Friday, 10 September 2010

Cara, yacht no 2

photo by Kevin O'Farrell
The first five boats were built together at McGruer's yard at Clynder and launched at the end of May 1929.

Cara's first owner was J M Christie and by 1938 she is shown as registered to R Armsden.

By the 1970s she belonged to Will and Margaret Rudd who were very successful racing her against much more modern boats. My experiences as one of the crew in those years convinced me that I should get my own Islander.

Around 1978 she went to Wales, from where she was eventually rescued by Martyn Webster, who had her restored by John Hill of Renfrew.

Martyn sold her to Richard and Judy Metcalfe, who based her at Rhu. They had her redecked and in 2007 sold her to Kevin O'Farrell, who now sails her very happily around Heir Island, where the above image comes from.

She is believed to have had a dark green hull originally and is now white.

She was written up in Classic Boat Magazine in 1994 but be warned- the article contains many inaccuracies, stating for example that the boats had iron keels!


  1. I was not aware of Cara going to Wales in 1978. With my friend, David Sleight, we bought Cara from Sir John Robinson(a brewer in Cheshire) who had Cara at Pwhelli and he raced her with his sons from their holiday house in Abersoch.
    I understand the boat had been moved from the Clyde by a dentist who practiced in Pwhelli in the forties. I met his son who had a restaurant, as I recall, who told me of his father making her bronze snubbing winches.
    Robinson family then sailed her successfully in club races at Pwhelli.
    Our purchase was in May, 1968 and we sailed her back to the Clyde.
    I remember our having northerlies all the way.
    We sailed her on the Clyde and Argyll for 3 years and then I took her to Chichester for one season. I was working there and David was in Germany with the Army. Marina movements were difficult and so decided to return to the Clyde for the 1974.
    We sold her to a young couple in 1976. The wife was a medic and as it turned out was a friend of a doctor I subsequently met in Melbourne, Australia. He recalls sailing on her but from his report it seemed that the boat was a little neglected.
    I did not know of any move to Wales again and I understood she was rescued by the author of the article in Classic Yacht.
    Please keep me up to date on current position and experience which I understand is in Co Cork.
    Ronald McAlister

  2. Sorry to be so long responding to your comment. The young couple you mention are Will and Margaret Rudd, with whom I sailed a number of times in 1976 before buying Stroma. Subsequently they moved through to the Forth and sold Cara to a Glasgow surgeon who in turn sold her to Kevin O'Farrell, who still has her and keeps her in fine condition in Cork.