RONA is a stunning Classic Stow & Sons Ketch built in 1895. She is presented in very good condition having been well cared for throughout her life by enthusiastic and knowledgeable owners. As with any classic yacht RONA requires constant care and attention and has been kept in great shape, including the addition of modern comforts such as electric heads and air-conditioning. RONA underwent a major rebuild completed in 1997 in the UK. She was subsequently bought by an owner in the UK who cherished her and cruised with her locally. Her following owner had her shipped to Hong Kong where she was a superb platform for enjoying those great waters and also for local informal regattas. This owner has updated her and she has collected many cups in his ownership and been a joy. She is an important part of the UK’s maritime history and you can read a little of this below.
When built RONA had a clipper bow, long bowsprit and was rigged as a gaff yawl. She has had various distinguished owners and was raced and cruised until 1937 when disaster struck. In a gale she ran ashore in the West Country and her stem was badly damaged. She was taken to Morgan Giles’ yard in Teignmouth. The war years intervened and her lead keel hidden away. RONA came into the hands of the MOD and sold after the war to Capt. Linsay-Smith M.B.E. The yacht was rebuilt six feet longer with her bow altered to the shape we see today. Re rigged as a cutter-rigged ketch RONA was finally sailing again in 1951. In 1960 she was lent to the Royal Navy training unit and entered the Tall Ships Race before being given back to her owner who had agreed to sell her to Lord Amory.
Lord Amory was an exceptional man. Chancellor of the Exchequer, honored by Her Majesty the Queen and founder of the Amory Award scheme. After suggestions from both The Sea Scouts and Sea Cadets he set up The London Sailing Project and RONA became their flagship. In 1962 RONA entered The Tall Ships Race again and entered almost every race for the next twenty years. The project ran her for 32 years. The years of working her hard were showing and she returned to private ownership in 1993. Although structurally very sound RONA was in need of a major refit. Totally stripped out and restored as the above details show. The work was both extensive and expensive and after four years of hard work RONA was finished. She now sparkles throughout and sails in the splendour she deserves.
RONA is a real delight and a joy to sail. She is remarkable predictable and offers wonderful reassurance when the weather turns nasty. Through all her years sail training RONA was a familiar sight around Northern European waters. She is now gleaming in the sparkling waters of Singapore.
I had always owned Flybridge Cruisers and was always fond of yachting. I had been on a few twilight sails on 40 footers but never really enjoyed the small cockpits and unusable deck space.
RONA stood out to me as soon as I saw her advertised. A beautiful deck and lots of space. A piece of art from a time when everything was built by hand.
Primarily RONA has been used for getting away with the family. We love going to secluded anchorages and staying a few nights. We also love taking friends sailing. Some trips away have been for 6 months. We recently sailed to Komodo Island in Indonesia from Singapore and back.
Many enjoyable days have been spent carefully maintaining her and admiring her beauty.
We have done numerous regattas:
The Raja Mudah rom Port Klang to Langkawi 2018 and 2019.
The Neptune Regatta from Singapore to the Equator 2017,2018,2019, 2020, 2023.
Ambassador Cup in Singapore waters 2022.
Of all the regattas the most challenging is the Raja Mudah. Sailing at night with 10 crew aboard in squally conditions. The round trip takes us away for a month. We have many trophies from this event that are displayed in the Marina Bar at Nongsa Point Marina. The biggest and heaviest yacht in the race, we are either powering ahead at 12 knots or at times at 1 or 2 knots in light breeze.
RONA has always had a full time crew of 2 to 4 plus myself. On trips away we take an engineer and a chef.
RONA is best sailed with 8 – 10 people but can be sailed with only 2.
Keeping up the varnishing and bright work is a labour of love but keeps her looking beautiful.
What I love most about RONA is her beauty. Wherever we cruise she is the most beautiful yacht in the port. She commands attention.
At sea she is steadfast and safe in even the most challenging conditions.
In my ownership she has often been called on to provide assistance to smaller boats in bad weather and is a guardian of the fleet.
I am selling RONA as I will be returning to life on a farm in Victoria, Australia with my young family. RONA loves to be sailed often and requires a passionate owner who appreciates the finer things in life and has the time to enjoy her.
RONA is ready to go anywhere the new owner desires I would like to see her amongst other classic yachts. At the age of 128 years she is a spectacular vessel and a rarity amongst yachts.