LITTLE JIM (Mk1) B7

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LITTLE JIM (Mk1) B7

If you search the words Little Jim in the WW search box you we see numerous references to a very stunning yacht, owned these days by CYA Chairman James Mortimer. She was designed / built by Arch Logan and Bill Couldrey in 1934, photos below.
Outside of the die-hard classic yachties, few know there was another Little Jim, B7, pictured above.
This LJ was a B class Keeler owned by J. Mitchelson.
Sadly she was driven ashore and totally wrecked at Catherine Bay, Great Barrier Island, after being dismasted in a gale on Christmas Day 1934?. The only good news was that the crew of 5 escaped drowning & reached the shore.
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07-01-2019 Input from owner – James M
Little Jim started out life as a schnapper boat in 1900 under the sail number AK1 when it was built for a fisherman named Charles Vieri. Once converted to a pleasure boat for racing and cruising by the Feltham brothers, she sailed as B7 under various owners until a syndicate including Mitchelson purchased her in 1931. It was Xmas Day of ’33 she was driven onto the rocks in Katherine Bay. The story goes that after the rig snapped in two about 6 feet above the deck, and while cutting everything away a shackle got caught between the rudder and stern post, not only making a huge sea anchor with the still half-attached sails and rig but also losing any form of steerage. They managed to get two anchors down once in Katherine Bay. These held for some hours before the warps of one then the other finally frayed under the load and she went ashore. A few items were salvaged, including the small circular porthole you can see in the current cabin top in your last photo above. Legend has it that a leg of ham washed ashore, which fed the crew on Xmas Day over a campfire in the scrub behind the bay. With the insurance payout of 230 pounds plus a generous gift from Mitchelson’s aunt, Little Jim A16 was launched on 19th November 1934, a pretty impressive feat in less than 11 months! She went on to win the Anniversary Day race just two months later and has been sailling and cruising the Waitemata and Hauraki Gulf since. For anyone interested there is a great history of the two boats captured on Peter Brooke’s boatbuilders page here: http://www.classicboating.co.uk/Little%20Jim%20H.html

1 thought on “LITTLE JIM (Mk1) B7

  1. Little Jim started out life as a schnapper boat in 1900 under the sail number AK1 when it was built for a fisherman named Charles Vieri. Once converted to a pleasure boat for racing and cruising by the Feltham brothers, she sailed as B7 under various owners until a syndicate including Mitchelson purchased her in 1931. It was Xmas Day of ’33 she was driven onto the rocks in Katherine Bay. The story goes that after the rig snapped in two about 6 feet above the deck, and while cutting everything away a shackle got caught between the rudder and stern post, not only making a huge sea anchor with the still half-attached sails and rig but also losing any form of steerage. They managed to get two anchors down once in Katherine Bay. These held for some hours before the warps of one then the other finally frayed under the load and she went ashore. A few items were salvaged, including the small circular porthole you can see in the current cabin top in your last photo above. Legend has it that a leg of ham washed ashore, which fed the crew on Xmas Day over a campfire in the scrub behind the bay. With the insurance payout of 230 pounds plus a generous gift from Mitchelson’s aunt, Little Jim A16 was launched on 19th November 1934, a pretty impressive feat in less than 11 months! She went on to win the Anniversary Day race just two months later and has been sailling and cruising the Waitemata and Hauraki Gulf since. For anyone interested there is a great history of the two boats captured on Peter Brooke’s boatbuilders page here: http://www.classicboating.co.uk/Little%20Jim%20H.html

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