Monday, 29 November 2010

Hull Colours again

Followers of this blog will understand that having analysed the racing results for the period to 1935 we are all in need of a little break, so here is something different.

While researching the Thom archive I came across some further information about hull colours. It's never been obvious to me why the original owners took this subject so seriously, but there's evidence that they did, especially when Herbert Thom insisted that a varnished finish was "a colour," which common sense suggests is correct.

The reason Herbert Thom gave in an interview with George Findlay of the Glasgow Herald was simply that a painted hull would accumulate layers of paint and become heavier as the years went by, whereas presumably his boat would be scraped off at the end of the season and refinished in the Spring. I suppose this would also allow the topsides to dry out a bit.

In a letter to Yachting Life in June 1999 Mr Robert S Sharp, son of R K Sharp, the sometime owner of Bernera and Sanda, confirmed the original hull colours as follows:-

Westra           yellow
Cara               mid blue
Bernera          black for one year, then green
Stroma           grey
Sanda            navy blue
Jura               light blue
Fidra             red
Iona              white
Gigha            varnished
Canna           white
Isla               white

To comply with the class rules Iona must have changed colour before Canna arrived. Canna was varnished (JHT again) before Isla arrived.

I'm not going to change Stroma, as I'm fond of her Epifanes green 30.


  1. My family owned 'Stroma' in the early 60's and we had a lot of fun on her around the Clyde as we moored her at RGYC and Kilchattan Bay on Bute. My father had her painted a very dark green, like British Racing green, and she looked very handsome. I don't remember what the previous colour was to this.

  2. Hi Andrew

    Thanks for this.

    Can you remember who sold Stroma to your father and to whom he sold her? Ron Maclachlan maybe?

    If you have any old photographs you can share please let me know.