" and plan to turn Pukaki into something similar. There are plenty of gypsy caravans and shepherd's huts used as holiday lets, but you do not see too many sailing boats. Soon you might be able to spend a week in rural Herefordshire and tell your friends when you get back that you've had a holiday staying on board a private yacht!
Ben is originally from Australia and loves sailing, which must for tough for him so far from the sea. Perhaps he will spend a night in the boat with a tot of rum and a CD of shanties from time to time to ease the pain of not being under sail for so long. Before then there's just one problem ... he's not sure how he is going to get Pukaki from Middleton to Pencombestone! If you have a solution, or you know someone who might be able to transport a yacht then do call in at Whitehead's Joinery workshop and let John know and he can get in touch with Ben.

Many thanks to Henry Chance for this great piece

Greetings  from La Spezia

To quote an old Chinese proverb 'The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step....' and having said goodbye to friends and family at Fareham in August 2011, I am writing this from our winter berth in La Spezia Italy. Cruising in Mandriella, our 9 ton Hillyard has been brilliant, although Chris might at times disagree as the French canals, apart from going aground once, were pretty straightforward, the river Rhone was not quite so forgiving. Off Barcarins in gale force headwinds and violent pitching in the waves we lost our wind turbine. There are so few places to moor on the Rhone and concentrating on survival it was not till we were later tied up safely in Port St Louis that we noticed our expensive bit of kit had gone missing-Chris initially commenting that the ensign pole had broken! Thank goodness we had made the decision to have had he mast transported from Calais to Port Napoleon.
On the15th June 2012 at 10.25 am the Mediterranean kissed Mandriella's keel and it was truly a momentous moment with great excitement on deck. 
Cruising the riverias managing to get as far east as Livorno in Italy with the wind frequently in the wrong direction- whats new!- has been wonderful. Highlights for me were St. Tropez where on coming into the golf the water is so clear you can see the rocks under the keel, St. Maximes where surrounded by fibre glass, wooden boats are positively revered so we were put on the hammerhead in full view of the harbour, La Ciotat where apart from giving the dog a toiletage we were given a tour of the extensive ship yard Queen K here we come and Arnoveccio, quite remote below Pisa where the locals still use drop nets from shacks on the banks to fish which with shallow  depths can make navigation in the river tricky. In spite of feeling at times like a minnow as the super yachts really are super, we have been made so welcome- and not once have we needed to book ahead. The one thing that has let us down is our laptop which now needs a silicon keyboard attached to it in order to function-so unsexy and raises a lot of hilarity in cafes!
So what does winter offer in La Spezia. First a secure pontoon berth so no icy passerelle to negotiate with an excited Samoyed, Moet, eager to get ashore in the mornings. La Spezia, locally known as the Gulf of the Poets due to Byron and Shelleys connection is a delightful town with countless cafes and bars and a brilliant fresh fish and vegetable market on most days. On our door step is Vernazzo, part of the Cinque, considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Europe which was almost washed away last year due to a tornado, ferocious rain, mud slides and is now being restored by the architect Sir Richard Rogers who lost his son as a consequence of the downpour-all the more reason to appreciate our sheltered berth.
Anyway all the best for 2013 and happy sailing. I can not wait for the warm, lazy days when the covers some off the boat and we continue our love affair with sailing in the Med. I   might also by then have located the apostrophe and the question mark on this ridiculous keypad or even better have invested in a new laptop.

Moet on Look-out - Well Look-in
Moet 1
Viv Nutton
14th Decemeber 2012

Robbo's Diary
Tales of and underpaid but all found Hillyard Crewman
Lymington 2011 002
Yer Man Robbo
   It was a beautiful early summer's day as we sailed out of Shoreham Harbour, or to be more precise motored out as guy wanted to break the back  of the trip down to the Solent. I was on watch, while Guy was doing repairs to the forward part of the coach roof, we were motoring about  5 knots and we were heading for the Mixon Mark which leads you through the Looe channel, and into Bracklesham Bay. We passed through the Looe  channel about mid after noon and entered Bracklesham Bay whereupon Guy declared he had had enough of the engine and so we set to and put the  sails up. My god the silence was deafening but there we were skipping along at 5 knots through the two forts that guard the entrance to the  Solent, then onwards for Hythe Marina Village. While Guy was pointing out all the places of interest to me some of which I already new like  Browndown Camp having stayed on there during my time with the T A. We sailed on I went below and made a cuppa rosy lea which we drank at our  leisure and having a very good sail at the same time but eventually like all good things it came to an end as we reached Hythe Marina Village  at about 10:30pm with both of us having builders acro's holding our eyeballs apart we sailed in with prior arrangement with Mr Coulson our  friendly night lock keeper. A gentleman in all respects, he gave us a berth next to Hannah and there we settled for the next day or two.
Lymington 2011 014
Hannah (right) and Sanchia share a pontoon
There isn't much to tell about Friday. I spent the day loafing, while Guy did some more maintenance. Although he made a superb curry that  evening the highlight were some of Mrs Smith's splendid flapjacks, just one complaint there is never enough of them. Well that was Friday.
Sanchia Hythe 2012
Sanchia lave Hythe in the early morning light
On Saturday we sailed for Lymington. It was a beautiful day again when we sailed which at 08:00hrs We made our way down Southampton Water where  close in to Fawley oil refinery there was a tanker just out from the jetty and i said to guy "I would like to leave that tanker on my starboard  side oh go down there he replied. No I said because if he moves we are in the brown stuff. Good point he conceded we'll leave it on your  Starboard side then mate. As we got abeam of it there were three tugs waiting to push her alongside. Good call Robbo, said the skipper as we  sailed on down Southampton Water leaving about four tugs on our port side we followed the channel marks down Southampton Water just before we  reached the end buoy a rather large tanker was steaming up the Solent heading for Fawley and as we got nearer the buoy the harbour master  launch was heading toward us we got a bit closer and Guy said go inside of the buoy mate have we got enough water that when he explained about  the buoys in this area being for big ships so I cut the corner as we were about to come abeam of the tanker which passed pretty close to us  without any concern. Onwards down the Solent in a light breeze we entered Lymington at about 10:00hrs and we had pretty much the whole Dan Bran  jetty to ourselves As the day wore on a few more Hillyards started to arrive for the Rally. About mid afternoon an impromptu party started on  board Sanchia and the booze flowed freely. At one stage I was playing with a piece of string and ended up doing the handcuff knot which I  persuaded Jayne Henstridge-Blows to slip her hands into it "look" I said, "I've pulled" "Robbo throw that one back for your own good mate" came  the advice, so I untied her and shortly after that we all went to dinner up at the Lymington Town Sailing Club which was nice, after which we  turned in.

