The Royal Yacht Bloodhound needs no introduction to the yachting enthusiast and to the many people who have sailed on her. Built by Camper & Nicholson and launched in 1936, she has consistently been at the forefront of the World yachting scene. Her profile was elevated to superstar status in the 1960’s when she was purchased by the Queen and Prince Philip as their personal yacht.
'Royal Yacht Bloodhound under restoration'
The yacht is currently in the final stages of a keel up restoration and her owner is now seeking a suitable custodian to keep her in the forefront of classic and historic yachting events.
One of only a few authentic classic 1930's racing yachts, Bloodhounds uniqueness and attraction lie in the fact that she was the Queen and Prince Philip's personal yacht during the 1960's. Her racing record before and during her time as the Royal family’s private yacht makes her one of the most successfully campaigned yachts of all time. Bloodhound’s many achievements include winning the legendary Fastnet Race (twice), the North Sea Race, the Southsea to Brixham Race and the Round the Island Race.
Bloodhound was one of three yachts designed and built by Camper & Nicholson as a 12 metre yacht. Unlike the lightweight 12 metre yachts designed purely for inshore day racing, Bloodhound was modified for offshore racing purposes which involved a heavier and more powerful hull with proper accommodation. John Nicholson described Bloodhound in his book ‘Great Yachting Years’ as 'one of the most successful racing yachts ever built by my father.'
Bloodhound remained in constant use throughout her life, especially during her period of Royal ownership when Prince Philip decreed that when he was not using her, the yacht should be lent to clubs around the country to enable youngsters to go to sea for a small charge - it is this fact that has endeared many peoples hearts towards Bloodhound. It is not difficult to find someone today who day sailed or made a passage on her during this period of royal ownership whilst on loan to the sailing clubs.
A retained and permanent crew of three (captained by no other than Francis Drake!) ran the yacht and covered an incredible forty five thousand miles at sea during the eight year royal ownership period, carrying voluntary crew through all weathers. After she was sold by the Royal family, she spent some years in Poole and the Channel Isles before being sailed back to Poole to undergo a well overdue structural and internal refit by her current owner, Tony McGrail, a Yacht Surveyor with considerable experience in classic boat restorations.
Restoration work on the yacht has included the renewal of all the frames and floors, involving replacing approximately 10,000 fastenings. Although much of the original wood was found to be in perfect condition, over 500 feet of Honduras mahogany has been fitted to replace the degraded topside plank sections. The teak decks are currently being re-laid in new Burma teak. The English elm keelson and the original keel were removed and found to be in sound original condition. A new rig designed by John Illingworth and fitted for the Royal family will be retained.
Bloodhound’s sale price will naturally reflect her heritage and her superb condition once the restoration is complete. A new owner will have the opportunity to specify the interior layout and equipment.
Wiltshire based company boatmatch.com has been appointed to sell Bloodhound. Sales Director Simon Walworth says 'I am very excited about managing this project, especially given the history of the yacht.'
by PR - 5:44 PM Mon 10 Oct 2005 GMT
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