Squib

Squib

Squib

Quentin Mitchell writes:-

SQUIB is the boat that graces the cover of the RNYC Sailing Directions (1990), beached in St. Cuthbert’s Cove on the Inner Farne (long since forbidden). She is a Westcliff on Sea One Design built by Cole and Wiggins in 1926. She came into the Club before the war and was owned at various times by E. B. Nicholson, Arthur Johnson (who lent her to the sea scouts) and Hurst Hailes. Rod Mitchell bought her in 1964 and we cruised her up and down the coast, and even on Loch Fyne, before passing her on to Spencer Johnston in 1977. After the Johnston family kept her well, she fell on hard times passing out of the Club and I saw her in the late 80s lying ashore at Sunderland looking very sorry for herself. She was holed, her mast was broken, and she showed signs of hogging.

Rescue came in the form of Dave Raggett, the RNLI Surveyor, who later passed her on to Ian Fairclough, Coxswain of the Fleetwood lifeboat. He appealed for information in Yachting Monthly and I was able to help, giving him photographs and the builder’s plaque. Last year I saw an advertisement for a boat that seemed suspiciously familiar, and indeed it was her, this time worth more than three thousand pounds! In March this year I was in Fleetwood looking at Trumpeter when across the dock I spied that unmistakeable shape. That’s us in the photograph. By coincidence she is now back on this coast having been acquired by Jim Bell of Amble who, happily, fully appreciates her. Like all her owners he eulogises her sailing qualities; we ourselves were certain that she had saved us from our youthful improvidence on more than one occasion. By the time you read this she should be in France, kept on the River Rance near Dinan.

Postscript: Does anyone know the whereabouts of Kapala, a sister ship which lay at Holy Island in the 60s and 70s?

Jim Bell writes:

I have tracked this boat down to Holy Island. She is ‘KAPALA’ – a Thames Estuary One Design or an Estuary One Design built by Tucker Brown in the 1920s: definitely NOT a Westcliff OD although she was in RNYC ownership at the same time as Squib and the others.

Remember Squib?

Painting of Squib

This is a watercolour of her on the R. Rance. I had it done when I sold her.


She’s still sailing, near Arcachon, Southwest of Bordeaux.

Jim Bell

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