We left Lymington on Sunday's first light. The forecast was westerly six gusting seven to eight, Guy had already put up the mainsail with two  reefs in it so we were only using half the sail and we tried using the foresail but to no avail. We left at 06:15hrs and started to sail through  the channel buoys and into the Solent and I'll say it was blowing a hoooooolie the first part of the trip home up the Solent we waddled liked a  drunk that's just fallen out of the pub because the wind was dead astern of us for a time and the motion was most uncomfortable, "hang on said  Guy "I'll ease her in to Egypt Point which he did and as we came past Cowes the sea calmed down as we got the lee of the land I went below and  made a brew, we sat drinking tea  and as we finished so we had turned to head for the forts which you have to go through to get lined up with  the Looe channel but before we got that far we had some hard sailing to do as the boat was heeled right over on her side the sea was on the  starboard quarter and every so often Guy would shout hang on big one coming, a big wave would hit us on the quarter the boat would tip over not  quite on its side the arse end would lift up and we would end up surfing on the wave and to put the tin lid on it we were making 12 knots over  the ground and at one  stage I got thrown across the cockpit and hit the side of the open back doghouse knocking the wind out of me and  damaging the side of the cockpit bit no permanent damage was done to me personally. We sailed on through the Looe channel and on for home we  sailed into Shoreham at about 14:00hrs still with the main set with 2 reefs in and it wasn't until we were halfway up the river that Guy  switched the engine on we got in alongside having had a good weekend away and a rattling good sail home.... looking forward to the next time.

Lady Grey - Hebridean cruise

Have just returned from a few weeks cruising West of Scotland in our
9T Lady Grey.
As ever she continues to provide us with a sea-kindly and comfortable cruising home often admired wherever we go.
Our first port of call was Glenarm where our sailing club barbeque was taking place.    (Carrickfgergus SC)
Our old friends Fred and Angela Winstanley from Preston were in attendance in their 16T Hillyard "Moonflower", they later joined us in Rathlin before heading South.
Then our travels took us to among other places, the Isle of Gigha, where we caught sight of 12T Fiordiligy.     
Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to speak to the crew other than a brief hello as they were passing us on their way out of the bay. I believe they had been in this area for the three peaks challenge.
We made our way on to Oban before heading South again for home, via Craobh Haven and the beautiful Isle of Jura.
Anyway I have attached a few pictures some of which you may wish to place on the HOA website.
Oh, and one of 9T Hillyard "Noggin" who we met last year while in Oban.
Yours Aye
Brian & Linda McGregor

From Search to Sunset
Lady Bear (6)

From many months of searching, in June 23rd 2010 we headed off to Turkey. Many of you may remember back in the spring 2010 issue we wrote a piece on trying to find a Hillyard for our family, well Lady Bear was located in a beautiful spot called Orhaniye bay south of Turkey.
 She was a boat that had all what we wanted, (within our budget anyway).
Lady Bear (1)
 Dave being a boat builder spent a whole day and more giving her a good look over. She supposedly had a recent survey, so apart from a few things we were happy.
Our search was over, but to make a long story short, not everything was straightforward. We had complications of buying a boat out of Europe and then the money transfer going wrong which delayed our moving onto the boat. There were several problems with the paper work and the boat documents, which delayed them from being sent back to us. That meant we couldn’t leave Turkey without them so we were stuck.
Lady Bear (11)
But we managed to move onto the boat 8th July.  Spending our first few night in that great location tucked away in a quiet corner of the bay with just a hand full of small yachts.  Surrounded by rolling green hillside and the distant rocky dry mountains that turned pink in the setting sun.
As we had to wait in Turkey for our documents to arrive, we decided to sail down to Fethiye where the boat had paid up mooring at the marine until September.
Our first sail and trip in our new boat, I was a little nervous at first but it didn’t take us long to get hands on helping Dave steer the boat. Our first anchoring was at Simi Greece, arriving late; the sun was setting as we approached the island, and then an early start to Marmaris. We left Simi with out even getting off the boat.  I thought to myself its was the first time I have been anywhere that I didn’t actually set foot in.
Lady Bear (3)
The next night we anchored at a lively touristy town Marmaris. In the evening with the boys asleep we sat on deck and drank wine looking out at the city lights across the bay while music thumped away in the distance bars, clubs and booze cruises.  Then on to the quiet undisturbed turtle beach, a long golden sandy beach where the turtles nested and are protected, peaceful after Marmaris, quite and away from anywhere and anyone, but then we were swarmed not by tourist but by wasps and poor Lorenzo got stung on his hand while trying to eat his dinner in the cockpit, so we didn’t stay long there. On to Fethiye!
Lady Bear (12)

