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Endeavour, Lulworth and Velsheda … ladies- in- waiting.

October 18, 2011

One of the inhabitants of Crableck was rich enough to employ my father as a boat builder and handyman to maintain three rather special ladies he had acquired before the war. There was Lulworth, 151 foot, ocean going gaff rig cutter – gaff rig describes the 4 cornered main sail and cutter means she is fast.  She was was built by the White Brothers in 1920 for Richard H. Lee who sailed her in the premier yachting league in Europe.

Lulworth in full gaff rig

Her farewell race was in 1930. In 1947 she was saved from the scrap yard by Mr and Mrs Lucas my father’s employer, who mud- berthed her and she became their home.

Very comfortable home?

Befitting of a lady who had waited so patiently , in 1990 with much deterioration her hull was shipped to Italy, where she was restored and sailed again. Lulworth is currently the world’s largest race cutter.

Then there is Velsheda and Endeavour– both 130 foot ‘J’ Class yachts. ‘J’ Class is a rating for large sailing boats designed between 1930 and 1937 for the rich and famous yachts men who competed in the America’s Cup.

‘Velsheda was designed by Charles Ernest Nicholson and built in Gosport by Camper and Nicholson in 1933 for the managing director of Woolworths.  She raced for 3 years and was mud- berthed in Crableck in 1937 and was a home until 1984 when she was refitted and sailed again.


Endeavour; was also built by Camper and Nicholson in 1934 for Thomas Sopwith. Using his aviation experience he was able ensure the yacht was the most advanced of its day with a steel hull and mast  She won many races in her first season including those against Velsheda‘.

A lady-in-waiting

Her racing life was short and she also spent 46 years in the mud at Crableck until she was rescued and restored to her former glory.

If it were not for the guardian angels of Crableck these three ladies may have been scrapped in the 1940s. Thanks to the mud, their preservation is hopeful. The soft, squishy environment gave support and kept the planking tight; it is still a popular way to store boats during the winter.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2012 9:58 am

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn anything like this before. So nice to search out somebody with some original ideas on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this website is something that is wanted on the internet, somebody with a bit of originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the web!

    • March 26, 2012 2:23 pm

      Thank you for your kind words … I am Brazil at the moment but when I return I plan to post some pictures of these fine ladies so please keep looking with many good wishes from Helen

  2. Andrew Sells permalink
    July 4, 2012 11:09 pm

    Saw on our Local news that the J class were in a regatta at Falmouth. triggered off a memory of being a very young child and staying on board a yacht on the Hamble in the early 1970s. I have found out it was the “Lulworth” . My Late Uncle reggie was working on her doing some maitenance.. Veery Happy memories glad she is still around!

    • July 5, 2012 9:04 am

      I have some more pictures to post of Endeavour and Lulworth … So keep a lookout

  3. January 4, 2014 7:57 am

    Reblogged this on Living, Libraries and [Dead] Languages and commented:

    Today I continue to reblog; these stories are from my childhood and written as part of a future memoir …

  4. Ron permalink
    September 20, 2018 1:48 pm

    We used to visit Mrs Lucas on Lulworth, mostly on a Sunday afternoon, as my wife’s grandfather used to keep his boat, Vigilant, (Uffa Fox), at the yard.
    This was after Mr Lucas had died.
    Our son, who used to be with us as a baby, is now a boatbuilder, so something must have rubbed off.


  1. The ladies-in waiting … more pictures « Living, Libraries and [Dead] Languages

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