Amazon (yacht)

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Amazon (yacht) 1889.jpg
Amazon in 1889
Name: Amazon
Owner: Ted and Melody Morgan-Busher[1]
Builder: Tankerville Chamberlayne, Arrow Yard Southampton
Launched: 1885
Status: Private yacht
Class & type: Screw Schooner (ex-steam yacht)
Tonnage: 58 GRT/GT
Displacement: 84 tons full load
Length: 102 ft (31 m) (114 feet over spar)
Beam: 15.1 ft (4.6 m)
Draft: 8.25 ft (2.51 m)
Propulsion: Motor and sail
Notes: Designer: Dixon Kemp

Amazon is a 102-foot (31 m) long screw schooner ex-steam yacht built in 1885 at the private Arrow Yard of Tankerville Chamberlayne in Southampton.[2][3]

Designer Dixon Kemp intended her to be 'fast and a good seaboat' and her successful sea trials were recorded in the several editions of his definitive Yacht Architecture[4] (First Edition published in 1885).[2]

In 2011, Amazon was listed as one of the world's Top 40 Classic Yachts and was the oldest vessel honored.[5]

Construction[edit]

Carvel planked in teak and pitch pine on oak frames, with alternate wrought iron strap floor reinforcement, bronze fastenings, lead keel and copper sheathing, the Amazon's hull is still largely original.[2]

History[edit]

Her builder and first owner, Tankerville Chamberlayne, an English gentleman, personally supervised her construction by his own Arrow Yard at Northam on the River Itchen. This small non-commercial facility was established by the Chamberlayne family for the maintenance of the famous cutter Arrow, which was adapted continuously and thereby kept racing competitively into the 1890s. Amazon's engine and boiler were supplied by the adjacent works works of Day, Summers and Company.[2]

Amazon was used for summer cruising, to attend sailing regattas along the south coast of England, and to visit France. Having been prepared appropriately for the occasion of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Royal Fleet Review in 1897 (at which Turbinia made her debut), she was shortly after sold to a prominent French yachtsman and was based at St. Malo as Armoricain until 1900, when she returned to British ownership.[2]

Amazon circa 1910

Already too old (and with a coal-fired compound engine thought to be rather too old-fashioned) for the First World War, she remained in south coast ports as a private yacht. A new owner took her to London and after 52 years of service her original engine and boiler were removed on her conversion to diesel in 1937. The Second World War put paid to pleasure cruising and she subsequently became a houseboat for some years in a west London Yacht Basin.[2]

The actor Arthur Lowe bought her as a houseboat in 1968 and, encouraged by his surveyor's positive report, made her ready for sea again in 1971;[6] at first a private yacht she then pursued a successful charter business in the 1980s, before migrating to northern Scotland in 1990.[2]

In 1997 she made passage from Scotland to Malta, where her owners used her for cruising in the Mediterranean.[2] In 2009 Amazon crossed the Atlantic Ocean and travelled in the Caribbean and to Bermuda.[7]

Amazon at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, US, in December 2009.

She arrived at Newport, Rhode Island, United States from Bermuda on Labor Day 2009.[8] Amazon was hosted by the Herreshoff Marine Museum at Bristol, Rhode Island in October 2009.[9][10] The yacht subsequently travelled to Mystic Seaport in late 2009 [7][11] and was based there in early 2011.[12][13] Amazon remained at Mystic Seaport until mid-2011 [14]

Amazon acted as Flagship for the Commodore of the Mystic River Yacht Club for a charity regatta in Long Island Sound in June 2011[15] and visited Canada in July 2011 [16][17]

In August 2011 the yacht made a trans-Atlantic passage from Newfoundland to Ireland,[18] and arrived at Waterford on 2 September 2011[19] where she was described by a local boat owner as the "classiest motor boat I have ever seen!".[20] She remained at Waterford for the winter.[21]

In May 2012 she visited Bristol[22] before sailing to London,[23] where she took part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday 3 June 2012.[24] She was the only vessel present that had also witnessed the Diamond Jubilee Fleet Review for Queen Victoria at Spithead on 26 June 1897.[25] The Director of National Historic Ships referred to her in his public letter of criticism concerning the BBC's coverage of the event.[26]

She was subsequently at the Ramsgate Maritime Museum until late June,[27] at Shoreham on 28 June 2012,[28] then at Cowes[29] and in the Bassin Vauban at St Malo, France in late July 2012.[30]

In August and September 2012, Amazon was in the Channel Islands, visiting Alderney in August[31][32] and Jersey in September, berthing in St Helier and Gorey Harbours; on 13 September she was in St. Aubin's Bay to watch the 2012 Jersey International Air Display.

