“The yacht was designed and built to the order of industrialist GM Hamilton Fletcher, Royal Yacht Squadron member and personal friend of Joseph Soper. The brief was for a comfortable, fast but also representative cruising yacht – “a gentleman’s ship” and to build to the highest standard at a renowned shipyard. All the designer’s plans, calculations etc and those of the shipyard are preserved. The yacht was certified at Lloyd´s * A 16. Launched in April 1932 her owner christened her VERA MARY – judiciously in honour of his wife. In short order she was racing during Cowes week that year – attracting the attention of Frank Beken, who was to take numerous pictures of her over time.
It was in 1935 that His Majesty King George V bought her to present VERA MARY in appreciation and gratitude to Sir Philip Hunloke his long standing friend, sailing teacher – and skipper of his own yacht BRITANNIA. Thereafter she has had a series of owners – sailing mostly in the Atlantic and the Med.
Around 1990 she was seen by international yachtsman Chris Law, then seeking a project and he, determined to devote his energies to restoring her, was fortunate in securing the vessel. He was to preside over her substantial restoration, which as faithfully as possible preserved all that was original and good – stripping out all that was unauthentic and or unsound. While some frames had to be sistered or replaced the original planking was found in remarkably good condition so mostly preserved. Otherwise wherever replacements were needed they were acquired or fashioned as faithfully to the originals as could be achieved. Her teak deck has been renewed during restoration. Some considerable documentation exists with respect to the restoration including articles from the yachting press.”
Restored in 1980: Certified by Lloyds A16. Home port is Hamburg, Germany.
We are looking for Soper’s sketch “Cross Section” and would like to know if JM Soper’s design office still exists.
|Designer:||Joseph M Soper|
|Type of Boat:||2 Masted Gaff Schooner|
|Rig:||2 Masted Schooner|
|Built By:||Berthon Boat Ltd., Lymington, UK|
|LOA m / ft:||22.00m /72'|
|LOD m / ft:||18.60m /61'|
|LWL m / ft:||13.30m /43'6"|
|Beam m / ft:||3.4m - 0.6m /13'325"|
|Draft m / ft:||2.8m /9'|
|Sail Stats||Sail Area: 260 sq.m|
|Construction:||Hull: teak 2 inch on English oak frames. Deck: new teak over plywood Mast and spars: oregon pine. All the rest: teak.|
|Displacement: 66 tons.|