Tuloa photographed by Martin Hansen, October 2017
A Mysterious Boat In Conwy : FOR SALE (November 2017)
In my home port of Conwy in North Wales, an old wooden boat has recently been advertised as a 'project'. Although neglected and her interior dismantled, the hull looked robustly built. Intrigued, and with a view to spreading the word that here was a boat worth saving, I set about trying to find out her history. Although her name was not known, a six digit number was etched into one of her deck beams; it looked like a Lloyd's registration number.
The yard thought she was designed by James McGruer and that fact along with the number 159855 was enough to locate the boat in my 1964 Lloyd's Register of Yachts; Tuloa.
Tuloa's Famous Owner
Tuloa was owned for over 30 years by the famous yachtsman Harry Mitchell. After a failed attempt in 1972, he completed the 1976 OSTAR (Observer Single Handed Transatlantic Race) from Plymouth to New York sailing Tuloa through two severe and three moderate depressions that caused 50 of the 125 participating boats to retire, and sinking two of them. Harry died in 1995, aged 70, whilst competing in the BOC round the world race in his 40-foot boat Henry Hornblower, vanishing without trace in the Southern Ocean. A year later, Harry's Tuloa, which had been in a shed for eight years, was sold. As is so often the case, a well intentioned restoration was attempted by the new owner but not completed, Tuloa being offered for sale as a half completed project in 2005. The interior at this point had been dismantled. It's not been reinstated since, unfortunately. The current owner has reluctantly admitted that saving the boat is beyond him, and a new owner is sought. Contact Conwy marina for further details on 01492 593000. Should inspiration be needed, take a look at Tiarella as an example of a Romella Class Sloop that is still in commission, currently (November 2017) for sale with The Wooden Ships Brokerage for £19,500.
Built : 1951 by The Shamrock Cruising Co Ltd in Crosshaven, Ireland
LOA : 33' 0"
LWL : 24' 0"
Beam : 8' 4"
Draught : 5' 4"
Displacement : 8 tons TM
Lloyd's Register : N° 159855
Tuloa Custodians & Home Ports
Philip MH Wood (?-2009-2015-?) Conwy, Wales
HG Mitchell (1964-1996) Hamble, Hampshire, England
HS & G Peckham (1961-1963) Hamble, Hampshire, England
NR Junkison (1958-1960) Warsash, Hampshire, England
Dr Ian Farquharson (1956-1957) London, England
Major Robert H Pringle (?-1952-1955) Cork, Ireland
Page last updated : November 2017