We spent a long three weeks waiting in Fethiye marine in the heat eating many ice creams and chucking water over each other to keep cool. Every morning we would have a visitor to the boat, a large old turtle who we would hear munching on the clams that clung on to the side of the pontoon, by the boat.
It was very exciting to finally get the paper work and get ready for the long trip through the Greek islands back to Italy.
Our first port of call was Simi again this time we spent a few days, a beautiful little harbour one of my favourite places. We anchored just outside the harbour. Where we would have breakfast at the many little cafes on the quay after our morning swim.
Lady Bear
 Lorenzo my blind son took to the boat so much better than we thought. He has a tendency to be a little unstable on his feet but on the boat he amazed us by climbing on and off the boat with ease. He loved all the rocking, and the boys would play fight and roll about in the back cabin as we sailed.
 Our journey took us through the Cyclades of Greece stopping at many small different islands, Tilos, Nysiro, Kos, Kalymnos, Levitha, Amorgos, and Naxos. We didn’t stay long at any of them as now after waiting too long in Turkey we felt we had to make up some miles quick to get back home.
Sailing up to nine hours non-stop against the prevailing winds and the turbulent disturbed seas.
Lady Bear (2)
I left Dave at Naxos and took the ferry back to Italy, as by now we had been away from home 10 weeks.
Dave let the wind take him all the way south to Crete where my brother Chris joined him. They took a further 4 weeks to get home after fighting against the rough weather, and Med seas, surviving 5 gales, and a few thunderstorms. Arriving in our homeport, Porto San Giorgio on the 14th September.
Lady Bear (9)
But like I have read somewhere the Hillyard may starve you but it won’t drown you!

But it makes it all worthwhile when we look back at the high lights of the trip anchored up at pretty little island cove drinking wine while watching the sunset.
Lady Bear (8) 

If you would like to learn more about our adventures, then you maybe interested to read the full story with photos on our new Lady bear Blog. Discover if Artie managed to catch his fish! And what did Dave have to dive in the water to save? How we relieve the anchor from an old shipwreck! The horror and the delights, places of heaven and hell!! 
And a lot more!
Lady Bear (5)
Please feel free to join us at We would love to hear from you.
Also we are offering a two-night stay on our boat with a days sailing. Please feel free to contact us on Italy 0039 3338430990  UK 07923403144 or email

'Joline 12 Ton Travels'

I had the privilege recently of receiving an email form a family who aboard their 12 Ton Hillyard Joline have travelled from France to New Zealand with many interesting, to say the least Ports of Call in between. My intention is not to steal their thunder as I await a formal account in the next few weeks. I will, however give you sight of the email which perfectly illustrates the courage, determination and skill that Viviane, Patrick and their every growing family have in abundance.

Joline For Sale

'Dear Sir,
We are the owner of Joline a 36 feet Hillyard yacht from 1960.
We have been sailing for the last 10 years with this boat from France to New zealand that we reach last week.
We left France in august 2001 with my husband Patrick, our kid Maxime 1 year old and myself, Viviane.
Now Maxime is 10 years old and he has 2 brothers, Mano born in 2002 in Canarias islands and Jonathan, 4 years old born in Venezuela !
We have been sailing through Canaria, Cabo Verbe, Senegal, Brazil, French Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Caraibe islands, Venezuela, ABC islands, Colombia, San Blas and Panama, then the Canal to Pacific in 2008, and Galapagos, Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society islands, and at least Kingdom of Tongo last october and New Zealand now !
Great sailing all the time !!!
working everywhere ! Patrick is professional joiner and boatbuilder.
having the family growing up on board !
You are working with Hillyard association;
if our story interrest you, tell me what would be of interrest !
all the work down ! hundreds of picture of the boat in all this places !
the improvement we've done !!!
Joline is now for sale.
We need a bigger boat with our 2 students and there young brother on board ...
We are very proud of our Hillyard and  so happy with all this 10 last years sailing that I wanted to share it with you and if you want with other Hillyard Association Members.
thank you for reading
and I'll be happy hearing from you
très cordialement
Viviane Deschamps
Patrick Simond
et les 3 moussaillons Maxime, Mano et Jonathan'

Images Below

Joline Bay off Island
Joline Bay off Island

Joline NZ Auckland
Joline NZ Auckland

Joline NZ Great Mercury Island and Corromandel behind
Joline NZ Great Mercury Island and Corromandel

Joline NZ sailing to Great Barrier Island
Joline NZ sailing to Great Barrier Island

Joline - Tonga
Joline Joline aux Tonga
Joline - Colombie Carthagene
Joline Colombie Carthagene

Joline - vers les iles Perlas
Joline vers les iles Perlas

Joline - Bonaire
Joline Bonaire

'Lady Corinne in the Tropics'

Greetings from Gaynor and Iain MacAlister on board Lady Corinne in Rodney Bay Marina. St Lucia, Caribbean. It was very nice to get a mention in issue 61 and many thanks for your kind words.

After leaving Puerto Mogan in Gran Canaria we were pushed further and further South in our search for the elusive Trade winds. Eventually we were only about 120 miles away from The Cabo Verde Islands and, having never been there, we decided to call in and fuel up, re-plenish supplies and enjoy the arrival of the New Year ashore. This we did at the well appointed marina at Mindello where we were treated to a spectacular firework display and some local firewater.

On leaving there it was as if someone had thrown a switch and suddenly we were in serious Trade winds. The Atlantic crossing took us a mere 16 days, surely a record for a Hillyard? and was mostly with our Twistle rig alone which performed superbly, I really can't praise it enough.

You can read about all of our travels on the website if you go to blogs and look for LadyC they are all there. I am also writing for the company that my Daughter, Zara, works for and they are publishing extracts on their website under the heading columnists.

