Totally Over The Top Restoration – But OMG – Stunning
Today should have been a big sailing story, around the CYA Classic Regatta, but weather and CV-19 killed that. Race Day 1 (Saturday) was a bit of a fizzer with little wind, resulted in two shortened races and then Saturday nights announcement on CV-19 levels killed the remaining two days – so time to pull something out of the hat. Actually easy – when I was scrolling thru the guys at Off Centre Harbors latest virtual gig – the Worldwide Classic Boat Show I came across – Gelyce, a 1930 50’ ex J-Class tender, designed and built by Camper & Nicholson, Gosport, UK. A quick google search told me a lot more about the launch and the amazing restoration – more here http://www.gelyce.co.uk
Its a great story and stunning commitment by her owners to bring her back for a near death to being one of the UK’s finest craft. I’ll let the owners tell the story – the gold plated fittings and Rolls Royce engine are OTT but perfect.
“The history of this famous vessel makes her possibly the most unique yacht tender and spectating boat in the World. She was built in 1930 by internationally celebrated 200 year old builder of world-class leisure and sports craft Camper & Nicholsons (C&N) of Gosport, UK and provided to Sir Thomas Lipton with the legendary J Class Racing Yacht Shamrock V. Upon Lipton’s death in 1931 both were taken on by Sir Thomas Sopwith, for whom C&N also built the America’s Cup challenger Endeavour. “Gelyce” was also used as Endeavour’s tender to transport guests to ‘the big boat.’
This sublime 50ft example of the Gelyce Class (official no 160934) is the only one of the series used as a J Class Yacht Tender. C&N built only nine of the 50ft Gelyce-class boats all in the period from 1912 to 1930, several of which were for the use of Nicholson family members. Indeed, “Gelyce” itself remained registered to C&N for seven years through the 1930’s. The Gelyce class of boat was thus always rare and exclusive and is now even more so with only three surviving.
“Gelyce” was the last built of the class, pre-eminent in terms of its provenance as the only one to be a J Class Tender. The name Gelyce is an amalgamation of the Nicholson brother’s wives names – Gertie, Lucy & Constance.
“Gelyce” has now completed a restoration of unprecedented quality and with her impeccable history is sought after in the growing classic yacht racing fraternity.
She has undergone a complete restoration of the hull, using three layers of structural mahogany veneers laid in double diagonal then carvel, fastened with modern epoxy and 75 thousand polymer staples.
The entire superstructure and interior has been retained and refurbished. The instrument panel, morse control, all deck, cabin and head fittings are Welsh gold plated for easy care.
Her engine is a concours condition aluminum mid-1960’s Rolls Royce, producing 175hp, which theoretically gives her the capability of 28knots at sea. The engine was restored and marinised by Brian Bax at Tim Walker Restorations.
Exquisite “Gelyce” has been lovingly restored by Classic Restoration for with her owner, Wint Taylor. “
photos below as found
What an incredibly beautiful project so stunning & perfect in every detail.
I believe the engine has been superbly marinised, from the range, as fitted to the “Silver Cloud,” series of cars in the 1950s & early 60s until about 1962, when the 6cyl engine, was replaced with a V8, for the “Silver Cloud III.” This engine, along with various developments & refinements was almost universally used for all cars, until the company was sold to BMW in 1988, after which they initially fitted a standard BMW V12 engine.
One thing that intrigues me, is that the rebuilders have stated, that the engine is 175 HP, but the horsepower, of all “smaller” petrol RR engines at least, was never disclosed, after about 1915, until the company was bought by BMW in 1998.
All the info that was ever given for petrol engines, was the torque, & that the engines, “have adequate horsepower,” on the instruction of Henry Royce, who being a very modest man, was known for his understatements, on many things.
Whilst we have a number of craft here, which have, or have had, RR diesels, for which the company has disclosed HP rating in many cases, — (including KUDU, OHORERE, & MANAIA to name a few, off the top of my head), — I have never seen or heard of a HP rating on 6 cyl. marinised petrol engines, & have no reason to believe that the HP was ever disclosed by RR.
One more thing, is that as there appears to me, to be a considerable section of uncooled exhaust manifold, on each exhaust port, as it leaves the engine,
I believe there would have been a very substantial heat build up, in the engine compartment, as seen in the image of the rear section of the boat, as a result of this. — KEN R