All carried a sail area of between 530 - 550 sq feet.
The length seems to have established at 27ft LOA and
24ft LWL with the 1906 boats, of which I understand AVIS
to be the prototype, and belonging to GH Willmer the
enthusiast (RMYC Commodore?) who pushed the class. The
Mylne boats were of slightly less beam. The class was
adopted by the West Cheshire Sailing Club, with Mylne
as their only designer.
(Editors Note: THIS explains
it! My grandfather carefully explained to me that all
the class had to be designed by Milne, and I never knew
any different until this manuscript arrived in 1988!)
There was another Samuel Bond built MYFANWY yacht built
the same year, a much larger vessel, not built to class.
The RMYC Restricted Class boat was actually called MYFANWY
BACH, but the additional BACH was never heard until the
owner Pat Nesbit passed his 10th pint, after which he
would solemnly pronounce the full name.
IKINOO was the hard weather boat, particularly to windward,
while MYFANWY always had the edge in light weather,
spinnaker went to the hounds. Joe Wallace (IKINOO)
bought a masthead spinnaker and made the mistake of
sailing up to Rock Ferry with it set while the Midnight
Isle of Man race handicappers were watching from the
Tranmere SC windows. He didn’t win THAT YEAR!
IKY (IKINOO) was always launched with impeccable topsides,
but after her first hard plug to windward showed all
her forward seams. My description ‘Like a five
barred gate’ didn’t go down too well with
Joe Wallace! In 1934 Tyler stiffened up her mast partners,
and mitigated this somewhat. PUFFIN was the best built – secret
fastened topsides, teak trim, oak coachroof beams picked
out in varnish, scrubbed deck etc.
FLORENIEN (originally ETHILDRA ) had a clumsy counter
added in 1930, and I think her centreboard removed. Post
Hitler war she was rebuilt by Rudge Davies with built
up topsides, an improved counter, bermudian sloop rigged,
and the centreboard replaced.
MINK II, (EINNA to the class), had a weaker sectioned
transom, and was almost fishing boat built, and was always
looked upon as non competitive. Her engine installation
looked to me to have been original and not a later addition
as they were in MYFANWY, FLORENIEN, AVIS and AYESHA.
Disappointed of buying IKINOO in, I think, 1935, the
Poynton Brothers had CORAL built by Enterprise. Very
much a copy of the Milne boats, but without a centreboard
with a deeper keel. She sailed well against them and
In the late thirties, MYFANWY was cut down to a 390
sq ft sloop by scrapping the topsail and jib, and recutting
the mainsail to give a higher peak. With the addition
of an engine she thus became an even sadder travesty
of the original conception than the mutilated ETHILDA,
which her owner tells me, as IRENE II was a lovely cruiser.
IKINOO and PUFFIN had straight stems which, on the same
waterline, allowed rather more transom height than
those with a round in the stem, which cut down skin friction.
We called IKY ‘The long snooted rule cheater’,
for an obvious reason. There is a legend of her winning
the Isle of Man race because there was a half hitch on
the topsail halyard at the spiderband pin, and because
it was a new Italian Hemp fall, the skipper refused to
allow it to be cut. There was also a reference on this
trip to ‘seventy buckets of water’!
Once when dropping PUFFIN’s topsail at sea, the
sheet threw a half hitch around the gaff end, being ‘Ambitious’.
I was the one who climbed the hoops and out along the
gaff across the peak halyards to clear it. We got a squall,
she lay down, and some fool let the mainsheet run. The
mainsail flogged and I came down its belly to land feet
first on the coachroof.
Things moved fast then. I had the helm shoved into my
hand and the owner dived down the companionway like a
ferret down a rabbit hole, to see if I had bust any of
the deck beams! I carried out an acrimonious inquisition
with complete lack of results as to who had let the sheet
go. I got no damned sympathy at all!
One of them, I think AYESHA, parted her centreplate
hoist wire. They were cased in and very liable to be
neglected, and as their plate had no limit stops it
dangled from its pin, became bent, and would not come
up when underrun. She had to be craned out in Liverpool
docks. There is a lesson here – I’ve never
rigged a centreplate without a stop since!
In PUFFIN, we once found the putty of Manesty Mount,
a muddy bight just upstream from the Eastham Locks entrance
to the Manchester Ship canal, and dried out, starboard
side up, and to the south, on a hot sunny day. A couple
of months later we found the port side clean and the
other side grassy and showing seed barnacles. Thus we
learn that the arsenical International ‘Kobe’ antifouling
doesn’t like sunlight.
IKINOO we were told, is a Sioux Indian word meaning
Little white mouse which runs over the waves, ie foam.
I made or designed the racing flag a white mouse on a
blue ground. It didn’t turn out too convincingly,
and the crew always referred to it as ‘Joe’s
Rat’, most disrespectful, I thought.
Again aboard IKINOO, I was alone on the moorings north
of New Brighton ferry stage with a strong flood running
up river, and was engaged in threading a rubber pipe
anti-chafe fender on the mooring chain. I had removed
the buoy rope, and had her on two or three turns of the
chain around the samson post. A tug went past, as always,
too close and too fast. IKINOO didn’t roll. She
WAGGED! and I heard the chain running out! (Editors
note: my copy of the manuscript ends there, perhaps the
was too painful?)
Joe Henry King 1974
Published courtesy of : Alan
Vintage Wooden Boat Association
Newsletter No.10 Autumn 1992