Friday, May 18, 2012

Design 1710-C26 - Rumbuster


Last week we posted an article about hull #021 of the Swan 36 class, the beautiful s/y Seamróige. Here we have a wooden sister, Rumbuster, which is hull #026 of the entire lineup of design #1710 (this excludes the Swan 36 numbering sequence).

The owner of Rumbuster dropped us a note and included the beautiful image of her seen above, courtesy of Beken of Cowes.  The image looks like it was taken in the Solent but could not be the start of the Fastnet Race as it was not held in that year.  Nice image.  She's being pressed about as hard as she can.

Our records say Rumbuster was built by "Port Hamble" but in my mind that could mean a couple of yards in that area.  Perhaps the owner will set us straight?

Here's a copy of her original rating certificate.  I include it as it is interesting in that it shows her scantlings.

In any event she is a beautiful boat.  She makes her home near Oban on the west coast of Scotland.  The image below was taken off Eilean Dubh Mor, part of the chain known as the Inner Hebrides on the west coast of Scotland.


  1. This picture was taken on Saturday 21 September 1968 a few minutes after the start of a short race from Hamble Point (Southampton Water) down the Solent to Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. We raced back on the Sunday. Beken had taken another shot a minute or so before this one, bow on to Rumbuster.

    The spinnaker had been hoisted a few minutes earlier just before the start and we were 'flying'(!) with no problems at the gun. Then soon afterwards we were hit by a squall. One boat to windward of us (behind out of picture) had its spinnaker shredded. For the sake of any armchair sailors out there we made sure the spinnaker did not go into the water - not a good idea - hence you can see the spinnaker backwinding the jib. We did not broach, but it was a magic moment to say the least! We recovered quickly and then trimmed the spinnaker and had a good race finishing third although we were shorthanded (just the three of us racing the boat).

    As far as I remember Rumbuster was built by Ludlows on the I.O.W., not Hamble. During her racing career based at Hamble she was moored at Port Hamble. She is a S&S 36 built in 1966 and owned by Peter & Heather Balfour at that time from new. (It is Peter on the helm in this picture. The foredeck man - Nick Riley - can be seen coming aft on the coach roof. I am the one holding the end of the spinnaker sheet, smiling at the camera! Long time ago now). The Balfours were a delightful couple and I raced 'full time' on Rumbuster (sometimes known affectionately as Bumruster) - she raced under the burgee of the Royal Southern YC Hamble for 2 years before taking up an appointment in the Far East. We raced with siser boats Clarionet, Roundabout, Sunmaid (I remember the owner Guy Bowles, wonderful guy) and the first Morning Cloud (Ted Heath who was Her Majesty's Opposition Conservative leader at the time and who became Prime Minister in 1970) and others on handicap.

    Although we would chat to Ted after a race (if he wasn't whisked away to London), it was his tactician Owen Parker who I enjoyed talking to. He raced with Heath for 12 years on the various Morning Clouds - such as on the victorious Sydney to Hobart race and winning the Admiral Cup etc). Owen was a local Hamble man who could sail before he could walk and a wonderful heavy weather sailor. Fascinating man to talk to and very generous with his time and with passing on his knowledge and experience. Sadly he died before his time not many years after Ted Heath.

    These S&S 36s - sailed as One Tonners - were very stiff boats - purposely - which made them wonderful boats to windward, particularly in heavy air. I remember we had Rod Stephens on board one day to advise tuning the rig. Although amateurs of course we took it all very seriously!

    It is nice to see her still being raced (up in Edinburgh) and her present owners (the Browns) obviously look after her well. Perhaps one day I will try and visit.

    Tim Allpress

  2. Apologies a mistake in my blog above:

    Rumbuster was built (I think) at Lallow's yard (Clare Lallow) not Ludlow (that's a town in Shropshire!). Sorry - a senior moment!

    Tim Allpress

    1. Tim
      Thanks for the extra information on rumbuster and the Beken photo. I bought her off George and fiona Brown a few years ago and she's based on the west coast (Scotland not USA !). Feel free to visit ! Would be intersted to know more about rumbuster from you - feel free to contact me through Napier University, Edinburgh.
      Martin Askey

    2. Martin

      Thanks for your blog note. I am sorry, I had assumed the Browns still owned Rumbuster. She has obviously been well looked after and you are continuing the tradition!

      I saw Sunmaid fairly recently - she is not in such good nick - at Blyth YC (Newcastle). I would love to visit you and Rumbuster and I do appreciate your invite. I am well & truly retired now and do not know when I will get up north but we do have a neice in Edinburgh, so it's possible.

      I certainly did a lot of sea miles in her but a long time ago, but wonderful memories - a lovely boat.

      Tim Allpress
      Storrington, West Sussex

    3. Tim
      Just back from a 2 week cruise round the west coast.
      Would be good to have a chat about Rumbuster.
      Likewise, saw Sunmaid and she was suffering, which is a huge shame.
      email is

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