Kelpie II

Kelpie II was built on the lines of a J Pain Clark designed yacht called Rani IV, one of a series of Rani yachts and canoes by this designer. She was built in a purpose built shed in Lewisham, South London, by the owner of a joinery business called Herbert E Kennard and launched, from a timber cart, at Greenwich on Saturday 28t June 1902. She cost £76-2-7d to build, which for that time was a great deal of money for a yacht of this size.

She is a canoe yacht, gaff sloop rig, with designed displacement of 4000lbs. She has a plate and bulb keel with semi balanced spade rudder. The boat was advanced for her time featuring roller reefing on both main and jib, also all control lines were bought back to the cockpit, and of course there is the keel. Fin and bulb keels were not that uncommon on racing keelboats but on a yacht it was a bit unusual and, although the plate is new owner, Rik Graham, was very careful when replacing it to maintain the geometry of the original.

The week after Kelpie was launched she started her career cruising the East Coast, from a base at Erith Yacht Club until 1973 but then from Pin Mill. Whilst based at Erith she had a very succesful racing career, particularly in the hands of her builder who helmed her until he was in his 80s. Of course time marches on and H E eventually passed Kelpie II to his son Dave who brought her to Pin Mill.

Dave seems to have used Kelpie II mostly as a day sailer, with the ocasional race, and sailed with a Barry Page who bought her in 1989 when Dave, in his turn, got too old to use her. Barry did some work on the boat replacing one garboard and having the decks plywood and epoxy sheathed but again day sailing, keeping her going none the less.

At about the time that Barry was thinking that maintenance was getting to much for him Rik came onto the scene and became her latest owner in 2004. Four owners in 107 years and never rebuilt, not a bad record.

Information courtesy of The Old Gaffers Association

Underwent refurbishment (2010).


Yachts for Sale

Recently updated...

Midshipman Hornblower
Mr Midshipman Hornblower
1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Midshipman Horatio Hornblower receives...
Hornblower and the Atropos
In the wake of a humbling incident aboard a canal boat in the Cotswolds, young Captain...
A Manual of Yacht & Boat Sailing by Dixon Kemp
Dixon Kemp’s famous “Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing” was first published in 1878....
Moby Dick The Book
Moby Dick
Click to view Moby Dick on Amazon Moby Dick is a great white whale, the most terrible...

Write an Article

Covering news on classic yachting worldwide is a tall ask and with your input Classic Yacht Info can expose stories from your own back yard.

We are keen to hear about everything from local regattas and classic events to a local restoration or yachting adventure. Pictures are welcome and ideal for making the article more engaging.

With a site that has been created with the assistance of an international group of classic yacht enthusiasts we value your input and with your help we strive to make CYI more up-to-date and more informative than ever.

Please register and get in touch if you would like to contribute.