Email from David Bradshaw - Family owned Iyvinda from about 1973 to 1986


It's taken a while, but here's a collection of pictures of Iyvinda (I obviously did not remember the spelling; we nearly always called her Vindy), there may be more to come as I plough through my parents photo collection; she had a CYCA handicap, sail number 1447C and was built in 1905, not 1903 as I remembered. Mum has unearthed a survey done in 1973, presumably for insurance purposes as Uncle Willy pretty much gave us the boat as he was emigrating to Oz(although he returned not long after to raise his kids.); it identifies her as built by McGruers of Clynder, although the 1905 build date is confusing as it would technically make her a Smiths of Tighnabruaich boat. Perhaps a delve into the Mylne archive might shed light on the matter.

She was sailed out of Burtisland while dad worked at Marconi in Edinburgh, then when he got a job at Coulport the family moved to Kilcreggan and Vindy arrived at Ronnie's yard on a lorry. Initially she had a rather ugly doghouse, but it leaked terribly so it was removed when the coachroof and deck were sheathed in GRP; dad was driven to distraction by leaks, and the GRP was a little cheaper and a lot easier than rebuilding it all with plywood. That just left the myriad leaks from below! Launching was always a treat, on sunny launch days you could see sunlight refracting through the little fountains of briny; even after a winter spent battering the caulking iron and a generous smear of tallow she leaked like a sieve for 4-5 days and dad had to sleep onboard to pump out.

Other than some marathon-like pursuit races at Cove Sailing Club, we enjoyed a couple of memorable cruises on Vindy. The big cruise-in-company of 1982 was completed engineless as the P55 was mid-rebuild; as we were unpowered, we had to rely on the forebearance of our luckier cruising companions in their luxurious, auxiliary-equipped Folkboat(!) and Oyster 26 when the wind was too light. We visited Stonefield, Lochranza, Tighnabruaich, Rothesay. This last was particularly exciting for a 5 year old, as there was a hurricane-force wind forecast, and for safety we ended up spending the night sleeping in Rothesay Sailing Club! It is this cruise which is recorded in the photos; I haven't found any others yet although I remember pictures of her on the slipway so will keep looking.

As even 4 onboard was a tight squeeze (mum, dad, brother Mark (10) and I (5)), my eldest brother Simon (13) brought along a tent to sleep in ashore (rather like the tale of Trebor's cruise). Unfortunately halfway through the cruise disaster struck; while passing the tentbag from dinghy to boat in Lochranza, a vital part of the tent's frame mischevously fell out and promptly sank to the bottom, visible in the sunlight but teasingly unreachable and rendering the tent useless. He spent the rest of the cruise sleeping bent in half on the cockpit seat, keeping the dog company; how he slept like that I have no idea.

Sadly she broke her mast in a gale shortly after that cruise; although she was moored at the time, the mooring was exposed to SW (it was opposite the bottom of Donaldson's Brae, about 3 cables west of Kilcreggan pier) and the forestays parted. A stub of mast was procured (from either Ronnie or Bert Shaw) and with assistance from Uncle Willy this was duly scarfed onto the top half of the old mast.

After that trauma, the second mini-cruise did not happen until 1983 and was just a weekend affair, but we managed to make it exciting even so; a gentle sail to Rothesay, cooking dinner in one of the changing booths of the old Rothesay outdoor swimming pool, then trying to sail home in a near-calm on Sunday. Bouyed up by the lack of incident so far, dad tried to start the engine, which uncharacteristically caught after nary a turn of the handle! However, unknown to us at the time, he had forgotten to release the shaft brake and in overcoming this the centrifugal saildrive had comprehensively smashed itself. Only luck allowed the cast iron shrapnel to jam itself in such a way as to give us drive to the propeller and get home before dark! It wasn't until the next time he went for a sail that dad discovered what he had done, which pretty much put him off sailing for the rest of the season.

She was sold in 1985-86 to a chap by the name of Noble who as well as being a fisherman had some interest in Gairletter Caravan site in Blairmore.

One final thing; the 'mystery' 19/24 is Vindy, as that is a fuzzy copy of one of the photos I've scanned; it will be the advert my dad used to sell her. When was the advert published?

David Bradshaw