We will shortly be leaving St Lucia and heading for Grenada before heading back up North through the islands. I will be writing Blogs of what we're up to so I hope you will join us, it would be lovely to have you aboard. Lady Corinne and her Caribbean crew

This is a picture taken from the commitee boat on the finishing line of the Antigua Classic Regatta 2010 showing Lady Corinne taking line honours from Velsheda.

Laby C and

17:00.46N 61:45.87W Antigua Yacht Regatta

We never intended to enter for the Antigua Classic race series but as we were so close we decided to come and have a look. Arriving in Falmouth harbour we dropped the anchor and the next day we walked around to The Antigua Yacht Club, in torrential rain, to see what it was all about. We were introduced to Kenny Coomes, the Regatta Chairman, who spent a long time explaining how the series worked and he assured us that we would have a great time. We provisionally singed up for all the races and the Concours De Elegance and having done that we set about making the old girl look respectable, which after all her cruising wasn't easy especially in the baking heat of the day. We also had to take lots and lots of measurements as she had to be rated to be able to compete. The entry was £125 and included free berthing in the marina at English harbour so once we had scrubbed up we went around to take up our position. We were to moor stern to on the first pontoon out from the club, a maneuver that is rather unpleasant in a boat with an offset propeller, but with a long line to the jetty we managed to drop the anchor from the bow and winch ourselves into pride of place right in front of the lawn of the yacht club. We were in the front line and best placed for all the activities, Panerai, the main sponsors had their hospitality bar set up about 10 paces away from us and they provided an incredible level of liquid and gastronomic delight for the duration of the races, including a breakfast bag and daily paper delivered to the boat each morning.  Gaynor and I have never raced and we were a little apprehensive about it although Kenny assured us that we would be able to take on crew without any problems. On the way back to the boat after registering we stopped for a beer and looking out of the bar I spotted Mike Frith, the artist from Chichester who sails his boat, Blue Eagle out of Itchenor where we keep Lady C. Mike was out her with his girlfriend Sandy and they had two more friends, Alan and Jenny arriving the next day, suddenly we had a full crew and they were absolutely fantastic. Walking around the pontoons that night to look at all the other boats was amazing and the beauty of the big boats such as Velsheda, Ranger, Rebecca and Windrose was awe inspiring. We wondered why we had entered the Concours but when the judges arrived the next morning they made very positive noises and that night we were awarded 2nd place in the privately maintained vintage boat category.  Friday dawned grey and cloudy and my nerves were jangling as we lifted the anchor and headed out to the start.  We were the second race to go off and thanks to Mike's cool hand on the helm we made a good start and headed for the first mark. It wasn't long before we could see the bigger boats charging up behind us and the two massive J's came past, one on either side in a truly magnificent display of speed and grace, their huge quarter wakes almost swamping us with what appeared to be two mini Tsunamis. After a great race we finished in third place and headed back to the wonderful party atmosphere in Falmouth harbour. Day two saw the start of The Butterfly race and there were lots of squalls coming through with prolonged periods of heavy rain, we were all totally soaked, but very happy to secure 2nd place.  Sunday, day three of racing, was The Cannon, straight out and back twice, a total of 24 miles on a broad reach . We were reduced to only four crew as Alan and Jenny, who had been a bit seasick on the first day, decided to have a beach day but we still managed a great days racing and came second in class, just pipping Velsheda across the finishing line. The guys on the  committee boat came around to see us and told us that they have a fabulous picture of us taking line honours from her, one for the album I'm sure. The race ended and we headed round to Falmouth Harbour for the parade of sail where we received some very flattering comments from the commentator.  Day four was a real toughie with an 8 mile slog to windward but by now the skies had cleared and the sun was shining and Lady C was obviously enjoying herself and appeared to be better balanced than she had been previously. We romped home in second place again and an elated ship and crew headed round to English Harbour to take up the offer of a further two nights free berthing right beside the prize giving arena. This has been a truly amazing experience and we have had such a great time racing with a fabulous crew and now have over a hundred miles of racing experience under our belts. Our final position is second in class and we've just bought the T Shirts with Lady Corinne listed as one of the participating Yachts, we real do feel very proud of her and this experience will be a memory we shall cherish forever.
LadyC and her Prize Winning Crew wish you all the very best from The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2010.

Memories of Folly Rally 2009

It is not often that you berth alongside a pontoon escorted by motor boats flashing all round blue lights. But this is how 'Mandriella' made her entry to the 2009 Hillyard Rally of Boats. The trouble started right in the busy entrance to the Medina off Cowes. I was just putting the last sail tie on the main when my wife Viv who was on the wheel said:
'We've got a problem. We've lost way.'

As fast as my gammy knees would let me I rushed into the aft cabin and lifted the floor boards to get acess to the propellor coupling to the engine. Like a good boy scout I was prepared. On top of the aft stern cupboard I had a socket wrench with the correct size grub screw key fitted which I grabbed and with the engine out of gear frantiocally tightened the screws on the cast iron coupling. It wasn't very satisfactory but I manage to get enough grip to breathe a sigh of relief as I watched the propellor turn and give us power again just in time to avoid RedJet and the evil yellow coloured IKEA ferry bearing down on us.

It wasn't the first time I had had this problem with the coupling and prior to sailing a fellow club member (ex Merchant Navy Chief Engineer) had drilled a hole through the full width of the coupling and shaft and inserted a stainless steel bolt. His final comment had been:
''That'll be fine as long as it doesn't sheer.'
Low and behold on the passage to Cowes the wretched bolt sheered and was lying in the bilge badly mangled.

