DANEGELD is a Bermudan sloop, a leisure craft of timber carvel construction built in 1958 by David Cheverton & Partners of Cowes with a Yanmar diesel engine model 3GM30 installed in 1997.
DANEGELD was conceived for Bobby Lowein, a well known Cowes sailor with an enviable race record and later Max Aitken's sailing master. Cheverton and Lowein had previously collaborated on an earlier race winner, the slab ended Rum Runner. Lowein's brief to Cheverton was to 'build me a yacht that will look well, sail well, be easily handled by two men, yet will sleep five.' DANEGELD, with her long overhangs, was hailed by the yachting press as one of the 'nicest and most shapely vessels produced in this country' and 'something of a wonder boat'.
In the hands of a master sailor she was fast. In her first full season in 1959, from 22 starts, she gained 15 first places, two seconds and four thirds, or 31 places - 'an outstanding result for a racing cruiser's first season afloat.' This included winning Round the Island Race outright and her class in the Fastnet. That year DANEGELD was made 'Yacht of the Year' and Bobby Lowein was made Yachtsman of the Year for 'Danegeld racing successes'.
Her success was ascribed partly to her generous beam, at 9'6", 2.5 times her waterline length of 24' rather than the more common proportion of three to one. Commentators said: 'This places her more in line with the normal American cruiser-racer of her size...and a remarkably comfortable boat.' The long coachroof with no dog house helped keep windage low while maintaining 6' standing headroom below.
Her varnished African Mahogany splined planking is fastened to Oak frames while the deck is Teak planking. The coachhouse, hatches and coamings are also of Teak. The designed wooden spar proved too heavy and she was fitted from the outset with a Sparlight aluminium mast. DANEGELD's 3 ton lead keel, later boats had iron, were the melted gargoyles from East Cowes Castle, which Bobby inherited. A cast iron bath was suspended on two railway lines above the boat burning off-cuts and partygoers at the event cooked sausages in the boiling lead!
The funds to build DANEGELD came fro Bobby's Danish wife, Karin, hence the boat's name. With the success of the design, Cheverton & Partners promoted DANEGELD as a class of its own and four other boats followed.
In 1960 members of the Island Sailing Club each paid £1 to freight DANEGELD from the Royal Docks in London to Bermuda aboard the Royal Mail freighter Ebro together with RNSA yacht Belmore to take part in the Bermuda Race. After five days of heavy winds and rough seas DANEGELD, the smallest boat in the race, finished as second foreign boat on corrected time. DANEGELD then sailed in the Transatlantic race to Marstrand in Sweden with Belmore. Both races were recorded by Belmore's skipper Errol Bruce in his book 'When the Crew Matter Most', while DANEGELD crewman Mike Henderson made an 8mm film of the Atlantic crossing.
With Max Aitken beckoning, Bobby Lowein sold DANEGELD in 1964 to George Proctor of Tring. She was berthed at Shoreham for ten years and then sold to Malcolm Farquharson of Poole before she was acquired by Clifford Ling of Greenwich in 1979, a friend of Proctor, and berthed in the Hamble for eighteen years voyaging to France, Spain and the Azores. In 1997 she passed to her present owner who began an extensive restoration to the racing condition for which DANEGELD was famous. She returned to Cowes for a major restoration by Eddie Richards. Eddie was an apprentice at the Cheverton Yard in Somerton, Cowes, when DANEGELD was built in 1958. The hull was basically sound but her interior was stripped since as David Cheverton pointed out, it was never completed because the Danegeld ran out!
She has been returned, as near as possible, to her original condition. Worn planks were replaced and the deck refastened. Weight, in the shape of a heavy diesel engine and fuel tanks in the long counter with compensating ballast in the bow, were removed and she is now back to her designed marks.
Classic Boat: Ready to Race!, pp28-34, May 2013
Built by David Cherverton & Partners of Cowes, Isle of Wight as a Bermudan Sloop for Bobby Lowein, a well-known Cowes sailor with an enviable race record
Sold to present owner, major restoration
From 22 starts she gained 15 first places, two seconds and four thirds. This included winning the Round the Island Race and winning her class in the Fastnet. She was made Yacht of the Year
She took part in the Bermuda Race and despite heavy winds and rough seas finished second
Sold to George Proctor of Tring and converted for cruising
Sold to Malcolm Farquharson of Poole
Sold to Clifford Ling of Greenwich and berthed in Hamble for 18 years voyaging to France, Spain and the Azores
Sold to her present owner and returned to Cowes for a major restoration by Eddie Richards, an apprentice at the original Cheverton Yard. She was returned, as near as possible, to her original condition. Worn planks were replaced and the deck refastened
She is thought to be in good condition and based in Gosport and used as a Private Leisure Craft
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