This really is something different, re-creation, recycling, or just a great idea are thoughts that spun around in my head when I first saw this yacht. Based upon a light displacement yacht, that started life as JOYRIDE and built by John Corby, this yacht has seen another iteration in its life as a Spirit of Tradition.
Originally the yacht was built to go under a spare Ultra 30 rig, and now the hull has modified to go under a new rig and is beautifully recrafted to fit in with the most glamourous of the classic world, albeit with a sting in her tail.
Twin rudders, bulb keel, large bowsprit and light displacement may well be assumed to be modern inventions, and rated as such, however that could not be further from the truth, which has been lying in plain view all the time. Twin rudders date back to 1903, the bulb keel to 1881 and the ‘skimming dish’ hull form can be seen on many of the ‘raters’ style yachts, that are still racing on the Thames, and first built in the late 19th century.
SPIRIT OF JOYRIDE is a wonderful recreation of an already superb and fun yacht, and offers all the hallmarks for an entry into the Spirit of tradition classic events all over the world. She is an essentially new yacht and stored under cover ready for the next owner to enjoy her to her full potential.
The concept / vision behind producing a Spirit of Tradition yacht incorporating many features thought by many to be modern but actually first appearing over 100 years ago.
From his drawing board some 30 years ago, JOYRIDE was successful designer John Corby’s first yacht – a ULDB. Handcrafted in wood she was built in Cowes, home for over a century of some of the world’s leading boat builders. Built then and now restored / reconfigured as a Spirit of Tradition yacht, in a time honoured way to combine performance with beauty.
Indeed from her curved clipper bow, past her deeply varnished sleek contoured Edwardian coach roof to her diagonally grained varnished transom SPIRIT OF JOYRIDE is an exemplar of a bygone era.
Seeing SPIRIT OF JOYRIDE for the first time, as she emerged from her 2 year, (1400 hour) refit program, a knowledgeable yachtsman was heard to remark – “If Riva built sailing yachts – this is what one should look like”.
SPIRIT OF JOYRIDE truly reflects the ethos of “tradition” by handing down the heritage and ingenuity of yacht designers of the past.
Her skimming dish hull owes much to designers such as Charles Sibbick of Cowes, famous for his raters from the 1890’s.
Bulb and strut keel, – first conceived by ex US Civil War Colonel Israel Garrard in 1881 and granted patent in 1885. Twin rudders, – first seen on GH Duggans Thorella II in the 1903 Seawanhaka Cup between the US & Canada (the oldest yachting trophy originating in the United States still in active competition).
Clipper bow – in 1875, used in the design of Jullanar to make use of the measurement of L (length) under the Rule of the time to gain more boat for rating.
Many of these innovative features disappearing from yacht design as a result of over zealous penalising by rule makers & handicappers or guardians as they increasingly saw themselves, mistakenly believing their role was to protect the “existing fleet”.
Radical innovation could not be part of the equation – multiple rudders ( called moveable appendages ) were among the first to go , along with wide beam , light displacement and just about anything else that deviated from the accepted and now traditional norm , either banned outright or taxed out of profitable use by rating – radical innovation was stifled.
Now over a hundred years later , the ideas pioneered by designers such as Sibbick , Soper , Linton Hope , GL Watson and Nat Herreshoff reign supreme . They maybe mistakenly considered “modern” by those unaware of yachting history, but they were all thought of a long time ago.
As Confucius said “To divine the future – first you must know the past”.