The early Hillyard arrivals had to moor mid channel as the alongside pontoons were still occupied. We tied up and waited for the summons to move and when it came 'Mandriella' left the pontoon OK but as we approached our night berth the coupling gave way again. Luckily a berthing master was close by in his dory so I hailed him and asked for a tow alongside. He willingly obliged tied up alongside put on his blue flashing light and began to tow us. A nearby water taxi joined in the fun and pushed us from the stern - again with blue light flashing and so we came to a safe haven alongside the Folly pontoon.

Once securely moored I explained to the berthing master my problem with the coupling and he advised me that a bolt should not have been used for securing the shaft and coupling but a device called a 'roll pin'.It was completely new to me but is a device often used in repairing agricultural machinery. It is a hardened steel tube with a taper at one end and a slot running down its entire length. A pin is selected which is slightly larger diameter than the hole and tapped in until it protrudes the other side then it can be wired into position if required.

After explaining this to me he offered to speak to their engineer to see if he had any roll pins which he did and arrangements were made for him to visit the next morning. Meanwhile Ken Hargreaves arrived on the pontoon to greet old friends and to welcome the visiting Hillyard yachts. He heard of the problem I had and said that he thought he had some roll pins and if he could find them he would bring them down the following morning on the offchance that one would fit.

Now came the best part of the day - off to the Folly for good food good beer and convivial company. When we left at not too late an hour a live band was in full flow and people were dancing on the tables.

As breakfast was cleared away Ken arrived with a box full of roll pins and it only took a few moments for one to be selected and tapped into position snugly joining the shaft to the coupling with no trace of movement and I am happy to say that it is still securely in position and will hopefully stay that way for many years to come. Ken who is an engineer said that he thought the coupling was oversize for the shaft which was why the grub screws were not keeping their grip but vibrating loose periodically. The Folly engineer was contacted and told that the problem had been fixed and he was very understanding about the matter.

So all-in-all a lively weekend with it's dramatic moments and a solution to a long standing problem now permanently fixed and I know what a roll pin is and how it is used. To make things better the weather on the Saturday was brilliant sunshine but rain and wind came on Sunday.

Chris and Viv Nutton

A message from CORSARO !
6th December 2009

On Thursday Dec' 4 we slipped away from the pontoon just south of the Tamar road bridge with the tide on the ebb for a run upstream on this wonderful crisp winter morning .

My new custodian has made my electric's a priority with those excellent LED running lights - a new charging circuit backed up with 2 x 50 watt solar panels - the starting circuit complete with new high torque starter motor has made life much easier for us both - domestic electrics will follow once this plastic card he uses has cooled !

I have made many new friends as my custodian is a 'liveaboard' with his black cat 'Lucky' - this was my first run up river remembering that I have an overall height of 54' that can easily be forgotten . It was just before 'The Crooked Spaniard's at Cargreen that I observed on my starboard side the picture as above which I believe is another Hillyard - if so my custodian would very much like to make contact on 0750 686 5525 as she will know the river better than myself .

That's all from my winter mooring for the moment - I will now allow my custodian to slip ashore for a 'wet' in the 'Saltash Sailing Club' whilst I enjoy the free energy that has made life aboard that much better rather than the recharging curtsey of Mr Ford .

Anchors away

Tim Wallis

Name this Hillyard - Owner Please Contact Tim above!

SANCHIA Sailing: Bulletin for 18th to 21st September 2008.

After an appalling length of time spent on repairs this year, I set out with two other Hillyard owners at midnight for France: taking advantage of a rare spell of fine weather and moderate Easterly winds. Sanchia soon showed how well she can handle sea crossings and 16 hours later we berthed in the visitors berths of the Port Avant at Fécamp. The 72 Nautical miles had been achieved at a respectable average of 4.5 knots on a beam wind. A very pleasant 24 hours stay included dinner and sleep, a visit to the Benedictine Abbey where the liqueur is made, and a first class Saturday lunch and walk before preparing the return leg.The wind was freshening and, following a trip to the masthead to recover a wayward genoa halyard and to get the tricolour navigation light lit, we set out again at 1845hrs. We hove to before nightfall and took in two reefs: the slab reefing working perfectly. Sanchia reacted well to this reduced sail plan and accelerated through the night hours. We docked in Brighton at 0600hrs having sailed the 63 Nautical miles in 11.25 hours: logging an impressive average speed of 5.6 Knots.

After sleep and breakfast we set out once more at midday with a soft following breeze and warm sunshine to run back to Littlehampton. We entered harbour under sail at 6 Knots just before High Tide: having clocked the final 19 Nautical miles at an average of 4.5 knots

What a great 165 miles sail over the two days! Who says Hillyards are slow boats? I am hoping for further outings to Chichester Harbour and the Solent over the next couple of months.

Sanchia & Ferry

SANCHIA Sailing: Bulletin for 10th to 12th October 2008.

This last Saturday morning we set out at 0800hrs with a full crew for the Solent. Judith and I were joined by 9-Ton Hillyard ‘HAYSEED’s’ new owners Rupert and Susie Bacon and Adrian Chorley of ‘FJORD’. The forecast was for fine weather with light South Westerly winds, so we decided to use the motor whenever necessary to maintain our target route and speed over the ground. From the Looe Channel to Cowes we had a good 20 mile sail with favourable tides helping us through and then motored into Newtown roads to anchor in the last of the evening light.

Sunday morning dawned in heavy mist, but we used the Chart Plotter to thread the access channel and set out to visit Yarmouth. When we arrived there the sunshine was brilliant and we decided, in spite of a ‘Moorings Full’ sign, we could trickle in to check out the harbour layout and facilities. Not surprisingly several boats were leaving moorings under the watchful guidance of the harbour masters in their RIBs so we turned in the busy and space limited access and headed out for The Needles.

