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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Sailing boats

Saturday, August 7th., Royal York Hotel, Brighton.

Yacht Belem
On Thursday I saw two of the finest yachts afloat. Iolanda, which I have often admired at Cannes. The other yacht was the Duke of Westminster's Belem, lying in the Medina near to The Wanderer. A converted French merchantman. Fantastic luxury; but real taste. I got some ideas from it for The Wanderer. A lovely ship. Allen said the Duke had spent well over £100,000 on her, and that £35,000 would buy her; which probably meant £25,000. The wages bill must be £700 a month. She appears to be used for only about a week or so a year. This is a social crime.

Launched in 1896, the three masted barque Belem was originally a trader that crossed the Atlantic to Brazil and the Caribbean in order to bring back cocoa, sugar, rum and other products. In 1914 the Duke of Westminster bought her and transformed her into a private yacht

I think I should fancy more than any of these boats the Shenandoah, a three-masted schooner, with a big beam; she floated on the water like a duck and looked superb. When we went out in a launch to inspect the motor-launch that goes with The Wanderer, we went close by the Shenandoah and it was sickening to think she wasn't mine. I am planning to buy The Wanderer, which is an 88 ton ketch. Price £2,500, including a motor-launch and two dinghies. the price is subject to inventory and survey. I reckon she will cost £1,500 to put right below.

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