Sule Skerry : The Ben Ainslie Connection
Sule Skerry is the boat upon which the young Ben Ainslie learnt his love of sailing. Regarded as the most successful sailor in Olympic history, his autobiography, Close to the Wind, contains some charming photographs of him aboard Sule Skerry, his dad's boat. Alas, a mishap involving a pot buoy rope around the propeller resulted in the boat sinking on rocks at the entrance to the Helford river in Cornwall, c1986.
The young Ben Ainslie aboard Sule Skerry, taken from his autobiography Close to the wind.
Sule Skerry wins a Challenge Cup
In 1974 Sule Skerry won a Challenge Cup from the Irish Cruising Club for “a most beautifully presented log by Jennifer Guiness”. It detailed a voyage from Ireland to the west coast of Norway. Along the way the boat stopped off at the Sule Skerry lighthouse. Still manned at the time, the lighthouse is stationed upon a desolate and remote rock 40 miles west of Orkney and 35 miles north of the Scottish mainland.
Sule Skerry anchored by the remote Sule Skerry lighthouse.
Sule Skerry For Sale (May 2021)
In May 2021 Sule Skerry was up for sale for £145,000 with the Sandeman yacht brokerage. Over one hundred photographs show the boat to be in exceptionally good condition. She was professionally repaired by McGruer following the unfortunate and unlucky “Ainslie sinking” and has been sailed extensively since.
Sule Skerry Statistics
Built : 1958 by McGruer & Co Ltd, Clynder, Scotland
LOA : 43' 0"
LWL : 30' 0"
Beam : 11' 6"
Draught : 6' 0"
Displacement : 18 tons TM
Lloyd's Register : N° 300491
Sail : N° 1093
Signal Letters : MOBX
MMSI : 235037136
Sule Skerry Custodians & Home Ports
Dr Richard A Metcalfe (2016-2021...) Clyde, Scotland
Dr RA Metcalfe & Peter Billinghurst (2006-2016) Clyde, Scotland
Gordon Milloy & Frank Halford (1995-?) Clyde, Scotland
Charles Law (?-?)
Michael Ainslie (1982-?) Strangford Lough, Ireland
Gilbert J O'Connor (1976-1981) Strangford Lough, Ireland
John H Guiness (1969-1975) Howth, Ireland
A Peter B Guiness (1968) Howth, Ireland
Lt Col John Cameron OBE TD & Mrs (1958-1967) Clynder, Scotland
Page last updated : May 2021