No sooner clear away from Yarmouth than the mist came down again. For the second time the Chart Plotter sprang into action and, together with Radar and Depth Finder gave us such brilliant guidance that we are able to buoy hop impressively down the Northern limits of the channel. Each time we called attention for the next mark it loomed comfortingly ten to twenty meters away out of the murk.

Off the Needles the mist finally cleared for the day and we set course outside the Isle of Wight for Saint Catherine’s Head. From there we had an excellent sail to the Outer Owers cardinal mark and back into Littlehampton, arriving on our moorings at 2130hrs. Distance travelled in 25 hours over the two days was 106 Nautical Miles in pleasant sunny weather: confirming that the sailing conditions at this time are often the best of the year. We got acquainted with two new harbours and with the anchor winch and blind sailing instrumentation: altogether it was a great trip.

SANCHIA Sailing: Bulletin for 17th to 19th October 2008.

We dined aboard and got four hours sleep before leaving with the 0200hrs Saturday tide for Brighton and beyond. A Westerly Force 3 breeze and a couple of light showers were as forecast and we were off Shoreham by 0430hrs and in our visitor’s bay by 0600hrs. After breakfast we refuelled and were surprised to find the Thornycroft 150 diesel had used just 4 litres per hour of diesel on 18 hours under power since our departure for Fécamp (mostly in motoring round the Isle of Wight last weekend).

In good heart we sailed on in bright sunshine over the short 8 Nm run to Newhaven. In spite of the Dieppe ferry and other commercial traffic we thought it a pleasant place to visit, with reasonable marina facilities. After a pint at the local pub and a good lunch and siesta we took in a reef and tacked back to Brighton; berthing at supper time just after last light.

After a good night’s sleep we were hailed by Jan Ridgway whose 14 ton WINFRITH lives just along west pontoon 12 and who shared with us some of the adventures they have had in the West Country and France over the past four months.

The shipping forecast for Sunday had changed again and now reported ‘Winds South West Force 5 or 6, increasing to Force 7 later’. We tied down a third reef and cancelled cooked breakfast. Some of the local fleet were practicing a form of Le Mans racing start: half a dozen yachts (plus ourselves) hit the harbour mouth hoisting mainsails as the 10 minute gun sounded.

Wind, wave and adverse tide strengths peaked over the next three hours but SANCHIA was very comfortable with all of this and we were on our home moorings and tidying up by 1700hrs: another enjoyable week end’s sailing.

Sanchia in Brighton

Many thanks to John Hutchinson for this excellent contribution.


A good news postscript to the accounts of Corsaro (ex Hishi)
Peter Wallis writes;

I thought you would all like to know that after some 8 years laid up at QAB Plymouth and then a brief stopover with another well being soul I have now settled on The Tamar with my new 'custodian' Tim Wallis who is a 'liveaboard' - he has given the undertaking to restore me to former glory in the fullness of time .

Some 6-7 years ago another good friend saw my sorry state but I was not available - however - a chance encounter at the Saltash Sailing Club at the beginning of August and a deal was struck - at this point I must mention that my benefactor happened to be looking at the Ass' website and yes all my past was revealed to him ! It also happens that my new custodian started his life in 1967 and in Ramsgate - if you recall CORSARO was launched in '67 not to mention the photo in Ramsgate harbour so these coincidences seemed a good start to a new beginning for us both .

There is a lot to be done but really it's more a question of labour than finance at the moment - I have plans to rejoin the fleet at one of your meetings but no date as yet so if any of you are passing The Tamar please look me up.

Corsaro on the Tamar - Present Day

Corsaro - Buying and selling a Hillyard

Part 1

I used to live in London, born there way back. When I bought Corsaro she was laid up at Hillyards having previously been comprehensively outfitted for a long voyage. But, as it happens more often than not, the then owners departed the yard to sail the first leg out to Spain with a pro' skipper / crew helping them out only to return within a couple of days and abandoning the whole idea of cruising off into the sun-set. I bought her with everything on board, even a brand new sextant and other navigation toys that had not been unwrapped. They had just run away from the boat!

I took her round to Ramsgate where I had a berth in the inner harbour and worked on her for six months before pointing her South again, round Spain and into the Med' where I had her based for a year or so. My life took a turn, ( ran out of money!), so I sold her in the South of France to an American Colonel retiring from military service in Germany who too wanted to sail "off into the sun-set" with his family. I returned to London to get back to my business at that time to replenish the coffers. Three months later I got a message from the Colonel saying that he and the family had to return to the USA for a while, but could I pick Hishi up and take her to Corsica where he'd re- join the boat later. The boat hadn't moved from the yard where I had sold it to him earlier that summer, and when I got to the boat to take her to Corsica I could tell that she'd never left the slip since I sold her either. To cut a long story short I ended up sailing Hishi all the way to Turkey and back to Gib' over the next year or so, paid for by the Colonel who never once came back to the boat despite asking me to move her to various ports all over the Med' so he could re-join her. Proved to be a perfect way to "own" a boat!


Corsaro last seen in Queen Anne's Battery, Plymouth last year by HOA member Allen Clarke
Who's up for the challenge

Part II


Hello Guy, I have already heard from an Allen Clarke who told me that he saw "Corsaro" in a yard in Plymouth last year, QAB Marina. In sad shape by all accounts. I am trying to find out some more information, emailed the yard but haven't heard anything back as of yet. But an interesting and very swift response to you posting my "request".......I appreciate that.

And of course you can put the story on your website, I would consider it an honour, thank you.

But I will share one other story of Hishi with you if I may, and this concerned the last time I sailed on her.

