Ida – a fine Bai­ley yacht

By the mid-1890s yacht de­sign was rapidly de­vel­op­ing in Great Bri­tain and the USA. At the same time there was a grow­ing bat­tle be­tween the two brilliant Auck­land builders, the Lo­gans and the Bai­leys, to pro­duce the fastest and most beau­ti­ful rac­ing yachts

Boating NZ - - Boat Brief -

Yacht­ing pe­ri­od­i­cals of the time dis­sem­i­nated ad­vances in de­sign around the world. The English Hunt’s Yacht­ing Mag­a­zine fea­tured in­put by Dixon Kemp from the 1860s, and the Rud­der mag­a­zine, founded in 1891, fea­tured Amer­i­can de­sign­ers, es­pe­cially the Yan­kee Nat Her­reshoff, whose 1891 Glo­ri­ana be­came the bench­mark for keel yacht de­sign overnight.

With a heav­ily-raked straight bow, Glo­ri­ana elim­i­nated the ar­chaic con­cave ‘clip­per’ bow and the deep fore­foot which had been thought es­sen­tial. Hard on Her­reshoff’s heels was Scots­man G.L. Wat­son whose 1892 de­signs for the Prince of Wales’ yacht Britannia and her near-sis­ter Valkyrie II were a sen­sa­tion. They had sim­i­lar un­der­wa­ter sec­tions to Glo­ri­ana but moved to a rounded or ‘spoon’ bow, which is nat­u­ral to our eyes but thought of as quite ugly at the time.

In this coun­try, the builders most in­ter­ested in the de­vel­op­ment of yacht de­sign, the Lo­gans, the Bai­leys and the Way­mouths, be­came heav­ily in­flu­enced by Her­reshoff. In late 1892 all three built Her­reshoff-style 2½-raters, the Lo­gans built their Her­reshoff-trib­ute Glo­ri­ana, Charles Bai­ley Jr built Rogue and John Way­mouth Jr built Yum Yum to the de­sign of his fa­ther and (prob­a­bly) his brother O.B. (‘Noll’) Way­mouth.

Of these, Glo­ri­ana quickly proved the best boat, mak­ing the Lo­gan boys’ rep­u­ta­tion with one yacht. Then, in April 1893, Wat­son’s Britannia hit the wa­ter on the Clyde, with her spoon bow and her glam­orous Royal con­nec­tions.

The spoon bow clearly pro­vided more buoy­ancy for­ward and more speed, but there was still hes­i­tancy about her strange bow in a yacht­ing cul­ture ac­cus­tomed to per­pen­dic­u­lar, ‘clip­per’ or even rule-cheating re­v­erse ‘ram’ bows.

In fact, John Way­mouth Sr had played with a spoon bow as early as 1883 with his de­sign for the cen­tre­boarder Seag­ull, built for fish­er­man W. Knox. She per­formed so well that the Way­mouths bought her back, con­verted her to a dead­wood keeler and re­named her Mapu. She was very suc­cess­ful in Auck­land and later Welling­ton sec­ond-class rac­ing but was hardly a pre­cur­sor.

Af­ter Britannia’s model be­came ac­cepted and every­one’s aes­thet­ics had ad­justed, the first ‘spoon’ bow to ap­pear in this coun­try was on the steel 5-rater Thetis which Noll Way­mouth de­signed in con­junc­tion with Wil­liam Sea­gar in 1894 for the Mase­field broth­ers of Herne Bay. Sea­gar Bros built her and launched her in Jan­uary 1895.

In the spring of 1895 Charles Bai­ley Jr and his younger brother Wal­ter, trad­ing as “C. & W. Bai­ley”, built the 5-rater Ida for their good cus­tomers, mer­chants Jag­ger broth­ers and

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