Tuesday, January 26, 2010
‘Phillida’, a Torbay Class 2 Racer
Here are three photos of my very first seagoing sailing boat. She had a short bowsprit and a tall mast to support a large Bermudan mainsail. Her galvanised centreplate passed through a slot in a shallow, iron keel. The monochrome photo shows the folded Prout dinghy lightly lashed to a whisker pole above the cockpit cover. The tiller is held in place by an elastic cord as the boat sails a steady course. You’ll note that in those light conditions, there is slight lee helm. There’s hardly any wake, but what there is, is dead straight. The Seagull outboard is mounted well away from the rudder to keep the propeller from interfering with the rudder.
The combination of her firm bilge, stub keel and iron centreplate made her a stable vessel, well able to hold full sail up to Force 3 before her crew needed to roll a reef around her boom. Despite being only 19’ from bow to stern she would out-perform many larger yachts. She was a racing craft probably built shortly before the Second Wold War to be sailed by ‘gentlemen’ of Torquay on the sparkling waters of Torbay. I saw her potential as a coastal cruiser and I used her for that and for day sailing on the River Exe. My longest cruise with ‘Phillida’ was to Alderney and back.