Eventually she landed up in Piraeus, Greece and I was asked by the American owner to deliver her to Malta. We left Piraeus sailed East then went through the Corinth canal into to Adriatic to make course around the heel of Italy to the port of Valletta in Malta. There were just two of us on board, myself and a close friend Ricky Turner who though he loved the idea sailing he was in fact a terrible sailor, but a great cook who strapped into the galley with a safety harness could produce an amazing meal in any kind of adverse weather conditions. So of course he had to come on the voyage.

One night about 50 N. miles East of Malta I left Ricky at the helm having set course dead on the nose for the Valletta RDF radio beacon, at that time one of the strongest beacons in the Med, you couldn't miss it. Ricky woke me woke about four hours later to say that he had changed course earlier when he spotted the lights of Valletta about 15º off of the starboard bow. I checked the RDF but that said that Valletta was now 20º + off to port, but there on our present course right ahead were what looked like lights of a city on a hill, like Valletta. It was quite a dark overcast night, no moon and a heavy swell running from our stern, an hour or so later we sailed right into the middle of the US 6th Fleet with the carrier JFK all lit up just like a city, this was our "Valletta"

Well, their patrol boats and a destroyer chased us off politely and we set course on the RDF for Valletta for real this time.

Just before we made a landfall some instinct made me look through the storage under the floorboards by the fuel and water tanks on board the boat because I knew that the Maltese customs could be very difficult in those days, especially for anyone who could pass as hippies, and we that we certainly could. I found a whole lot of parcels and packages with US Army medical corps markings, medic battlefield packs in fact. Breaking them open I found boxes and boxes of morphine syringes, field dressings, inflatable splints and God knows what other drugs. What the good Colonel expected to encounter on his voyages I can only imagine, he had almost a complete field hospital tucked away on board. We dumped everything overboard, especially the morphine. We were boarded by Maltese Customs when we arrived in the harbour, they made us anchor out for 12 hours while they went through the boat. Thank God we had found and dumped that morphine otherwise I think we'd still be there!

Very best, and thanks again with the help in finding Corsaro / Hishi



Corsaro/Hishi - River Tamar - Present day

1927 9-ton Hillyard

Jeremy Webb writes:-

I thought you might like to add a pic of my 1927 9-ton Hillyard to your web site.

Barbara Mary is a 1927 Hillyard. In our family for some 25 years now - lying on Vancouver Island, west coast of British Columbia Canada. She was sailed over via Panama then Hawaii by the previous owners, David and Marde Sharpe. Pics also on the Albert Strange Web site:

Barbara Mary Barbara Mary 1

The boat is quite original with Davey and Co. fittings etc. No major modifications have ever been made. Planking is pitch pine, 100% original, on bent oak frames, copper riveted, iron ballast keel. Canvas covered decks. Yanmar 35hp engine. Over the years I've replaced keel bolts, recanvased the decks, rewired the boat, repowered, recaulked above water line, refastened hood ends, rebuilt cockpit, plus usual refinishing.

I'll send along some additional info shortly. Currently I have the masts out and am refinishing them. They should go back in in about 10 days time - ready for our summer sailing!
Jeremy Webb

Poole to Littlehampton (nearly) – Dawn Lady (1960) and Mavrodaphne (1955)

Dawn Lady had been back in the water for about 6 weeks following extensive overhaul in the winter when the Poole HOA meeting loomed large in our minds.

For Bec and I it was the opportunity to repay my parents kindness in putting us up for the Fowey meet and an opportunity to try Dawn Lady out over a longer distance than Brighton.

Over the winter Guy Smith (Mavrodaphne) had provided much sage and useful advice on boat maintenance, the importance of good varnish and the correct use of brasso. Over the course of his instruction he, and his dog Bear, had become good friends.

Following much discussion the decision was made to sail, in company to the Poole meeting. So, at 4.30am on the Friday before, we set off in good weather, with almost no wind, for Poole. A glassy, turning slight sea with the occasional zephyr of wind made our trip to Poole calm but very engine reliant. On Dawn Lady we had myself, Bec, and my parents Keith and Lynne Tullett, on Mavrodaphne, Guy was sailing solo and kept himself busy fishing and taking photos.

The weekend itself was a good success, a lot of shopping, a trip to the top of Dawn Lady’s mast and good company made the weekend at the yacht haven pleasant.

On Sunday however the weather deteriorated with a lot of rain and a blustery wind. However on checking, the prognosis was good, clearing up on Monday with a Northerly Force 4 forecast for the afternoon following a Force 4, gusting 5 in the morning.

We did try, and fail, to negotiate a reduced rate for the week for Dawn Lady and Mavrodaphne in the yacht haven if the weather turned against us. Our failure to negotiate a reduced rate left us with the prospect of a £125 bill for Dawn Lady and £90 for Mavrodaphne, with this in mind our thoughts turned to finding an appropriate weather window to get home. There was a lot of discussion in the bar and on the boats as to a good time to leave. With the weather showing some signs of calming, Dorenda Ellen moved off to anchor overnight closer to the harbour entrance. At this, and following a meeting on Dawn Lady – it was decided that Dawn Lady and Mavrodaphne would set sail the following morning to the entrance where a further decision could be made on continuing.

The weather forecast at this point showed that, following a gusty Force 5-6 overnight at about 7am the weather would start falling away to a Force 4, gusting 5) by mid morning with a moderate sea.

So Monday morning, 7 am came along, 2 reefs in the main on Dawn Lady and we motored out of the haven. The wind was blowing consistently but not too strongly, Poole harbour was calm and we approached the entrance.

On initial view the Swash channel was very calm and Poole Bay was moderate with no more than 2 feet of swell. With this in mind a straw poll was taken amongst those on Dawn Lady and a unanimous decision to go was made. Guy on Mavrodaphne concurred and, putting up a small amount of headsail we set course for Hurst point.