She was in Bristol during the winter[33][34] and at the Southampton Maritime Festival on 5 & 6 May 2013.[35][36][37]

On 23 May she was in the Bristol Channel[38] en route to Gloucester where she arrived on 24 May[39] for the city's Tall Ships Festival[40] on 25 & 26 May,[41] and was on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal during June.[42]

She was back in the Channel Islands in July and at Gorey, Jersey on 22 July 2013.[43]

On 23 July she lay down gently on her port side at a 45-degree angle on the muddy sand of Gorey Harbour. A considerable quantity of water entered the hull through open portholes,[1] giving concern that she might not right on the next tide. While the water was pumped out, as a precaution Jersey Coastguard and Harbours Department used airbags to ensure she would rise on the tide.[44] She was again careening overnight and rose without assistance on the morning of 24 July. In a letter to the Jersey Evening Post, the owners reported that the hull "seems to have survived relatively unscathed".[1]

The vessel was seen at Malta on October 12, 2013.[45]

References[edit]

Material in the public domain has been incorporated in this article and is cited accordingly (World Ship Trust).

  1. ^ a b c Morgan-Busher, Ted and Melody (31 July 2013). "Maritime assistance shows seafaring tradition lives on". Jersey Evening Post (Jersey Evening Post): 48. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "World Ship Trust (public domain text)". 
  3. ^ "Superyacht Times". 
  4. ^ Yacht Architecture. 
  5. ^ SuperYacht World No 20 (July–August 2011). "Top 40 Classic yachts - The world's favourite classic yachts, as voted by a range of superyacht industry experts". 
  6. ^ "Bygone Derbyshire - Arthur Lowe". [dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Mystic Seaport - Yacht Amazon". 
  8. ^ "At Newport, RI awaiting clearance (flag Q flying)". 
  9. ^ "Superyacht Times - Editorial". 
  10. ^ "At Bristol, RI on Columbus Day 2009". 
  11. ^ "At Mystic Seaport". 
  12. ^ "Classic Boat - March 2011". 
  13. ^ / "The Peregrine Sea blog - Yacht Amazon, Dixon Kemp and Firecrest (Painting with Light and Water)". 
  14. ^ "Classic Yacht magazine - Mystic Minutes June 2011". 
  15. ^ "The Day". 
  16. ^ "Amazin Amazon". 
  17. ^ "Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, N.S.". 
  18. ^ "Neidin Sailboat blog". 
  19. ^ "Hooks and Crooks - 3rd September 2011". 
  20. ^ "'Classiest motor boat I have ever seen!'". 
  21. ^ "'Christmas Lights'". 
  22. ^ "Channel Images". 
  23. ^ "'Off Cornwall!'". 
  24. ^ "'Ex steam yacht Amazon'". 
  25. ^ "Avenue of Sail participants". 
  26. ^ "'Director, National Historic Ships'". 
  27. ^ "Ramsgate Maritime Museum". 
  28. ^ "Shoreham". 
  29. ^ "Sally Water Taxi". 
  30. ^ "Ouest France". 
  31. ^ "Alderney". 
  32. ^ "Another at Alderney". 
  33. ^ "Bristol in October". 
  34. ^ "Bristol in February". 
  35. ^ "Musings of a curious individual". 
  36. ^ "At Festival 1". 
  37. ^ "At Festival 2". 
  38. ^ "Sully on the way to Gloucester". 
  39. ^ "Approaching Gloucester Docks". 
  40. ^ "Gloucester Tall Ships Festival 2013". 
  41. ^ "Main Basin Gloucester Docks". 
  42. ^ "Saul Junction on the Canal". 
  43. ^ "At Gorey, Jersey". 
  44. ^ Maguire, Jack (24 July 2013). "Not quite high and dry: visiting vessel is saved in the nick of time after laying over in the harbour at Gorey". Jersey Evening Post (Jersey Evening Post): 48. 
  45. ^ "Shipspotting".