The Albert Strange yawl Sheila II is famous for her title role in Adrian Hayter’s book Sheila in the Wind (Hodder and Stoughton, 1959), but while the book has recently enjoyed a major refit courtesy of Lodestar Books, the boat remains in dire need of repair.
Sheila II was built by Dickie of Tarbert, Scotland in 1911 and is for sale in New Zealand. Richard Wynne of Lodestar Books says the Albert Strange Association is watching closely, hoping the book’s revival will inspire a buyer to restore Sheila II.
“Her design was commissioned from Albert Strange by artist Robert Groves around 1908 following his original Sheila launched in 1905,” he says. “Groves has left some very evocative sketches of both boats under sail. Given a free rein by the client, Strange would always favour performance over accommodation, believing it to be an important safety feature; this resulted in some of his most beautifully proportioned designs, of which Sheila II, some would argue, is the finest.”
Sheila II is typical canoe yawl of the sort that made Strange’s name known. She originally set a roller-furling jib, a gaff mainsail with a yard topsail over, and a gaff mizzen sheeted to a bumkin. The hull was built of full-length pitch pine planking on oak frames on the rigid base of a long cast-iron ballast keel.
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