Friday, 28 August 2020


Twenty five  years ago Erica and I used to sail out of Portsmouth, but despite being only 15 miles or so distant we don't get over there nearly enough.

So the offer of day sailing with friends out of the Premier marina in Gosport was a great opportunity to revisit some old familiar sights and a few new ones.

 Victory class day boats out for a Sunday morning race, based on an earlier Bembridge One Design of Alfred Westmacott, whose portfolio included such popular classics as the Solent Sunbeam and the X One Design, the class association was formed in the 1930's and is based in old Portsmouth. 

The sail insignia is curiously a Z , the letter V having been assigned to the Sunbeam class.

The Royal Navy's newest and finest Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

Sailing past some old haunts The Spice Island and the Still and West in Old Portsmouth to the open Solent.

Restored harbour defense launch built in Poole in 1943 and the last of her class of which over 450 were built.

QHM harbour Patrol on station to help visiting yachts and politely marshal any boats which had strayed from the small boat channel.

Really nice to see a fleet of Squibs out racing, in total there were around 6 in the fleet sailing a course between Portsmouth entrance, Ryde and Gilkicker

 The Southsea/Ryde hoover speeding past on.


  1. The Vicory bought back many happy memories.. in my younger days I crewed in Z63 "Ripple" incuding one Cowes week.. the one you have a picture of is a famous one.. she was the first of the new GRP boats...

  2. There is a HDML (Harbour Defense Motor Launch) moored here in Whangarei harbour at the moment. I think it may have been bought by someone to use as a pleasure launch. There were a number of these used here in New Zealand during WW2. My father served on one of these during the war. They were used for coastal surveillance and destroying the odd mine. The design of the NZ HDMLs looks exactly the same as the one in your photo - my guess a number of these were shipped out to commonwealth countries during the war.

  3. Steve, Alden -interesting points, I do remember the change in he victory class to allow GRP , didn't realise this was the one.

    Pretty sure a few HDML's would have been shipped out to NZ and as you say commonwealth countries especially in Asia

  4. I was thinking about that (the shipping of HDML's) - given the difficulty (and paucity) of transport space, is it more likely they would have sent plans and the boats would have been built locally? If so it would be interesting to see what additions and omissions the local builders would have made based on their local experience.. :o)

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