We had a cracking, if slightly wet, sail across the bay. Making up to 7 knots under sail and keeping Mavrodaphne close by we made it across Poole and Christchurch bay in less than 3 hours.

Rounding Hurst however we got an enormous shock. Mavrodaphne was approximately 1/2 mile ahead and, on rounding the headland, seemed to almost take a knockdown under full sail. Rounding the headland ourselves we met standing water of 6-8 feet accompanied by a very consistent Force 6, pretty much from the North East.

With a rather hairy strong wind over tide combination the slog up the north coast of the Isle of White was long and painful. Almost zero visibility due to spray, new holes in the coach roof being discovered, the sea soaking our bedding and a constant pounding made the half an hour it took us to get to just off Yarmouth almost unbearable.

Then, terrifyingly, we heard on CH16 a mayday call from a yacht just outside the harbour wall at Yarmouth. She had broken free of a mooring (we think) and, with 4 on board, was being beaten against the harbour wall. With the lifeboat on the way and us much sobered it became evident just how badly this could go.

Following a hurried conversation with Guy we made the decision to head for the Hamble and call it a day – it was simply too dangerous to try anywhere on the IOW and, with the tide now starting to think about turning against us we made our way, motorsailing for the mouth of Southampton water.

The prospect of an end in sight gave us brief respite from the cold and the wet, at least mentally, but with it still too dangerous to try and go below, hunger and cold was taking its toll. As we approached Calshot Spit and the Chimney at Fawley Power Station we found the seas calming. With much trepidation we stowed the headsail and main and motored for the Hamble. On entry I gave my father the wheel and prepared mooring lines, unfamiliar with Dawn Lady’s throttle controls he gave it a little too much juice coming into the pontoon and brushed our fenders against the inflatable tube of the privately run Hamble lifeboat. Checking there was no damage and tying up, exhausted, we did not hear fast running feet coming down the pontoon. ‘Who is the master of this vessel?’ – ‘I am’ I replied – belatedly remembering that I was…

"I have just had a report that your vessel hit the lifeboat – have you reported it?” – “No, we have only just tied up – the lifeboat is there (about 2 feet away) and we have done no damage”. This individual, who had still not identified himself then started telling me off in no uncertain terms – I must admit that at this point, being absolutely knackered, I may have been slightly rude…anyway, he decided no damage had been done and left us, slightly bemused on the pontoon.

We called the harbourmaster and he could not have been more helpful, guiding us to a pontoon in the middle of the river. Bacon sanwhiches and tea all round.

An unbelievable act of kindness then got us home with Guy’s wife Sally driving from Worthing all the way down to the Hamble to pick us up – thanks again Sally!

The following weekend we went back to take stock – the total damage

  • 1 ripped genoa (Dawn Lady)
  • Shifted lead ballast (Mavrodaphne)
  • Shifted lead ballast (Dawn Lady)

We decided we were very lucky. To sooth the nerves and assuage the need to shop we spent the night in Cowes before heading to Littlehampton on the Sunday morning.

In hindsight we should have waited for the weather to die down but, with a northerly expected none of us thought the Solent would be the worst of it. The trip across the bay was supposed to be the nasty bit, in fact this was pleasant by comparison.

Travelling in company does have its advantages though. Without a consensus agreement there is a chance that either Mavrodaphne or Dawn Lady may have attempted the trip to Littlehampton – the eastern side of the Solent looking much calmer. However the Looe channel and the seas around it were extremely rough that day and more damage is sure to have been done.

So, thank you to Guy, Sally and the Hamble Harbourmaster. See you next year...?

Tales from Southampton Water - Douglas Coulson

I went to the boat this morning with all my varnish gear to do the last of this year's varnishing..

.. but the weather was so good, and there was no lock queue, so the varnish gear stayed in the car and off Hannah and I headed down Southampton Water. Not a breath of wind, but just so nice to be out today!

I only chugged as far as the top of the Hamble River and back, but I had a lovely day nonetheless.

I'd previously taken to avoiding the Hamble after I'd heard that they were going to start charging people like me who just amble up the Hamble without stopping! Not sure if this charging was ever implemented or not, but when I saw the Hamble Harbourmaster's launch coming past I got a fender out and pretended to be taking it in, hoping that it would look like I'd stopped at a marina and therefore would not be charged. It either worked, or Hannah's name has been typed into a database and a bill is winging its way to me!! Ripsie of Hamble (12ton), Snoqualmie (13ton), Ianthe (13ton), and Golden Corn (9ton) were sitting happily on their moorings. I believe Snoqualmie is up for sale? I met the owners last year in Cowes. Nice family I remember. Not sure if Ripsie puts to sea much at the moment. I believe Mary Kozlowski is not well. Ianthe has a sick engine, Steve Tiffin was telling me at the recent Cowes meet, and he reckoned they were unlikely to use the boat again this year. Golden Corn.. well its rare to see her on her moorings! They are always out on her, summer and winter! Being the only other 9 tonner on Southampton Water (I think) Golden Corn is often mistaken for my boat, and I regularly get phonecalls from friends telling me they've seen me afloat when I haven't been!

Anyway, the return trip was a very leisurely sail back up to Hythe in very light airs with just the jenny out, my radio at my side (once I eventually found a station that played music and not just sport on a Saturday) and a plentiful supply of drinks and snacks thanks to a recent stock-up for the Cowes meet.

My biceps are twice the size now, as I was having to hand start the engine each time, as the engine starting battery is on its way out!

Well, that was my ramble on my amble up the Hamble!

The Very Lovely 'Hannah'